It would appear that someone is definitely lying. I don't know if it is the Obama camp or Tavis Smiley that is doing the lying, but all i know is that some untruthiness (if that's a word) is in the air. Two different stories have been told about Tavis Smiley's refusal to have Michelle Obama come and speak on her husband's behalf at the State of the Black Union.
Tavis Smiley told BlackAmericaWeb.com that he never received any request for Michelle to come in Sen. Obama's place. But he did go on to say had he received said request he would have still denied it because there's a "precedent."
Smiley defended his position saying the purpose of the symposium is "to speak with candidates," not surrogates, and he said he feels strongly that Obama should participate.
"That people are suggesting that I am boxing [Obama] in or threatening him, is nonsense," Smiley told BlackAmericaWeb.com. "I’m catching hell just for inviting Mr. Obama to the event."
"I love Michelle Obama, and I have a great respect and admiration for her, but we have a precedent," he said. "This is about the candidates. If Hillary Clinton had offered me Bill Clinton, I would have said no." (Source)