Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 9:58 AM ET, 11/11/2010

Kanye West on 'Today': Matt Lauer responds

By Liz Kelly

Last time on Kanye West vs. the World, West sat down with "Today's" Matt Lauer to apologize for calling President Bush a racist in the midst of the Hurricane Katrina non-response. Whether or not West should have apologized is somewhat moot at this point because an entirely new media feeding frenzy (to which, yes, I am contributing) has developed around Lauer's interview and whether or not he treated West fairly. Let's watch:

The interview is clearly tense and Kanye took to his Twitter account on Tuesday (the interview was pre-taped) to register his displeasure with how things went down:

"I don't mess with Matt Lauer or the Today Show ... and that's a very nice way for me to put it! ... HE TRIED TO FORCE MY ANSWERS. IT WAS VERY BRUTAL AND I CAME THERE WITH ONLY POSITIVE INTENT ... I feel very alone very used very tortured very forced very misunderstood very hollow very very misused ... I don't trust anyone but myself! Everyone has an agenda. I don't do press anymore. I can't be everything to everybody anymore ... I can't be everybody's hero and villain savior and sinner Christian and anti Christ! ... I can't take anymore advice!!! I create, I'm creative, I have a good heart, everyone will see and understand one day."

So, is there any fault to be found -- either with West or Lauer?

In defense of Lauer: His chief transgression seems to be that he (or "Today") ran footage of the VMAs while Kanye was talking about what had happened when he jumped on stage to interrupt Taylor Swift's acceptance speech. It turns out Kanye didn't like being interrupted. Cue the irony.

He also deigned to ask Kanye questions about his Bush comments and, when Kanye dithered into an apology, tried to summarize Kanye's general thoughts into a neat little sound bite, leaving Kanye feeling "hollow and misunderstood."

In defense of West: The guy clearly went on the program with -- as he states more than once -- good intentions. Whether we agree or not, Kanye wanted to apologize for his remarks about Bush. Lauer's interview tactics -- which included trying to get Kanye to react to footage of President Bush's face and trotting out the VMA footage (with audio) while Kanye was speaking came off as borderline Jerry Springer. As Kanye says, in reference to the Bush footage, "I didn't need you guys to show me the tape to prompt my emotion."

Lauer responded to Kanye's criticism by defending the old "running footage while a guest is talking" move as standard "Today" procedure. Meredith Vieira chimes in to say the whole kerfuffle "doesn't seem like much" and then Lauer wryly notes that West is scheduled to play a live "Today" concert in the plaza on Friday, Nov. 26.

We'll start taking bets now as to whether or not Kanye shows.

By Liz Kelly  | November 11, 2010; 9:58 AM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, TV  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mel Gibson ordered to pay $60,000 in back child support; Google 'watch Conan' and get Jay Leno's Web site
Next: Pop Quiz: Guess the starlet

Comments

West is a dirtbag ghetto punk. He and Matt make a lovely couple.

Posted by: carlbatey | November 11, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

West should appolgize for being a celebrity. Who cares?

Posted by: COLEBRACKETT | November 11, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

It's all about K. West getting some publicity. I barely knew the name at all a year ago but because of pure publicity seeking stunts his name is almost a household word now.

Posted by: kls1 | November 11, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Kayne West showed he's a big man, a man with class and Bush's acceptance of his apology also showed class. Lauer and NBC? Not so much.

Posted by: thebink | November 11, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Who IS Kanye West? Why is anyone caring what he says or doesn't say? Who cares who Matt Lauer is interviewing? Matt Lauer would interview himself if he thought it would improve his ratings.

Posted by: flintston | November 11, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Are we really surprised by this guy's behavior anymore? Apology my big toe. This man (and I use that term very loosely here) does not have a humble bone in his body. The Bush rant was not about Katrina, it was about him. The Taylor Swift thing was not about Taylor Swift or Beyonce, it was about him. This interview he so graciously bestowed on us was not about any apology or about Bush or Matt Lauer, it was about him. Does he really think that just because he says sorry he gets a pass and shouldn't be held accountable for what he says? Most of us learned our lesson about that somewhere around the second grade. Then again, he acts like a six-year-old most of the time, so it makes sense. I, for one, have had my fill.

Posted by: alybuz | November 11, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Kanye West is a tool. Whether you like Matt Lauer or not, he was trying to move the interview along. Lauer asked him a question and Kanye wasn't giving him an answer. If Kanye wanted to clear the air, he should have known what he wanted to say and said it, not clammed up and acted like a 5 yr old. And I found nothing wrong with bringing up the Taylor Swift incident - Lauer was pointing out that some had called Kanye a racist for that. Kanye also got annoyed when people were talking off camera and distracting him. He's got a huge ego and thinks everyone should cater to him and doesn't like it when people call him out. So he admitted that it was wrong to call Bush a racist, great, but man up and stop acting like a child.

Posted by: luvlydawter | November 11, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I always thought Lauer was a jack-a of an interviewer. His style is brash and often abusive and very irritating for me to watch. West is just as self-involved as anyone can be. I can't think of another celebrity who is as unpolished and rude as he is. Kanye and Matt deserve each other.

Posted by: forgetthis | November 11, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Seriously. I watched the interview & K. West is just a big baby. He is still not over HIS actions at the VMA awards & it is clear when he heard himself - he shuts down. When he comes up for air the anger is directed at M. Lauer & the Today Show. The best thing people could do is to walk away from this pity party. Actions speak louder than words so stop buying his crap. When he feels it in the wallet - maybe he'll grow as a person and learn how to play well with others. He expects the public to respect his freedom of speech and creativity yet he does not show the same courtesy and respect of others. Who is this guy???!!! The sooner K. West realizes that what you put out into the world is what you receive -- we'll all be relieved of his unacceptable behavior.

Posted by: JET10 | November 11, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Seriously. I watched the interview & K. West is just a big baby. He is still not over HIS actions at the VMA awards & it is clear when he heard himself - he shuts down. When he comes up for air the anger is directed at M. Lauer & the Today Show. The best thing people could do is to walk away from this pity party. Actions speak louder than words so stop buying his crap. When he feels it in the wallet - maybe he'll grow as a person and learn how to play well with others. He expects the public to respect his freedom of speech and creativity yet he does not show the same courtesy and respect of others. Who is this guy???!!! The sooner K. West realizes that what you put out into the world is what you receive -- we'll all be relieved of his unacceptable behavior.

Posted by: JET10 | November 11, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Seriously. I watched the interview & K. West is just a big baby. He is still not over HIS actions at the VMA awards & it is clear when he heard himself - he shuts down. When he comes up for air the anger is directed at M. Lauer & the Today Show. The best thing people could do is to walk away from this pity party. Actions speak louder than words so stop buying his crap. When he feels it in the wallet - maybe he'll grow as a person and learn how to play well with others. He expects the public to respect his freedom of speech and creativity yet he does not show the same courtesy and respect of others. Who is this guy???!!! The sooner K. West realizes that what you put out into the world is what you receive -- we'll all be relieved of his unacceptable behavior.

Posted by: JET10 | November 11, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I agree with thebink on this one

"Kayne West showed he's a big man, a man with class and Bush's acceptance of his apology also showed class. Lauer and NBC? Not so much."

Kanye has clearly said some things that he has lived to regret. As a fellow human being who sometimes doesn't think enough before I speak, I sympathize with him. Unfortunately, his incidents are exacerbated by his pursuit of fame.

The Swift incident is clearly one of the most embarrassing and painful experiences in his life. He has apologized repeatedly for it. I understand why he was upset about the clip popping up in this interview.

Posted by: IDisagree | November 11, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

In a duel between two narcissists, Kanye seems a nanowhisker less impressed by himself than Lauer. Close call, though.

Posted by: Hunter | November 11, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I'm on Team Kanye for this one. For those who talk about his ego and trot out his mistakes ad nauseum - the guy runs his mouth a la John Mayer, and regrets it later. Is it right? Well heck no, but in the big scheme of things that's not the worst celebrity fault.

What do people expect - that he should hang himself to show how sorry he is? He obviously makes news and his "creative skills" are liked by someone somewhere!

Did anyone catch the Lauer - Bush interview? If there ever was an apology due, it was during that interview and yet, instead of picking on tame & vapid questions from Lauer, we are discussing his "skills" in targeting a musician. What bull!

Posted by: MDey | November 11, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

As a professional black man, this dude, kanye just behaves too egotistical and self-absorbed for my liking. He made a brew-ra-ra over nothing. So tired of his stupid antics. Grow up dude. Matt conducted himself like he always did. To put simply Kanye is an ass.

Posted by: teesen | November 11, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

"It was so funny to me that it could be a race thing because... where I was expressing was my frustration from years and years of seeing... you know... what? Taylor Swift winning awards? She hasn't been around for years and years, so that's not it. Beyonce being oppressed as an artist? Well she's one numerous awards since 2001 including VMA's Best female video back to back in 2003 and 2004, so that can't be it. Years and years of what Kanye, enlighten us. White people don't own EXCLUSIVE rights to racism. (Even if they DO own an overwhelming majority.)

Posted by: justcuz1 | November 11, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Matt Lauer is an entertainer. I need to remember that or quit watching TODAY. His interviews are pathetic. When Bush said that his worst moment was when he was insulted by West, why wasn't Lauer shocked! Why didn't he ask"even worse than meeting parents who have lost children in a war that was based on false information and has cost the nation dearly in lives and treasure not to mention killed tens of thousands of Iraqui's and decimated their country?"
Who's idea was it to continue humble West with footage of Taylor Swift? He has already apologized for that. Bush is not a racist but a classist. I am sure he would have rescued Colin Powel and Condi Rice mighty quickly.. Maybe I can switch to NBC. ?

Posted by: lindahayneshardy | November 11, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

And Kanye West is who, exactly? Somebody needs to explain why this half-wit's opinion is worth gathering, let alone paying any attention to.

Posted by: xlrp3 | November 13, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company