Kanye West and the Today Show incident


How do you know when you're really, really, really ridiculously famous?

When a tweet you compose about how you're not going to appear on a morning talk show gets picked up and reported by every news outlet in the country.

[jump] Kanye's latest melodrama began to unfold last week. Here's the 30-second version: George W. Bush told Today host Matt Lauer that West's declaration that he "hates black people" during a live Hurricane Katrina telethon was "one of the most disgusting moments" in his Presidency. Lauer brought West into the Today studios to tape an interview about his reaction to Bush's statement, but in the process of attempting to apologize for his actions West became enraged at the Today show's "set up" of playing video clips of his Taylor Swift confrontation and segments of Bush's own interview while he spoke.

West was scheduled to perform on the Today show on the day after Thanksgiving, November 26, but was so disgusted with the way his interview was handled that he canceled his appearance.

And with that came the tweet heard 'round the world: "I'm not performing on the Today Show for obvious reasons," West wrote. "I'm so happy the world got to see just a small piece of 'the set up.'"

Once Kanye hit the send button on that tweet, discussion of the Bush-West-Today debacle spread like wildfire. We thought we'd take a moment to crunch a few numbers and take a look at the big picture of this "incident":


  • Since Wednesday, November 10, there have been 1,032 news stories and blog items posted about Kanye West and the Today show. This post is #1,033.
  • Most stories posted Friday, but new items are still being posted every hour. If you like charts as much as we do, you might appreciate this one that Google compiled about the arc of this story:
  • When Kanye took to Twitter, it took him 27 tweets to explain his feelings about the Today show. Most, if not all, of those tweets have been quoted by major news outlets. Kanye has since sworn off speaking to press.
  • In an online poll conducted by the LA Times, 44.77% of people declared Kanye the villain in this situation, while 33.74% said Matt Lauer was to blame. Only 19% of those polled felt apathetic enough about the incident to not take a side.
  • Meanwhile, a television station in Louisville polled hundreds of its viewers about Bush, and found that 40% of viewers have a better opinion of the former President in light of current events and the release of his memoir.

With all of this in mind, we thought we'd conduct our own little poll. What do you think: Is the mass market coverage of Kanye's every tweet justified, or do we need to find something better to type about?