Donye: The Dangerous Alliance
Opinion by Ryan O’Donnell
Once upon a time, it was a taboo title for one to have “fifteen minutes of fame.” Nowadays, everyone seems to be trying to grab their fifteen minutes on the clock, perhaps because it is an easy way to achieve celebrity status without possessing any actual talent. With the rapid increase in the evolution of technology and the steep decrease in the collective attention span of the general public, grabbing fame seems more difficult than ever. In a major attention grab, an unlikely friendship has recently been formed between two of the most powerful men in their respective fields, seemingly solely for the purpose of achieving this goal of attention: President Donald Trump and Kanye West.
It’s not rocket science to know that this dynamic duo already had more than a few screws loose before their batty bromance blossomed. CNN and the expanding lineup of late-night talk show hosts in America can’t help but eat up their misbehavior. They’ll cover everything from the Commander-in-Chief’s biting verbal airstrikes launched at Democrats via Twitter to the Grammy Award-winning rapper’s unhinged rants on his undying support for the equally controversial President on Saturday Night Live. The longest-running sketch comedy show quickly pounced on the incident, spoofing it two episodes later. No matter what the intentions behind CNN, SNL, and Jimmy Kimmel are–whether it be information, entertainment, or both–they remain oblivious to the fact that they are part of the problem.
President Trump doesn’t possess the most stellar track record in terms of not saying anything at all if he has nothing nice to say. His war of words with cable news giant CNN–which he initiated during his campaign for office in 2015 and has continued ever since–epitomizes his nasty rhetorical tactics. Donald’s message of condemnation against “fake news CNN” and the “failing New York Times” is one that was eagerly picked up and spread like wildfire among his political allies and supporters, a group of which Kanye West is a proud member. Trump and company’s malicious melee against the media comes straight from the playbook of not a politician, but a magician. Like a Copperfield or a Blaine, Trump has managed to divert the attention of the public away from himself. However, instead of levitating or asking which card is yours, Trump is diverting attention away from America’s real issues, many of which he has played a crucial role in causing. This is where the buck can reasonably be passed on to news sources like CNN and comedians like Jimmy Kimmel; they’ve fallen hook, line, and sinker for Trump’s trap.
As Jimmy Kimmel even pointed out during his humorous monologue dedicated to the bizarre lunch between Trump and West, the jokes appeared to have written themselves. As much as this may facilitate a comedian’s occupation, it seems as if they are verbally throwing up a white flag in their fight against Trump’s agenda. Instead of focusing on Ye, they should be slamming down the questions. Why is Trump doing nothing about the California wildfires? Did he collude with Russia? What about Jamal Khashoggi? Much to the delight of the Trump administration, America has apparently forgotten about all of these unanswered questions. The focus on Trump and Yeezy shooting the breezy just exemplifies America’s harmful emphasis on attention to frivolous entertainment and popular culture “news” as opposed to more significant affairs. This emphasis on popular culture is a sizable portion of the reason why Trump–who used his fame from reality television to catapult himself to the White House–is in office in the first place.
Although he would love to take credit for it, Trump is not necessarily the brains behind this budding brotherhood. Kanye is no stranger to being referred to as a “genius”–especially from Kanye himself–and his strategy skills have been critical in this tandem’s epic diversion. Yeezy’s status as a “legend” and a “musical genius” in both the music industry and the African-American community has clearly gone to his head, as his acts of selfishness throughout 2018 indicate. It seems crystal clear that his boisterous support for President Trump’s political agenda is nothing more than a publicity stunt to promote his new music. Obviously, this is a dull crystal in the eyes of both the public and late-night talk shows, who insist on throwing stones from the glass house they shelter themselves inside. As they continue to crack jokes and laugh at the antics of Donye, the treacherous twosome are truly the ones enjoying the last laugh. Just ask Lindsay Lohan or Shia LaBeouf: there really is no such thing as “bad publicity.” As long as the focus is off of Russia, Puerto Rico, and Stormy Daniels, the more that the media spoon-feeds power to Trump.
Kanye West and Donald Trump have exceeded in their roles as master distractors; they’ve proven to hold no remorse whatsoever in accomplishing this task. This could be most clearly proven by West’s constant tarnishing of the legitimacy of those who genuinely do suffer from anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other mental health issues, as well as Trump’s blatant disregard for the lives of Honduran refugees or men and women who have served in the military. The minds of the powers that be at cable television networks such as MSNBC, CNN, and even Comedy Central apparently must have wandered during the same lesson everybody else learned during the fourth grade: if somebody bullies you, simply ignore them. The talking heads on these channels have proven completely incapable of turning the other cheek, as they incessantly feed their appetite for controversy: a word practically synonymous for Donald Trump and Kanye West these days. While these newscasters and comedians pledge to help, they only add fuel to the fire. If they’re not careful, that flame will burn America to the ground.