Thursday, October 11, 2018. In the strangest year that Lady Liberty has probably seen yet we were treated to a media spectacle the likes of which no one could have predicted before 2018. No, I’m not talking about the ongoing Twitter feud between hip-hops hottest take, Azaelia Banks and hipsterdom’s most melancholic crooner, Lana del Rey. I’m talking about the televised conversation, monologue might be a better term, between President Donald J. Trump and Kanye West. Let that just sink in for a second. Our reality tv series President sat down with a rapper turned designer turned political incendiary in the same room. As weird, strange, and head scratching as this was, this was probably as random as a dinner “party” on Keeping Up With the Kardashians (i.e. not random at all). It was a well-orchestrated media cover up that we bought hook, line, and sinker.
In addition to Kanye Comes to Washington, there were several no good, very bad things happening in the Trumpverse that the Donald probably didn’t want us to know about. First and foremost, the Dow dropped 1,738 points Wednesday and Thursday This is the same Dow that the President continuously points to on Twitter to show that he’s making good on his promises. He loves to tout the fact that he is the sole hero of America’s financial health. Well the patient is sick and he probably doesn’t know why. Instead of holding a press conference on that issue, the White House sidestepped by planting an even larger story to whet the appetites of the 24/7 news cycle: a Kanye size story.
That’s not the only thing that happened on Thursday, October 11, 2018. One of, if not, the worst hurricanes to batter Florida and the Gulf region wreaked havoc over the past few days. The death toll is holding at 11 after the storm punched through the Florida panhandle, Georgia, and the Carolinas. Now granted, the storm was still raging, but our Commander in Chief didn’t even make an attempt to get down there. The fact that there was even a hurricane happening was simply a footnote in a rally he held on Tuesday in which he had time to take potshots at Hillary Clinton and Russian interference in an election he won two years ago. I guess 2016 never really ends.
It could have ended there, but there was one more awful thing brewing in the world that our Media Manipulator in Chief probably didn’t want anyone talking about. Turkish citizen Jamal Khasoggi, a Washington Post columnist living in Virginia, walked into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul and never left. There is little to no information about his whereabouts and the Trump Administration has been very quiet on investigating this troubling issue. What muddies the waters is that Donald Trump has been doing business deals with the Saudi government before he was President which might make him conflicted about pressing them in this instance. Money talks and what not. Congress has become increasingly incensed about the executive branch’s complacency in this regard.
And just to add a little more spice to life, Chief Justice John Roberts called on the 10th Circuit to investigate lingering ethics questions regarding Justice Kavanaugh. That being the Supreme Court nominee that Trump basically rammed down all of our throats.
Now, what does this mean? Donald Trump has shown on multiple occasions a penchant for the bait and switch: giving the media exactly the story they want to divert focus on more important issues. Is that his fault? No way! It’s devious and manipulative but its also smart and savvy. Being a person that has been in the public eye as long as Donald Trump, I’m sure he’s well versed in these tactics. What we need to do is call on the news media itself not to take the bait and bow down to Trump’s wishes. We need to hold them accountable to report the stories that actually matter. While Kanye was making himself unhinged, the Donald looked on silently and got exactly what he wanted from the whole circus. And he almost got away with it too.
Finally, what does it mean for Kanye? Probably nothing more than fanning his sizable ego. There are numerous lyrics in which he tells us that the only person he loves is himself. And from his comments on the 13th Amendment to his advice for the next Air Force One, there is one connecting principle: Kanye is a lot of talk and no action. The sound of his voice is music to his ears, but there’s not a lot of bite behind those words. If he cares so much about American manufacturing, he would manufacture things in America. He has the power to do that. But he doesn’t and probably won’t. Because at the end of the day, Kanye loves Kanye. On the other hand, Donald Trump loves Donald Trump. And here is where the connection begins and ends.