Reacting to criticism that her appearance via remote at Sunday's Oscars was contrived, First Lady Michelle Obama told "Today" that such barbs are "just part of the culture."
"That’s just the nature of life. I mean, we live in a time when there are bloggers and tweeters and 24-hour news and everyone has a voice in this town square, and it’s a big one" Obama said in an interview taped on Thursday. "That means at any point at a given time, somebody’s not going to like what you do. That’s just the nature of things."
"It’s a part of the culture," she added. "It’s not really about me, I just happen to be in the public eye and along with everybody else in the public eye, you’re subject to conversation, opinion and all that sort of stuff. There’s nothing new about that."
Obama was the first First Lady to present the best picture Oscar. First Lady Laura Bush gave a taped message to the ceremony in 2002, but she did not actually participate in the announcing of the winners.
Michelle Obama also defended her appearance on the ceremony --- as well as other pop culture moves like a dance on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" -- to pool reporters traveling with her as she promoted her "Let's Move" initiative.
"My bangs set off a national conversation," she said, adding, "It doesn't have anything to do with me. Anyone in this position has a huge spotlight and in modern day media the spotlight just gets more intense. I don't attribute this to me or Barack. The culture has just shifted."