Robin Givhan Michelle Obama

The BET Network booted an award-winning journalist from a Michelle Obama conference for publishing a Q&A with Mrs. Obama without permission.

The urban TV network invited Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan (pictured left) to its “Leading Women Defined” conference in Bal Harbour, Fla, with special guest speaker Michelle Obama.

The journalists were given strict rules not to report anything Mrs. Obama said during the "private" conference.

Givhan, who was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism in 2006, wrote an article using Michelle Obama quotes from the conference and from her husband's 2008 campaign.

The article which was published on Wednesday quoted Mrs. Obama discussing her campaign experiences in 2008: “I couldn’t count on my husband’s campaign to protect me; I had to protect myself," she said.

She also included quotes from Mrs. Obama's Q&A session.

In a moment of vulnerability, Mrs. Obama was quoted as saying she cried like a baby just before welcoming Donald and Melania Trump to the White House in January 2017.

When BET bosses saw the story, they kicked Givhan out of the conference and canceled a panel she was due to moderate.

BET reminded attending journalists that Michelle Obama's speech was private, but the NY Post's Page Six accused the network of not playing 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."

The incident sparked outrage from Black Twitter on Thursday. Some say Givhan, who is black, “violated a sacred trust between women, black women."

Writer Jamilah Lemieux tweeted, “This is a complete violation of journalistic ethics and Black girl code."

A BET rep insisted Givhan was “invited as a guest (not working press) to moderate a fashion panel,” and her travel and hotel were paid for by BET.

“She was made aware that it was an intimate conversation in a sacred space of sisterhood and fellowship," a BET rep said.

But other journalists defended Givhan, saying BET exercised biased judgment in censoring an award-winning black, female journalist.

  • ShelbyMoore

    Dumb bish...hopefully the drag her ass to the white meat. Why can't anything stay sacred between people anymore? Why can't anything be private? She knew how that shat would come off about Trump and his tramp and she used it anyway. Fawking wolves in sheep's clothing. Everyone wants to be a celebrity. Ugh. Big forehead having as$ bish.

  • Trace da Ace

    loose lips sinks ships.....thats all I got..its Friday and my throat hurts...the end.

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Welp, let the blackballing begin...This Robin chick is really on twitter defending her right to post the convo. BET paid for her hotel and flight and all she had to do was keep her mouth shut and talk on a panel. If someone says off the record then its off the record. But she just wanted to beat the masses to the story instead she violated the sister circle. She's never gonna get a job again unless she wants to write for FOX...

  • RespectSelf

    lol I was expecting something a little more juicy than she was upset that Trump was in office. Folks have been singing that same tune EVERY SINGLE DAY for over a year smh.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    When they say "keep this behind closed doors"... they mean keep it behind closed doors, period. No sympathy for her. She's been in the business long enough, so she knows better.

  • RespectSelf

    So something seems fishy here. I can not believe that a journalist who been in the game for a minute would be reckless like that. She clearly must of thought that there would be no problem with her publishing it. She is sticking to the fact that it was an on the record talk.

    Also BET also posted clips from that this (sisterhood) chat. It looks like they may have taken it down now lol I mean they can't be creating all this fuss over something they also did.

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    This is why the NY Post called BET out on their hypocrisy. The problem was clearly what she wrote about Michelle crying. Michelle has cultivated this image that she's a strong woman.

  • You Could Never

    A few things. *DEEP SIGH*

    1. A BET rep insisted Givhan was “invited as a guest (not working press) to moderate a fashion panel,” and her travel and hotel were paid for by BET.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^
    If you are press...you are ALWAYS press. You are press when you are invited somewhere. You are press at the grocery store (I have been on the other end of the phone when REPORTERS are calling in news tips from the craziest of locations). You are press at church (one black reporter interviewed the now deceased longtime black Wake County Sheriff John Baker, Jr. after Baker popped up at his church services). Everywhere. BET knows this here shit. Like???? Reporters are never "off".

    2. “She was made aware that it was an intimate conversation in a sacred space of sisterhood and fellowship.”
    ^^^^^^^^^^^
    Did yall do a WRITTEN agreement? A NDA? If not BET needs to sit the hell DOWN.

  • You Could Never

    THIS! Im calling bullshat

  • You Could Never

    Behind closed doors is far diff. from off the record. Unless they said off the record all bets are ON. And even then it still might be some gray areas. It just depends. She broke a girl code for sure. But she didnt violate any journalistic ethics I dont think.

  • You Could Never

    If someone says off the record then its off the record.
    ^^^^^^^^
    This is not always true.

    "The Associated Press states that all off the record conditions should be brokered before the interview has begun. Mashable stresses that off the record has to be an agreement as well; a PR executive or speaker simply can’t declare something “off the record.”

    “The person speaking should make it very clear that that bit of information they are saying is off the record,” said Kumar. “It was a public forum, he should have been more careful.”

    That a source must let a reporter know when something is off the record is “journalism 101,” said Ashley McCollum, vice president of business development and communications for BuzzFeed."

    http://ajr.org/2014/11/28/off-record-online/

  • Alicia.Ashe

    If BET posted a portion of the video of this chat on their website, then what’s the issue? Nothing salacious was being said.

  • Evillene

    Journalists routinely agree to non-disclosure in exchange for access. Givhan is not a novice. If BET says don't report anything you hear they mean it. It's a commercial enterprise not a non-profit free giveaway. No hypocrisy.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    Two problems.

    1. BET need to follow their own rules, since they choose to enforce them, with journalist like her.

    2. How would she feel if her conversation was supposed to be in private and someone started dropping info about what she said?

    So many women I know, have broken the "black sister code" or "sister code" by running their mouths about private stuff but no one blackballed them. They have completely lied about why they did it, but it doesn't change the fact, that they did it. But since this is Michelle 0bama, they are going to try to ruin her. Smh.

  • Jethro

    "She cried like a baby just before welcoming Donald and Melania Trump to the White House in January 2017."

    FLOTUS Michelle Obama cried for the American people because she knew what batshit lunacy was coming.

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    She's a journalist. She was doing her job by reporting what Mrs. Obama said. It wasn't a CIA meeting.

  • You Could Never

    Im reading still Sandra. But I dont think this lady did anything professionally wrong. There is a REASON BET doesnt dabble in news anymore. Bc they obviously dont know the basic rules of journalism. And now they mad as hell bc this lady done beat them at their own game. Its not enough for a BET rep to stand up and say this is off the record. Unless MICHELLE said this is off the record? I am thinking this lady is within her journalistic confines. THE SOURCE has to say it is off the record.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    Youre right Sandra. Michelle is human. People need to get over thinking, she's never supposed to have a moment like every other human being. Yes, even the strongest women cry sometimes. And why is crying seen as a weakness? I think her crying humanizes her even more.

  • WutizstillHERE!

    So she pulled a Tiffany Haddish on Michelle huh.. TIIFFANY!

  • Quitedeliteful

    Fuqq that big-mouth!!!!

  • Dowoop

    The rules may not have been for BET as they wanted to rights to publish it. They guests however were told the rules beforehand so i will go with BET on it. Yes, shes a journalist but she wasn't invited as press. Its like when you are invited to a wedding and the bride and groom asks you not to take any pictures as they will be taking their own. They are a communication corporation, i highly doubt they are sponsoring this event without publishing any of it.

  • Dowoop

    Strong women cry too.

  • Quitedeliteful

    They asked her not to report on it. She did anyway knowing that there would be consequences... It doesn't matter what BET did - it as their event. She should have kept her big mouth shut. Hope it was worth it...

  • ramosyo

    ???

  • Quitedeliteful

    (snicker...)

  • VanillaCaramel2shotsExpresso

    I find Michelle Obama Stronger and more endearing for crying in the way out. She is still a classy lady to me and she did a fine job. These First Ladies including the current FLOTUS have a lot to endure.... Bless them because I couldn’t do it.

  • sunni_daze

    This is what being hard-headed get you. As a guest she should follow any rules the host implements

  • You Could Never

    Reporters can't just report on something all Willy nilly. They can. Doesn't mean it will be picked up tho. They answer to an editor. The editor answers to an even higher editor or the publisher. She wrote a story. The Washington Post decided to publish it. They are the ones with the final say. This story went through possibly 2 editors, news research, and copy editing after she wrote it. IJS.

  • Liah

    SHE WAS DEAD WRONG FOR THAT...'Every sister aint a sister"

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    This isn't that serious to me. She reported on Michelle Obama being human...big deal. They act like she said something that was so out there.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    The journalist will be fine. She's not hurting for work.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Anyone who watched the inauguration could see that Michelle had been crying before it started, but whatever.

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    In 2018, there's no such thing as a "black girl code" or "sister code". And isn't Jamilah always getting into Twitter beefs with different Black people? I mean seriously lol

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Troll harder.

    It's funny how people are still obsessing over the Obamas because people don't want to pay attention to the crap show that is currently happening in the White House.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    Maybe it was part of her book which isn't due out until November so maybe she wanted it to be a surprise?

  • Mrs. S. Kidd

    Oh please. BET is not a major power player in journalism. They are not the BBC or CCTV. Get a clue. There's soooo many international and domestic news agencies. She'll be fine.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    You got that right about there's no sister code anymore. People will expose anything just to bring attention to themselves.

  • Y’all Jealous Cuz I’m Prudy

    She shouldn't have published anything if she was asked beforehand, not to.

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Poor basic betty instead of using your big girl words you have to type in anger...Dont comment on my ish if you dont like it and trust you dont want none of this wordplay.... So let me elaborate while I buy a clue, a vowel, and anything else I want...Secondly, screw BET Im talking about the "powers that be" who are in Michelle O's corner... You really think that a news network will work with her now that she blabbed about one of the favorite first ladies....keep in mind that what she said will probably be in the book that Michelle is set to release this year...

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Other reporters strictly stated that Michelle as well as others that worked for BET said the convo was strictly off the record...I dont understand your logic of bringing up an article from 2014 Hun...

  • Dowoop

    Well thats the point i was making.....

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    "she cried like a baby just before welcoming Donald and Melania Trump to the White House in January 2017."
    ------------

    And we've been crying ever since.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    Follow the Rules.

  • You Could Never

    American Journalism Review (AJR) was kinda like a place that held some of the rules of journalism. The article was a point of ref. only. The rules dont change. And the Associated Press/AP are one of the biggest rule makers of journalism. So its there for a point of ref.

    If anything folks should be mad at the Washington Post for publishing it. Reporters cant go and just publish anything they feel like. They answer to a higher workplace power. She wrote it. WashPost are the ones who published it. And they didnt have to. Editors pick content. Not a reporter. The story is still up.She still has a job.Yet BET pulled their story and video.

  • Ryan

    Actually she could end up getting blackballed. I hope not for her sake but it can be harder to find work when you can't be trusted to follow basic instructions.

  • http://batman-news.com Roderick2011

    You know her agent personally?

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Ok so what is your point??? Even if she got editor approval and they published that still doesn't mean she got he greenlight to even write down the information in the first place....journalist writes story, confirms to editor to print, paper prints story on merit that journalist has greenlight from source...you act like papers or articles have never retracted before...I understand your plight but again I see no reason for the cut and paste showboating...

  • Quitedeliteful

    Maybe not... but I wonder how or if this will affect her going forward...

  • Quitedeliteful

    Maybe not... but I wonder how or if this will affect her going forward...

  • MsPam

    I wish blacks folks would stop acting like the Obamas are made of gold, the pee/ boo boo like everyone else! He’s not Jehovah God and she’s not Mary mother of Jesus!

  • Quitedeliteful

    True... she has the backing of the Post but I wonder if she will be blackballed from other events because she won't remain confidential -- though I can understand the writer in her wanting to write the story...

  • You Could Never

    Reporters at a newspaper got agents?

  • MsPam

    Damn she didn’t kill anyone! Some of us are ridiculous!

  • You Could Never

    You dont think the WashPost isnt going to fact check that the story is permissable to print? From Michelle Obama as the source? I assure you the WashPost doesnt want, nor can afford that static. Of possibly getting their asses sued to smithereens. By the former FLOTUS. When they are the main people on the front lines of all things political in this country. Reporters literally write a story and turn it into a big database abyss of other stories from the other 100 or so writers and correspondents in hopes it sees the light of day. You go to your editor and say its a story on XYZ out there. Editor chooses to read and takes it from there. Editor decides if its a go or if its a no. From there the source and facts if there are any, are verfied by news research. A copy editor edits it for content and grammar. And BAM! Its on the website and in the paper the next morning. And YES they retract all the time. But this one been up since Wed. If they were going to pull it...they had yesterday and all of day today EST. That story is still up.

  • Ryan

    I don't think you know what blackballed means lol!

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    You act like rules have never been broken before on a newspaper room floor...you dont have to explain to me what the process is...Any reporter who has been in the vicinity of Michelle Obama after leaving the white house gets top billing and preference from the EIC... Corners will be cut to "get the scoop" so please cut the crap acting like the article had to go through all these processes to get published...Next time pass by whats commented instead of playing reporting scout and thesaurus rolled up in one...

  • MsPam

    I’m fully aware what it means! ?

  • You Could Never

    WashPost is not about to risk it all. Sorry. Not sorry. I just dont see them of all publications going out on a limb like that for a black FEMALE reporter to get the scoop over lowly ass BET on Michelle Obama. They already in enough employment affairs trouble for the crap with Fredrick Kunkle. Newspapers are dying. They do not have the money to be caught up in lawsuits. Employment. Running a story that is not verfied to have been on the record. Liable. Any of it. This lady would have been fired yesterday if there was wrongdoing. You know this to be true. You are far from crazy.

  • SingleGalCrazyWorld

    Its all about the scoop just like a said....Its foh friday go roll or ride on somethin...Chile....

  • You Could Never

    Well damn. That was pretty uncalled for. I thought we were being respectful and having a nice insightful convo. But fukk you too bish

  • http://ebonynsweet.com Ebony N’ Sweet

    I get it..Private conversations should remain private. But the Obama's should never trust anyone that works in the media though

  • facingrealit1

    Michelle cried because she knew all the crimes her husband had committed as president would soon be exposed and that their Brothers Keeper "Clinton-crimelike" Foundation would not reap all the monies the Clinton's had promised them it would if they helped her get elected. Not to mention, that Trump has just about erased all the BS policies Obama signed into existence via executive order - which is constitutionally illegal as the executive branch of the government "signs" laws into existence that congress creates.

  • facingrealit1

    She wasn't crying for us - she was crying for that BS legacy her husband created that Trump is slowly but surely erasing. What part of Obama's Library wouldn't have any records are you missing. He is out there trying to make money by turning his library into a playground. - Amusement area for he didn't do much to fill a Library with.

  • facingrealit1

    Except that they wanted exclusive rights for payment purposes. That is why these celebs don't want pictures of their children out there until they get paid to release them. It's all about for the "love" of money.

  • facingrealit1

    The Obama's like to "control" their narrative so I agree that something was said that Michelle didn't want out there...like her hating the fact that Trump won....as she was suppose to get Hillary elected so that they could continue lying to and thieving from the American people.

  • Evillene

    They are not made of gold, they are made of diamond.

  • Jethro
  • zero options

    Looks like BET just wanted exclusive rights, if so, don't invite other journalists. Just let her write her own article.
    In short, BET got scooped.

  • Michelle

    B!tch choke!

  • Ms. Jackson

    Right! ?? ?? ??

  • interestingconcept1

    I''m still crying. Michelle didn't even bother styling her hair she was done.

  • Kimberly King

    You're thirsty as hell.

  • Kimberly King

    Rule numero uno !!

  • Rhyme and Reason

    I don't believe they seriously thought journalists wouldn't leak parts of Mrs. Obama's speech, please!

    Not in this day and age, not to mention how journalism has greatly eroded beyond yellow to no fact-checking, fake news, covering the lower rungs of pop culture and celebrity like it's serious news!

    This is a win in many ways! Michelle got to say to the country how she really feels about Trump as president and that legendary first day of his reign of terror, dictatorship, imperialism, etc!

    Now more people will know this this award-winning Black Journalist!

  • Bad bad girl

    Rules are rules. I hate it when people try to say that it's no big deal that she wrote something that she had agreed she wouldn't do before she attended the event. The journalist was completely in the wrong. If you knew what the rule was, why break them. BET wanted the rights to Michelle's speech, hell they paid for them.

  • Bad bad girl

    At the end of the day, the journalist was wrong and its says a lot about her character

  • Chuck

    Bih should have followed the rules that we’re established by Mrs. Obama’s team. The firing is justified, and all of her future “privilege passes” should never taken. Period!

  • Not a Housewife & Neither RU

    She'll know better next time, when the organizers say don't report on this part - then you shouldn't report on that part. Awards or not, she should have been smarter

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    I agree. Great points.

  • Lady_Elle

    Sandra... shady of you to use that pic of Michelle Obama. :-(

  • Lady_Elle

    Sandra... shady of you to use that pic of Michelle Obama. :-(

  • Lady_Elle

    Robin Givhan... played dirty! Very disappointed in her behavior.

  • Rhyme and Reason

    So true, you're right! it's quite liberating to speak off the record and unfiltered, and these talks happen often without incidence!

    But, people love to create a buzz or maneuver personal agendas over integrity!

  • Hope Ushery

    HARD HEADED HOE

  • facingrealit1

    Nah, I'm more Hungry than Thirsty!

  • facingrealit1

    Really? - My people perish for a lack of knowledge for they reject knowledge...Hosea 4:6 - Now you Choke and Die to your sinful ways!

  • facingrealit1

    Exactly - I said what I said! - And meant it!

  • EMILY POST

    Yes you already know Hollywood is filtering the heck out of what is published about the Obamas...