Kanye West probably did more for Taylor Swift’s popularity Sunday night than any of her platinum records.
As Swift began her on-stage thank you’s for winning Best Female Video at the MTV Music Video Awards show, West hopped up next to her and said, “You know, Taylor, I’m really happy for you, I’ll let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time — one of the best videos of all time!”
Photos from earlier showed West had been cuddling with a bottle of Hennessy Cognac on the red carpet, a great way to kick off a classless act. He’s since apologized to Swift via different internet media and the Jay Leno show, adding that he’d like to apologize in person.
Frankly, that should have been the first step, before the blogs and the Leno appearance. An internet trail is the fastest way to get an apology out to the media, but this shouldn’t be about the media. Kanye finally got around to calling Swift only after she appeared on “The View” Tuesday and said that he had not yet ‘personally reached out.’
The classiest way to repair the damage was the last step he took.
Then again, we’re talking about Kanye, the guy who said Bush ‘doesn’t care about black people.’ Kanye is lucky no one has tried to play the race card yet on him in this situation — a black male chastising a white female because her video wasn’t as good as another black artist. While it would be dumb to make this debate into a racial dispute, that’s exactly something Kanye would do if he were on the outside looking in.
If we needed any more signs that Kanye’s moral compass points west, he seems to recognize no greater villain than Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents. “I feel like Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents when he messed up everything and Robert De Niro asked him to leave,” was part of Kanye’s second apology. He used that one before in the lyrics to his ‘Jesus Walks’ remix: “Do you know how I be embarrassed? My prez sounds like Ben Stiller on Meet the Parents.”
Kanye’s outburst triggered an explosion of anger from fellow singers, who vented via Twitter. While almost everyone rallied to the young country singer’s support, several of the celebrities’ responses, though well intentioned, require too many dashes and asterisks to make them worth printing. The award for classiest response goes to Beyonce, who, after her ‘Single Ladies’ video did win an award (for Best Video), called Swift on stage and gave her the opportunity to finish her acceptance speech.
Beyonce even topped President Obama, who apparently called Kanye the more unflattering term for a donkey. According to Politico, ABC’s Terry Moran twittered, “Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’s presidential.”
ABC News later explained to Politico that the statement was part of an off the record conversation and was ‘prematurely’ twittered. There’s no doubt Obama was telling the truth out of turn, but consider Joe Wilson faced a resolution of disapproval on the House floor for doing the exact same thing (the resolution passed 240-179). Letting the president off the hook for his remark is encouraging a double standard. Can you imagine the outrage if George W. had said what Obama did about Kanye?
Kanye has a couple things to learn before the next awards show: 1) Learn to make a phone call, 2) leave the alcohol at home, and 3) turn off Meet the Parents and pick up Miss Manners. Until then, he’ll be exactly like country star Michelle Branch described him on Twitter: Like school in the summertime — no class.