Kanye West/Jimmy Kimmel Feud Mirrors Government Shutdown Battle | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Kanye West/Jimmy Kimmel Feud Mirrors Government Shutdown Battle
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Rapper Kanye West and late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel engaged in a ridiculous battle of words and skits last week. One can’t help but notice that their situation is not entirely dissimilar from that of the feuding parties in the ongoing government shutdown fight.

The impetus for the war between West and Kimmel was an interview the rapper gave, airing last Tuesday on the BBC. Some cogent gems of insight into West’s mind included a capitalist manifesto of sorts:

For me, first of all, dopeness is what I like the most. Dopeness. People who want to make things as dope as possible. And, by default, make money from it. The thing that I like the least are people who only want to make money from things whether they’re dope or not. And especially make money at making things as least dope as possible.

Besides this restatement of free-market principles, the rapper also admitted that one of the big draws in his relationship with socialite Kim Kardashian is that she doesn’t want his money. It seemed like it would be a fairly innocuous interview, except that West eventually declared, “We [rappers are] the rock stars, and I’m the biggest of all of them.”

Jimmy Kimmel’s show that night included a monologue on the subject of Kanye West, and then a very accurate reenactment of the interview. The reenactment happened to feature children, but the casting choice did not represent a significant departure from reality.

Kanye West, upon hearing of the skit, took to Twitter to express his fury. Kimmel, West said, was “OUT OF LINE” to lampoon “THE FIRST PIECE OF HONEST MEDIA IN YEARS.” Some of West’s other tweets (which have since been deleted):

YOU CAN’T PUT YOURSELF IN MY SHOES. YOUR FACE LOOKS CRAZY… IS THAT FUNNY?… OR IF I HAD A KID SAY IT WOULD IT BE FUNNY???

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) September 27, 2013

I LIKE YOU, YOU KNOW ME, I WENT TO YOUR FAMILY’S WEDDING

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) September 27, 2013

WHO YOU MADE IT CLEAR TO ME WASN’T YOUR FAMILY WHEN I WAS ON THEN PHONE WITH YOU 5 MINUTES AGO, YOU MANIPULATIVE MEDIA M——R.

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) September 27, 2013

SARAH SILVERMAN IS A THOUSAND TIMES FUNNIER THAN YOU AND THE WHOLE WORLD KNOWS IT!!!

— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) September 27, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation gracefully, taking to Twitter to observe that “apparently @KanyeWest is VERY VERY ANGRY with me….” On his show Thursday, the comedian was proud to declare, “Finally, I’m in a rap feud. I always wanted to be in a rap feud.” Kimmel said he’d had a phone call with Kanye West, who demanded a public apology and stated that Kimmel’s life would be “much better” if he did.

The Kimmel/Kanye feud is no longer available to watch on the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube account, which leaves one to wonder whether Kimmel has been intimidated by Kanye’s bravura. Here’s hoping that Kimmel will not be afraid to stand up to the rapper’s intimidation in the future. And here’s hoping that this feud is not another hoax, like the recent video of a woman catching on fire while twerking, which was revealed to have been staged by Kimmel.

What are the parallels with the government shutdown? Well, both battles extensively feature tweets coupled with sharp bravura and insinuations:

Senator Harry Reid ‏@SenatorReid30 Sep I need to remind everyone that Obamacare is THE LAW and it has been found CONSTITUTIONAL. We are not re-litigating this.

Nancy Pelosi ‏@NancyPelosi30 Sep Tonight, Rs made a deliberate choice to shut down the government. This is a complete & utter failure to do what’s best for American people.

Ted Cruz ‏@tedcruz30 Sep The Democrats are not compromising or negotiating. Reid & Obama won’t even talk #MakeDCListen#HarryReidsShutdown

Speaker John Boehner ‏@SpeakerBoehner27 Sep The rhetoric being used by the @WhiteHouse & top Democrats is shameful.

Besides being waged over the same medium, another commonality between the wars of words is that both feature a hysterical shill on one side, making a fool of himself as he beats his breast and chatters about how he’s been wronged. The other party is standing its ground, pointing out the hypocrisy of its opponents. One party is complaining about how out-of-line it is to criticize them, insisting that its histrionics are fully rational, while another party bemoans the absurdity. It’s up to the reader to decide who fits the description offered here, but it should be quite clear where TAS stands on both of these major issues—the rap battle and the budget battle. 

These shameful displays are becoming increasingly common. To quote Kanye West once more, “Where is the culture at? Where is the culture at?”

(Disclaimer: The author of this article cannot stand Kanye West.)

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