Appearance Alert!
MRC's Brent Bozell talks about media bias on FNC's The Kelly File, 9:30pm ET/PT Thursday

CBS's Gayle King Sucks Up to Friend Michelle Obama; Lets Her Throw Race Charge

New anchor Gayle King tossed softballs at admitted friend Michelle Obama on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. King sympathized with the First Lady over how many supposedly see her. When her guest dropped a racially-tinged charge, that "that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since...the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman," she replied, "How do you deal with that image?"

During the twelve-plus minute interview, which aired in two segments, the close associate of Oprah Winfrey also especially sympathized with Mrs. Obama over charges against her in a recent book: "I think it's frustrating for her to see so many untruths. You know, I read the book, too....and I'm thinking- well, I was there. That didn't happen, that didn't happen, that didn't happen. And she never told Carla Bruni Sarkozy that living in the White House was hell- quite the opposite is how she feels."

King started out the first segment of the interview by asking the First Lady about the book, "The Obamas," by New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor: "If reading the book- and you take out parts of the book, you would think, Michelle Obama is angry, she's unhappy, she feels burdened, she feels frustrated. Do you feel frustrated as First Lady of the United States?"

When Mrs. Obama denied these feelings, the CBS anchor followed up by asking about the apparent "friction" depicted in the book between the First Lady and two of the President's advisors, Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs. The guest raised her "angry black woman" label when King explained what the book charged:

OBAMA: ...I am one of his biggest confidantes, but he has dozens of really smart people who surround him. That's not to say that we don't have discussions and conversations. That's not to say that my husband doesn't know how I feel. But, you know, this notion that I'm sitting in meetings and having, you know, conversations and conflict with staff-

KING: Yeah. No, it never said you were sitting in meetings. It said that if you were unhappy, you would say something to the President, and the President, in turn, would go to the meeting and say well, she feels we've lost our- she feels, you know, maybe, this could have been handled differently, and that he would raise some of your concerns. I mean, that does not surprise you, that he would do that?

OBAMA: No, not at all-

KING: That would not surprise you?

OBAMA: Right. You know, I guess it's more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and you know- but that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since, you know, the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman.

KING: How do you deal with that- that image?

OBAMA: You know, I just try to be me, and my hope is that over time, people get to know me, and they get to judge me for me.

After the first segment of the interview concluded, the anchor sat down with co-anchors Charlie Rose and Erica Hill to talk about the interview. Rose noted that "there seems to be a nice chemistry there. I mean, you've known this person for a long time." In reply, King acknowledged that "I think we should say it's no secret here at the table that we're friends." He also asked, "Did she seem to you like she wanted to get some things off her chest?" This is where she came to Mrs. Obama's defense.

KING: I think Charlie, that is such a great question, because the answer is yes and no. You know, we had reached out to the First Lady back before Christmas, and she had agreed to do this interview because she wanted to support the launch, quite frankly. She was very excited about the show, and she wanted to participate in the premiere- lucky for us....you know, she has not read the book, she doesn't intend to read the book, and I think it's frustrating for her to see so many untruths. You know, I read the book, too. I pulled an all-nighter, like you do in college, and read the book, and I'm thinking- well, I was there. That didn't happen, that didn't happen, that didn't happen. And she never told Carla Bruni Sarkozy that living in the White House was hell- quite the opposite is how she feels.

The transcript of the first segment of Gayle King's interview of First Lady Michelle Obama, which aired at the bottom of the 7 am Eastern hour of Wednesday's CBS This Morning:

GAYLE KING: Thank you, Charlie. I like that word 'intrepid.' I sat down with Michelle Obama yesterday in her office. We talked about a wide range of issues. But we started with a story making headlines this week. There's a new book that talks about the First Lady's relationship with the West Wing and her husband.

KING (from pre-recorded interview): Now, it's my understanding that you have not read the book.

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA: Yeah, I don't- I never read these books. There are so many books that have my picture on the cover, my name on it, and I don't even know what's going on. So I've just gotten in the habit of not reading other people's impressions of people.

KING: If reading the book- and you take out parts of the book, you would think, Michelle Obama is angry, she's unhappy, she feels burdened, she feels frustrated. Do you feel frustrated as First Lady of the United States?

OBAMA: I love this job. It is- it has been a privilege from day one. Now, there are challenges with being a mother and trying to keep your kids sane, and I worry a lot about that. I mean, if there's any anxiety that I feel, it's because I want to make sure that my girls come out of this on the other end whole. But me, Barack- we're grownups. You know, all the ups and downs- you know, we take it on.

KING: Even though you haven't read the book, I do think it's raised some things-

OBAMA: You have to tell me what's in there-

KING: Okay. (laughs) I'd be glad to tell you. Let start with Rahm Emanuel. Jodi Kantor says that there was friction between you and Rahm Emanuel, that you had some concerns about how the President was being advised, that the two of you did not get along, and that it created some tension between the East Wing and the West Wing. Was that true?

OBAMA: Rahm is and Amy, his wife, are some of our dearest friends. Rahm and I have never had a crossed word. He's a funny guy.

KING: Never had a cross word with Rahm Emanuel?

OBAMA: We never had a cross word. I mean, I don't have conversations with my husband's staff. I don't go to the meetings. I don't have- our staffs work together really well. So if there's communication that needs to happen, it happens between staffs. My chief of staff talks to his chief of staff. So if there were ever an issue, it would go through that channel anyway. I can count the number of times I go over to the West Wing- period. You know, I can count the number of times-

KING: How many times is it? (laughs) No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding.

OBAMA: I mean, we could. We could probably sit down and go through, and it's usually for official functions, or things that we have to do. But, you know, I do care deeply about my husband. I am his biggest ally-

KING: Biggest confidante-

OBAMA: It's not just because- I am one of his biggest confidantes, but he has dozens of really smart people who surround him. That's not to say that we don't have discussions and conversations. That's not to say that my husband doesn't know how I feel. But, you know, this notion that I'm sitting in meetings and having, you know, conversations and conflict with staff-

KING: Yeah. No, it never said you were sitting in meetings. It said that if you were unhappy, you would say something to the President, and the President, in turn, would go to the meeting and say well, she feels we've lost our- she feels, you know, maybe, this could have been handled differently, and that he would raise some of your concerns. I mean, that does not surprise you, that he would do that?

OBAMA: No, not at all-

KING: That would not surprise you?

OBAMA: Right. You know, I guess it's more interesting to imagine this conflicted situation here and a strong woman and you know- but that's been an image that people have tried to paint of me since, you know, the day Barack announced, that I'm some angry black woman.

KING: How do you deal with that- that image?

OBAMA: You know, I just try to be me, and my hope is that over time, people get to know me, and they get to judge me for me.

KING: The book also says something about Robert Gibbs, that during- I remember this story with Carla Bruni- Carla Bruni Sarkozy- who, in a book, said that the First Lady said living in the White House, being in the White House was hell. And that, you know, he cursed the situation, and he cursed you specifically. And I was wondering, were you ever told that? Were you aware of that?

OBAMA: No.

KING: You had never heard that Robert Gibbs cursed you and said something very unflattering, where he thought that he handled-

OBAMA: No, no-

KING: Am I the first person to tell that you?

OBAMA: No. I heard that- that was one of the things from the book that I heard. Robert Gibbs is a trusted adviser-

KING: And remains so-

OBAMA: He's been a good friend and remains so. And I'm sure that we could go day-to-day and find things people wish they didn't say to each other or said. People stumble. People make mistakes. People every day- in families, in churches, in schools all over the country- they say things they don't mean sometimes. That's why I don't read these books, because it's- you know, it's a game in so many ways that, you know, doesn't really get- you know, I mean, who can write about how I feel? Who? What third person can tell me how I feel, or anybody, for that matter?

— Matthew Balan is a news analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.