The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


New Media

Tweeted and Deleted: Obama Rebukes Kanye West

By Garance Franke-Ruta
President Obama called musician Kanye West a "jackass" during an interview Monday with CNBC, an ABC News anchor reported to his followers on Twitter. But the tweet caused some red faces at ABC, and the network soon apologized for publicizing what had apparently been an off-the-record comment.

"Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a 'jackass' for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT'S presidential," "Nightline" co-anchor Terry Moran wrote Monday evening. Moran has more than 1 million followers on the microblogging service.

CNBC objected to the post, which was apparently from a portion of the interview that was supposed to be off the record. Moran quickly deleted the comment (although it still can be accessed online), and an ABC spokesperson apologized for the tweet in a statement first posted on Politico.

Moran "prematurely tweeted ... before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again," the spokesperson said.

The president was apparently responding to West's interruption of Taylor Swift after she won an award at the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday. West took the microphone from Swift to proclaim that Beyonce had a better video than she did.

West later apologized for his actions.

Posted at 11:10 PM ET on Sep 14, 2009  | Category:  New Media
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I second kevbel but here's the thing:

It wouldn't be the VMA's if there wasn't controversy and Kanye's actions (including public consumption of "Hennessy"?) were Christmas-come-early for the press. I mean, they didn't cut Serena from introducing and her recent performance is arguably worse.

xo to Obama because he can and should speak his mind... off the record - not - center stage.


Posted by: alhunger | September 15, 2009 10:10 PM

its kanye west. stop complaining about his actions. it was a comedy and taylor swift is fine she sold 8 million shell live. kanye west is that type of person so get used to it. hes still gonna sell millions regardless he feeds of the hate keep it up.

Posted by: juzbeast | September 15, 2009 6:34 PM

Can't we at least agree that Kanye West acted like (and possibly is) a jackass?

Posted by: RSADMD | September 15, 2009 6:18 PM

What I don't understand about all the comments below (and I agree with the President, Kayne West is a moron) is that no one mentions the fact that I can disagree with Obama and be called a racist, when in fact he's my President and I'm not a racist, but when Kayne West does this on national television I don't see anyone screaming race issues. Is this a double standard?

Posted by: cybergizmo | September 15, 2009 4:14 PM

I completely approve of the President's comment... he was telling it like it is!

With all respect to the commentators who deplore the reporter for publishing the remark, when you are President of the United States, it may not be POSSIBLE to say anything that is really, truly "off the record"...not since Nixon. Perhaps President Obama knew that when he said this. Its a good thing if he's that canny...sometimes a "stage whisper" is exactly what is needed.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | September 15, 2009 2:21 PM

Terry Moran should be reprimanded even rebuked in some form for his actions. He knew what he was doing. In the future President Obama will not make any comments about potentially controversial, sensationalizing issues--especially if they have any racial context because he knows the consequences. Why was he asked the question anyway? The media constantly baits in order to get responds that can then be sensationalized.

Posted by: cestadire | September 15, 2009 1:49 PM

Actually, what bugs me about this was the second part of Moran's tweet ("Now THAT's presidential"). Reporters need to recognize that, these days, twittering is a form of reporting. My guess is that Moran wouldn't have provided such a sarcastic judgement in an on-air report, so I don't understand why he thinks he can do so in a twitter.

Posted by: ahniem | September 15, 2009 12:29 PM

I guess Terry Moran doesn't know what "off the record" means?! Very unprofessional.

Posted by: Shara27 | September 15, 2009 11:12 AM

Breaking News: Kanye West To Be Ridiculed And Harrassed Until Tragic Suicide -

Posted by: SandboxReport | September 15, 2009 10:52 AM

It's a free country. It's not against the law to be a jackass. Hey, look at the elected officials from the State of South Carolina!

Posted by: thebobbob | September 15, 2009 10:33 AM

What's the issue.....if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck....well then it's a Obama called it like it is...why make something out of nothing...dang people have entirely too much time on their hands...i'm mad at myself for ever commenting on such STUPIDITY!!

Posted by: bdassbrat36 | September 15, 2009 10:33 AM

@ robinhood2: Empathy? Empathy is the capability to share and understand another's emotions and feelings. It is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes". Your comment makes no sense! There's no reason to empathize with Kanye West. He once again made a fool of himself in front of millions of viewers, all because he couldn't share Taylor Swift's joy or understand that he was ruining it.

Posted by: kevbel | September 15, 2009 10:15 AM

Ha! My thoughts exactly! Good for you, Mr. President!

Posted by: sandnsmith | September 15, 2009 10:13 AM

If Joe Wilson called Obama a Liar
The office of the President is to be honored. Somehow AMERICANS do not honor OBAMA the man. Why do we have double standards for him.
And::: Bush was called names in 2002 and not one Democrate made any movement to oust any one fOR that remark::: but they want to oust a Republican for a "LIAR " REMARK that is TRUE.

Posted by: tacjb1 | September 15, 2009 10:11 AM

Kanye West is a sports figure?


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | September 15, 2009 10:06 AM

I'm so grateful that I have a President who takes the time to call a policeman stupid and call an entertainer a jackass while his own policies metastize debt, cripple private industry, threaten health care, weaken the dollar, and hurt our allies overseas. His eloquence and rhetorical vigor outweigh the nightmare he's creating for my children.

Posted by: ahmhofshi | September 15, 2009 10:02 AM

Why does Obamba feel the need to comment on everything? He shows no empathy for anything...

Posted by: robinhood2 | September 15, 2009 8:09 AM

Bravo, Mr. President! Now, call out the likes of Grassley and Joe Wilson and pin the tail on the as* er, donkeys who continue to lie about healthcare.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | September 15, 2009 7:35 AM

The President should have said, Kwame West continues to be a jackass. He is a talented ass.

Posted by: concernedaboutdc | September 15, 2009 6:16 AM

Anybody with the lack of common sense or control to blurt out "You Lie!" or to step up on the stage or curse a linesperson on national TV IS a jackass.

The proof is in the quick and obvious damage control mode they exhibit soon afterwards. And in Serena's case, double damage control when the first attempt was also embarassing.

So I think jackass is quite appropriate. We got way too many of them these days. Although I would refer to them as donkeyholes. Jackass is too polite. Course I'm not the President.

Posted by: patrick10 | September 15, 2009 4:16 AM

Sadly, while President Obama can condem his own race for stupidity, we whites fail to do likewise with Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity et al. Speaks well for our double standard now doesn't it. In the immortal words of Forrest Gump, "stupid is as stupid does" and we are stupid personified! After all, we "elected" Bush/Cheaney!!!

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | September 15, 2009 3:56 AM

Since President Obama commnted on the Harvard professor at the hands of a white policeman, I applaud him for characterizing West "A Jack Ass." He should have also commented on Serena Williams, not only her unsportsmanship but also the remarks to the lineswoman, using the genitals where she wanted to put her tennis ball. Thse African American sports figures instead of making fellow African American Obama proud, instead they embarass him.

Posted by: maitami | September 15, 2009 3:27 AM

He's like's fish dix in his mouth, He's a Mutha F***ing gayfish, gayfish.

Posted by: chez_bazaldo | September 15, 2009 2:07 AM

ridiculous premature tweetalation by veteran news anchor Moran. What was it Terry? The Interview on 60 minutes,? the speech before congress the day before? Obviously you got 'overly excited' and wasted a college career.
Where do you go from here? Fox News possibly...what a dork., and you call yourself a 'professional'.

Posted by: richmonet | September 14, 2009 11:51 PM

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