Robin Givhan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with the Washington Post, was asked to leave a BET conference featuring former First Lady Michelle Obama. The reason cited is that Givhan published a story featuring quotes from Mrs. Obama in a garden chat that was allegedly off the record.
Page Six writes:
Givhan — the Washington Post’s fashion critic, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2006 — posted a piece Wednesday quoting Obama discussing her campaign experiences in 2008: “I couldn’t count on my husband’s campaign to protect me; I had to protect myself.”
Despite her qualifications, Obama was dismayed at being asked if she could handle being first lady.
“The garden was a subversive act,” she said. “You can’t go in with guns blazing until people trust you.”
And just before welcoming Donald and Melania Trump to the White House, Obama said, she cried saying goodbye to the staff.
When BET brass saw the story, they kicked Givhan out and canceled a panel she was due to moderate.
But while claiming Michelle’s talk was private, BET didn’t play by its own rules: The network posted sections of the interview on its website, while Valerie Jarrett, who conducted the chat, teased on social media that fans should “tune in to BET” to hear all that Obama really said.
It appears that Givhan either ignored instructions that this was an off the record discussion or violated some misunderstood embargo. At any rate, Givhan’s dismissal from the “Leading Women Defined” conference in Bel Harbour, Florida sparked chatter on social media and plenty of defense from Givhan.
BET claims that while Givhan was there to moderate a panel, she was not meant to attend the event or the chat as a reporter. Givhan has been firing back at critics via her Twitter account since the story of the chat published on Wednesday (Mar. 21).