Kanye West railed against the “godless” media during an interview with Fox News that aired Thursday — rhetoric some media scholars have labeled “dangerous.”
The embattled rapper spoke to Conservative host Tucker Carlson about his decision to wear a White Lives Matter shirt earlier this week.
At one point during the interview, West compared himself to disgraced ice skating champion Tonya Harding before claiming that “God is preparing us for the real battles.”
“We’re in a battle with the media,” he said said Carlson. “The majority of the media has an ungodly agenda and the jokes don’t work.
“This whole thing like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s crazy,’ and all those things don’t work,” he continued. “Because the media, you know, has also been watching travesties happen, just even specifically for me, and they just look at it and pretend it didn’t happen and they’re silent about it.”
The rapper, who legally changed his name to Ye, previously made a failed bid for the 2020 presidency. He also once supported former President Donald Trump, whose own anti-media rhetoric has prompted press freedom groups to sound the alarm over violence against journalists.
West isn’t the only disgruntled celebrity targeting the media, noted Kathy Kiely, Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies at the Missouri School of Journalism, in an interview with news week. She said many of the nation’s leaders have also embraced the tactic.
The US has traditionally been viewed as a model for press freedom, she said, but such comments could send a signal to dictators, drug dealers and others that attacking or even killing reporters is acceptable. It’s “dangerous” when people of West’s caliber do things like that.
Some may dismiss comments from celebrities and politicians as “rhetorical flourishes,” she said. “But there are people out there who think they’re getting messages through their fillings, and they’re going to respond to that — they’re going to respond to that rhetoric.”
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, journalists in the US faced attacks on an “unprecedented” scale in 2020. Just last month, a reporter was allegedly stabbed to death in Las Vegas by a politician who was upset that he had been the subject of critical reporting.
For Kiely, leaders in a democracy should understand that they will be criticized from time to time. It’s acceptable to respond, she said, but they should do so “factually” and “rationally.”
“If you only name names, you are just another Vladimir Putin,” Kiely added. “Well, that’s what he wants to be, fine. But like I said, we know who he is.”
West “doesn’t fit the mold of the classic white right-wing politician or media anchorman,” according to Dr. Erik C. Nisbet, Owen L. Coon Endowed Professor of Policy Analysis and Communications and Director of the Center for Communication & Public Policy at Northwestern University’s School of Communication. Consequently, West could have more influence with certain demographics.
Nisbet tells news week that the rapper might make some conservatives and Fox News viewers feel better. He explained that “it kind of validates their opinion that someone who is actually different from their own background — socially, culturally, racially, ethnically — shares the same views.”
Not everyone listens to partisan messages, Nisbet added. As a result, celebrities can serve as “gateways for news, even partisan news or misinformation” that people might not otherwise hear.
news week has reached out to a West representative for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/kanye-west-rant-media-godless-agenda-slammed-dangerous-1750063 Kanye West’s rant about media’s ‘ungodly agenda’ slammed as ‘dangerous’