I'mna let you finish, George Bush. Yesterday, during Matt Lauer's Today Show interview with George Bush, aka cousin of Billy Bush, Kanye West popped up to interrupt the 43rd President of the United States. Lauer announces that Kanwe Yest, as Bush likes to call him, “just stopped by” to apologize for blurting out that “George Bush doesn't care about black people” during a televised benefit for Katrina. Lauer then cuts to a clip of the pre-recorded West interview that airs this morning.
Of course, it's nothing like the blatant mic grab Kanwe Yest perpetrated at the MTV VMA's an eternity (in internet years) ago, but the invocation of the pop-star, ahem, hip hop star's name during what could have been an revealing interview with a controversial ex-prez is an interruption indeed. Of course, many other important questions could have been asked of George Bush: Does he fear preztels? Looking back on his presidential challenges, has he learned to forgive the Segway? Is he sorry, for everything? But instead, 1:33 seconds–an eternity (in TV time)–are squandered on G-Dubs attempt at pop cultural relevancy. He does mention that he's “not a hater.” That's pretty funny. But why would Lauer and his producers go way out of their way to bring a pop-star into the interview?
Watch the clip here:
(note to future humans, if there's nothing here, that's because the clip expired. Google it.)
Of course, the first reason is to promo today's boring/awkward interview with Yest (I can't yawn any harder) during a highly-watched segment. The second reason is to create viralness (yes, that's another made up buzzword) on the internet. Yes, as in that glowing rectangle you are looking at right now.
Like Bieber-baiting, the mere mention of KW directs traffic to your site regardless of context, so by dropping a West appearance into “political” segment, your network's clip will blast across the expanses of digital space*. And that brings me to my third point:** Kanye's marketing team are geniuses.
If you had a product, let's say the Shake Weight, and you wanted to raise your brand's awareness, you would want a high profile somebody to mention your product in a high profile media moment. And if you can get your product, either the Shake Weight or Kanye West, mentioned as news, then you've saved yourself a shit ton of money on advertising. Sure, there's product placement all over the news, like every time an ABC anchor broadcast “live from Disneyland” because they're owned by Disney and can essentially advertise their own brand, but for West's people to secure what amounts to TWO segments on the Today Show, with an ex-President uttering your name just days away from your record release, that is Coup d'Kanye.
But that doesn't stop West from crying into his Twitter:
“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.”
*No, I'm not trying to Westerbate here, scout's honor.
**There was no second point.