Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama on Kanye: Cut the President Some Slack

Previous Kanye West posts at this blog: Here.

TMZ got the recording of President Barack Obama calling Kanye West a "jackass." You can hear on the audio that the prez realized his comment was probably caught and asked the journalists to cut him some slack. No such luck, but only harshest critics will probably give him a hard time on this one considering it was said "off the record" when he was supposedly not being recorded and because Kanye is wearing out his welcome in civil society after acting up in Taylor Swift's face on the MTV Music Video Awards.

I can tell Kanye's wearing out his welcome because the hits to stories about him have dwindled here. Also, he keeps apologizing. I don't think he realized how many people like Taylor Swift and even those who don't buy her music have been offended by his stealing her moment. It's a good thing Beyonce was there.

In journalism corners they're discussing whether the CNBC reporter was right to "tweet" an off the record comment. One journalist is calling it a "teachable moment" in journalism.

I'm not that concerned for the president here because his remark resembles Kanye in the way calling the comic cat Garfield "fat" resembles him. Toure joked on Twitter, "Barack Obama doesn't care about Kanye West," alluding to West's infamous Hurricane Katrina benefit outburst, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." And then Kanye made a song, "George Bush doesn't like black people," in which he sampled himself, his own song "Gold Digger," which featured Jamie Foxx.

I sometimes wonder did Kanye learn the wrong lesson from that Bush moment. Maybe he thought that's a good way to get attention and didn't realize that outside the context of a devastating event like New Orleans flooding when so many people in the nation were outraged, speaking out of turn, insulting people who mean you no harm, is not a good idea.

I guess nobody's going for the song this time. The good thing in this is during Kanye's Jay Leno interivew, it sounded like he may have decided to get some help, take a break, and assess himself. Perhaps during his quiet time he'll recall the lesson good mothers try to teach their children, that words are like toothpaste in a tube. Once they're out and heard, you can't stuff them back in.


PPR_Scribe said...

Elsewhere I have joked that I wonder if President Obama will now have West, Swift, and Knowles over to the White House for beers. (Well, a lemonade for Swift.) Probably not. West is a safe and easy person for the President to call out, "off the record" or not. Perhaps he is just glad that--according to all the West=n-word rhetoric--there seems to be a Black man who folks hate more than him right now.

Vérité Parlant said...

LOL. Actually, it's crossed my mind that he's smart enough to have known it would get out, that reporters would not be able to resist such an "off the record" comment. :-)