Kanye kicking a reporter out of an event and his relationship with the press are indicative of why he may be such a big Trump fan.
Kanye West recently made it back on world headlines after requesting a journalist be kicked out of a fashion event after asking a question Kanye deemed inappropriate.
At first glance, this may seem like nothing more than a mundane piece of tabloid news, but given Kanye’s highly political recent statements, there’s more to this than just a celebrity temper tantrum.
During Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary party at New York Fashion Week on September 8th, Kanye was approached by a female journalist asking about Tyson Beckford’s social media feud with his wife, Kim Kardashian. The details of the feud aren’t particularly relevant, it’s more-so that Kanye was successful in getting the journalist removed from the event – simply because she asked a question he didn’t like. After staging a fit and threatening to leave if the reporter was not removed, Kanye succeeded and the journalist was asked to leave the event.
This may just be a simple matter of a celebrity icon using their stature to wield power over others, nothing out of the ordinary. However, in the case of Kanye West, someone who has made very vocal their political stances, it may be an indication that he has been employing political maneuvers he’s picked up from his new friends. Namely, President Donald Trump.
President Donald Trump is no stranger to attacking the media, let alone disagreeing with something a journalist says or dislike one of their questions. Given Kanye and Trump’s recently blooming relationship, introduced to the public through a very fiery string of pro-Trump tweets by Kanye himself, it’s no jump to question whether the President’s demeanor is having an influence on Kanye.
Even if Kanye requesting that a journalist leave was an action not inspired by Donald Trump, there are certainly questions to be asked about the relationship between the two and how the politicization of celebrity life may pan out in the future, particularly with the midterm elections coming up.
Kanye kicking a reporter out of an event may also be indicative of why he may be such a big Trump fan. Much of Kanye’s music and performances speak of his relationship with both the public and the press, their perception of him and his own struggles of pleasing the public while creating the music he wants to create.
Kanye’s barrage of pro-Trump tweets also spoke to his relationship, and growing distrust, of the press. He seemed to agree with a lot of Trump’s opinions and statements on the matter.
Kanye has had a turbulent relationship with the press for years, as well as a generally controversial public image. His 2012 interruption of Taylor Swift at the Grammys, particularly, inspired much of his most successful album, My Beautiful, Dark, Twisted Fantasy, in which his hit song “Runaway”, many speculate is an ode to the public and the press.
The song can be interpreted as both an apology and acceptance of his faults, saying he isn’t perfect and never will be, particularly in his relations with the press.
His latest album, released shortly after the Donald Trump and TMZ controversies, speaks to the same themes but in a more direct manner. The song “Yikes”, references the incidents directly, saying,
“Turn TMZ to Smack DVD, huh?
Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too
I’ma pray for him ’cause he got #MeToo’d
Thinkin’ what if that happened to me too
Then I’m on E! News”.
Of course, Kanye was speaking more about the tabloid journalists he interacted with fairly regularly, while President Trump’s vendetta against the press is more so with White House correspondents who disagree with him politically. But the two of them belong to two different realms, with Trump’s realm looking more and more like an entertainment White House with every passing day.
The parallel in incidents with the press that they both share also brings to light the growing similarities between political journalism and celebrity journalism. The growing obsession with click-bait titles, provocative statements, and anything that can be stirred into a controversy are prominent among many corporate media outlets.
Kanye’s support for Trump points us to the growing discontent among high-profile people with the press. It also suggests a need to revitalize journalism and revert it to its pillars – finding the truth, sharing the truth, and remaining as objective as humanly possible. Is this ever a likely reality for tabloid reporting? Probably not. But for political reporting, it certainly should be a reality all journalists work towards.