Reporter's Note: Kanye West, the entertainer, behaved badly and not for the first time during an awards show. President Obama slapped him down like a quarter on the counter. Which is certainly worth a nickel’s worth in my daily letter to the White House.
Tom Foreman | Bio
Dear Mr. President,
I have to say that I was delighted to hear you light into Kanye West for his behavior during the Video Music Awards. I know that your choice of words is coming under some scrutiny, since you don’t hear Presidents say the word “jackass” every day. But what he did…snatching the microphone from the winner of an award to effectively declare that it should have gone to someone else…was inappropriate, unkind, and unprofessional.
I’m pretty big on forgiveness and I was happy enough to hear his apology afterward, but the truth is, he is a repeat offender when it comes to this kind of behavior; doing whatever he wants to grab a headline then suggesting later he should not be held responsible. He calls it keeping it real, and I call it the oldest trick in the book for people who are keeping it anything but real: A publicity stunt.
In any event, particular word choice aside, your response seemed right on the money; not so much as to give him too much extra coverage, but enough to make it clear that you disapprove.
Presidents can’t be the conscience of the whole nation, but now and then it helps when people in the bully pulpit push back against some of those who misuse similar fame to bad ends. I grow so weary of celebrities behaving badly, and then their fans, their marketers, and their agents making excuses. It is nice when a person in a position of some power suggests that perhaps the offender should at least be ashamed.
Not much of a note, I’m afraid, but I’m on the road and I’ve been terribly busy. Will try to write more tomorrow. Hope all is well, and for heavens sake please don’t call unless it is an emergency…my phone is ringing nonstop as it is.
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