Yesterday on Alex Jones' show, he had Kanye West and Nick Fuentes as guests. No doubt the thought this was a great idea to “own the libs”. It didn’t go well.
Jones gave Kanye a softball set-up, saying, ““You’re not a Nazi, you don’t deserve to be called that.” And the singer came back with -- “Well... I see good things about Hitler also. The Jews...I like Hitler.”
In fact, it went so poorly that even Alex Jones got uncomfortable after a while, finally commenting to West who kept bring Hitler up that he seems to have a “bit of a Hitler fetish going on.” But no doubt to Alex Jones’ continued discomfort (and how far does one have to go for that), Kanye West continued, later saying that “I don’t like the word ‘evil’ next to Nazis,” And “I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis.”
By the way, among the reasons Kanye West told Alex Jones he likes Hitler are that he says Hitler invented the microphone and highways. Putting aside the virulent anti-Semitism and that, no, "Hitler" himself did not "invent" any of these things -- Alexander Graham Bell patented the microphone in 1876, and highways were built in 1811. That reality aside, getting even more basic, one wonders if Kanye West has never heard radio and album recordings from, say. the 1920s. Clearly he’s also unaware of highways being built long before Hitler came to power.
But one does wonder that if Kanye West learns that der Fuhrer didn’t actually invent the microphone or highways, maybe he won't like Hitler anymore!
How bad was Kanye West’s meltdown? A couple of months ago, the House GOP Judiciary Committee posted a tweet that said, in its entirety, “Kanye. Elon. Trump.” And in the intervening months, they got a lot of ridicule on Twitter that they still had left it up. But today…finally, after expressing his support of Hitler…at last they deleted it! Yes, Kanye West was so extreme anti-Semitic that even the House GOP Judiciary couldn’t defend it. That's how anti-Semitic one has to be to get the GOP to say it’s too much. That’s how low the bar is in today's Republican Party. As Professor Peter Beinart of City University of New York put it, in today's GOP, "it's okay to be anti-Semitic, just not genocidal anti-Semitic."
If you didn’t see photos of his appearance on Alex Jones’ show, Kanye West showed up with his head fully covered in what can best be describe as a sack. Not that West needs anything else to make him come across as crazy, but the "Fully covering his head" is such a sweet touch.
As does having changed his name to now go by “Yes.” The thing is, if I had the views of Kanye West, I'd probably want to change my name, too. Though in fairness, I'd hide it a whole lot more than going by "Obert."
Y’know, it seems that the whole "Nike can't do anything to me" hasn't worked out as good for Kanye West as he thought. And to be clear, none of this is on anyone else to blame. It's on him. He chose to say it all out loud in public.
To be clear, Kanye West is entitled to his opinion. As are others to be aghast in sick horror in their replies.
Yet on and on he goes. He later tweeted out --
“I love the first amendment! Long live Ye! I pray to Jesus that Elon is for real…”
Hey, I love the first amendment, too, though it only pertains to the government making laws, not to any company that can't prohibit speech that it believes will hurt its business, like when people say things like, oh, that they love Hitler. And Fun Fact: Jesus was Jewish.
But honestly, you have to love him writing about himself, “Long live Ye!” Every little bit that points to how loony he is helps undercut the sentiments he keeps repeating.
[UPDATE: Alas, this tweet didn't age well after a whole day. Elon Musk confirmed this morning that Twitter has suspended Kanye West. This came after the short-lived Ye posted a swastika inside a Star of David. So, apparently, even Musk has limits (again) on his cries of "Free Speech!!!" Though it begs the question how far one has to go to get banned.]
But for all this, for as much attention as was understandably and deservedly put on Kanye West for his latest, crazy anti-Semite meltdown, this is also on Alex Jones who knew full-well who Kanye West is and gave him a platform – because of knowing who Kanye West was. Even if Jones was surprised by the level of bile West spewed, he knew there was plenty of anti-Semitic hate there. And further, and perhaps most importantly, it's on Trump. He tried to distance himself from well-known anti-Semite Nick Fuentes by claiming that supposedly he didn’t know him, but that he only knew Kanye West. So, he can’t hide from that. Trump, by his own acknowledgement, knew Kanye West, knew his views, knew that West had lost hundreds of millions of dollars and most of his partnership and endorsement deals for violent anti-Semitic statements, and yet still gave him his ear and platform. Indeed, even putting aside the latest West fiasco, Trump trying to wipe his hands clean in a bucket of muck by saying, "But he never talked about Jews at dinner," is like trying to justify inviting Vladimir Putin over for a slumber party to exchange Best Friends Forever rings and saying, "But he never brought up blacklisting."
In the end, many Republican officials have condemned Kanye West and Nick Fuentes (though they cowardly haven't condemned Trump for his involvement with those two). The thing is, though, for all these GOP officials condemning West and Fuentes's deeply anti-Semitic views and love of Hitler, then -- if they want people to believe they truly mean what they say -- it follows they must publicly condemn all neo-Nazi groups who hold and have voiced the same views, even if such groups support the Republican Party.
I am not holding my breath on that.
This is almost unbelievable, even in today's GOP politics and Trump World. But I swear this is true -- because there is video of her actually saying it. And without her soul shriveling before our eyes.
But here is video of one of Trump's lawyers, Jenna Ellis commenting on the Club Q shooting -- She says, "The five people killed in the nightclub that night, there is no evidence/that they were Christians. Assuming they have not accepted the truth/affirmed Christ as the lord of their life they are now reaping the consequences of eternal damnation.”
Really. Honest. She said that. Here's the video.
Though no client should be judged by what their lawyer says about their personal beliefs, it's still fair for Trump to be asked if he agrees with this statement by his lawyer Jenna Ellis if he is abhorred by its depravity.
(As a side note, the utter depravity of her statement aside, which is A LOT to put aside, there is also no evidence that they were not Christians. It just isn't an issue that EVER gets reported in a mass killing because a person's religion isn't even remotely the slightest consideration an issue, unless the shooting took place in a church or temple.)
So, Jenna Ellis sure seems to be saying that only Christians shouldn't be killed, because everyone else is reaping the consequences of not being Christian and will be eternally damned!!!!
Well...I can think of one person who may be eternally damned. And even at that, I don't wish her what she wishes on others. I take comfort knowing that she has to live with herself, corroding and rotting from the inside.
It's also worth noting that we haven't heard yet from Ms. Ellis, Esq. if she believes the mass shooting victims in Virginia (or any mass shooting victims, ever -- past and future -- for that matter) whose religion we don't know, all deserved to be killed because it's possible they might not take Jesus as their Lord and therefore are damned to hell.
By the way, putting aside all other totally depraved things she says here, even Trump supporters should be sicked by what she says here since, by Jenna Ellis's standards she supports abortion because the fetus is not a Christian who has not accepted Jesus as its lord and is now reaping the consequences of eternal damnation.
And in the end, ultimately, what a "Jenna Ellis, Esq." thinks is of almost zero consequence and would normally get no notice -- it has only gotten attention because she is tied to Trump as his lawyer. So, as long as she remains in his employ and good graces, it reflects on his support of her.
Yesterday, the Senate voted for cloture, to end debate on the Respect for Marriage Act, the bill that would codify into federal law protections for marriage equality. Though just a procedural vote, it expectantly had substance. That’s because cloture passed with 12 Republican votes, two more than would be needed to stop a filibuster. And so, assuming the Republicans who voted for cloture will also vote for the bill (not a certain thing, but likely), it appears that the bill will pass in the Senate. And with a Democratic majority still in the House, it should pass there, as well. And President Biden has said he will sign it into law.
While it’s amazing to see 12 Republicans vote for cloture (helped perhaps by some of them losing their race in the Midterms and therefore not having to face Republican voters in a primary), it’s equally amazing to see only 12 Republicans vote to push forward something that is currently, actually, already federal law (though only by Supreme Court ruling, hence the need for this bill because of the uncertainty what this court will do). In other words, 38 out of 50 Republican senators refused to vote to hear a debate on a bill that just confirms what is the law. But…it passed with 12 votes, and appears like this will become law.
So, it maybe was really bad timing for actress Candance Cameron Bure, having her interview with the Wall Street Journal appear earlier in the same day where she discusses leaving the Hallmark Channel for the Great American Family Channel and saying that, while she will be making a slate of Christmas movies there in the future, one shouldn’t expect to see any gay marriages in any of the storylines. "I think that Great American Family will keep traditional marriage at the core."
Ah, ‘tis the season for Peace on Earth, goodwill to men. (Just not all men, in her world.)
She also added that “My heart wants to tell stories that have more meaning and purpose and depth behind them. I knew that the people behind Great American Family were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment.”
But then, she might want to clear that with the CEO of the company first. That’s because Bill Abbott seems like he's only partly on board with the actress. "It's certainly the year 2022, so we're aware of the trends," he waffled in the article, leaving out the ahem, er, cough-cough, not seemingly wanting to offend anyone on any side, at least just yet. "There's no whiteboard that says, 'Yes, this' or 'No, we'll never go here.'” While that’s not an especially courageous stand, and he might well-decide on the “No, we’ll never go there” on married gay fictional characters, it seems like he knows we’re no longer living in 1931. Because gay people are now a trend.
(So, congrats to all you gay couples being a trend!! It’s really cool when the law can be so hip.)
Then again, whatever GAF (which weirdly sounds like it’s commenting on Ms. Cameron Bure's interview) decides, what I'm most wondering is what she will do if carolers in one of the movies she gets hired for are singing "Deck the Halls" and get to the line, "Now, we don our..."
The good news for Great American Family is that they won’t have to spend any extra money to buy the song rights for “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in any movie the actress performs in. That means she'll still be able to "make the Yuletide gay" without it being too gay.
On the other hand, despite his waffling on the issue, Mr. Abbott seems a wee bit more disingenuous when he explains that his channel’s formula is “soft faith,” what the article says he calls a “Christian message” that “is there for viewers who are looking for it but doesn’t aim to proselytize.” But since Ms. Cameron Bure explains her move to the GAF channel is specifically because the people behind it “were Christians that love the Lord and wanted to promote faith programming and good family entertainment,” that seems its soft core, chewy nugget center is much more hardcore.
To be clear, any channel has the right to put on whatever programming it likes. There are religious channels throughout cable TV. At issue here is not that. It’s how in the season of brotherly love, Ms. Cameron Bure chose to pontificate by cutting out the “brother” part. (Not to mention the “love” part.)
For what it’s worth, I did a little research, although exact, current information is hard to find. On the good side, the Great American Family channel she went to from Hallmark appears to be growing its audience. At the moment, though, it still has a very long ways to grow, being ranked #69 among all cable channels with 145,000 viewers in primetime, for a less than great American .05 rating. Meanwhile, Hallmark Channel which she left (and, make no mistake, has a pretty strong Christian-right pedigree, though is probably heathen compared to GAF) is the #10 rated cable channels with 1.1 million primetime viewers. (It’s companion Hallmark Movies & Mystery channel also makes Christmas movies among its regular fare and is ranked #21 with around 450,000 viewers in primetime.)
So, clearly, having a large audience to watch your small-minded views was not a major priority for Ms. Cameron Bure. In some ways, a person gets points preferring to stick close to one’s personal beliefs and rather than have a huge platform, be a big fish in a little puddle. And who knows, GAF may indeed grow in popularity, as it’s been doing and spending money signing other recognizable actors. Though the risk is that there may be a ceiling to that because the formula Candance Cameron Bure wants doesn’t appear to fit in with the world’s, well… trend.
It's also worth recalling her saying that that formula she embraces is about “traditional marriage,” which is a convenient and oft-used phrase. But if "traditional marriage" is our benchmark, it's worth going back in history – which, after all, is the very core of tradition – to the days of the Roman Empire. It’s those days, it was illegal to marry an actor. (Really.) So, as far as truly traditional marriage goes, Ms. Cameron-Bure herself would have been out of luck. (In fairness, I believe this was B.C., so I'm not sure if Jesus fixed this in the New Testament and OK'd marrying actors somewhere in the pages.)
No word, too, if GAF plans to make any holiday movies -- or any movies at all -- with Jewish characters, whose tradition of marriage (and tradition, period) far, far-predates that of Ms. Cameron-Bure's guidelines. Though to be fair, her Lord and Savior was Jewish. So, maybe we’ll be getting a spate of Hanukkah tales!
Whether Candance Cameron Bure will be appearing in them remains to be seen, since I’m not sure how they would fit in with her concept of a Great American Family.
But then, if you’re going to call yourself “Great American Family,” I’d think you’d at least have the decency to include all members of the family. And for that matter, if you want to show your disdain for United States law that protects the civil rights and liberties of everyone, no matter if expressing that disdain is your own right, it’s probably a very embarrassing idea to call yourself “Great Americans.”
Which brings us back to the start, and the Senate on the edge of passing the Respect for Marriage Act. Voted on by enough great Americans that it looks like it will become codified federal law and not only a Supreme Court ruling. Signed by President Joe Biden.
Joy to the world.
A couple of days I wrote about Kanye West and his ongoing virulent and violent anti-Semitic comments, and how the issue isn’t about Kanye West, but about the Republican Party which has not only been silent about it all, but has continued to back him and Trump’s own recent anti-Semitic rant.
I stand by that. But I do think Mr. West does deserve some attention of his own.
(Quick side note: I know well that he’s now referred today as “The former Kanye West who legally changed his name to Ye.” But what he didn’t seem to bother to change was his Twitter account, for which he doesn't use "Ye," but still posts as Kanye West. So, if it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me.)
This comes because, after having been pummeled by his business partnerships, notably losing his deal with Adidas who he basically dared cut ties with him, and they did, he’s be acting very desperate lately.
As I said before, Kanye West will be fine financially. If he loses 90 percent of his income, with the remaining 10 percent he’s still doing great. (Assuming he had a billion dollars – maybe more, maybe less – that still would leave $100 million.) That said, we don’t know his financial ties and if he’s leveraged and has outstanding loans, and how losses from other business cutting ties will affect his finances.
What we do know, though, is that after Adidas dropped him, Forbes magazine almost immediately removed West from their billionaire's list, significantly plummeting his net worth to $400 million. That's a huge loss of wealth. It's also still a massive amount of money. Though whatever real-life problems it may cause him, I don’t especially care. Because this isn’t about money. It’s about a virulent, violent anti-Semite.
But as much as I don’t care about Kanye West’s finances, he clearly does.
The other day, he went uninvited into the corporate headquarters of Skecher, trying to get a new deal to replace the one lost with Adidas – and not only didn’t get the deal, but was escorted out of the building, getting the company to put out a press release explaining that they would not be working with Kanye West now or in the future, saying among other things, “Skechers is not considering and has no intention of working with West. We condemn his recent divisive remarks and do not tolerate anti-Semitism or any other form of hate speech."
He's lost partnership deals with Adidas, Balenciaga, Skechers, TJ Maxx. His talent agency CAA dropped him as a client. The MRC Entertainment production company has shelved a documentary that already completed about it. Vogue has cut ties with him. Gap has said it’s removing his Yeezy Gap products and shutting down the Yeezy Gap website. Apple Music announced that while it’s not removing all his music, it is, however, removing the Kanye West Essentials Playlist some material, along with his biography.
By the way, going back to Gap a moment, Kanye West put out a weird social media post yesterday – one of many, so that’s par for the course – that included a small comment that hasn’t gotten much attention: “As to Gap, the non-compete expires December 15, 2022. You own the Yeezy name and all trademarks associated with Yeezy.”
He lost the name and all trademarks for Yeezy?? Well, that can’t be good. Most especially for someone who went to the trouble of legally changing his name to Ye.
Also not good were all the social media postings he put out yesterday. The most notable one, though, was ostensibly sent to his former agency, writing –
"I LOST 2 BILLION DOLLARS IN ONE DAY
AND I’M STILL ALIVE
THIS IS LOVE SPEECH
I STILL LOVE YOU
GOD STILL LOVES YOU
THE MONEY IS NOT WHO I AM
THE PEOPLE IS WHO I AM"
"The people is who I am."
Just not all the people. Just not the people he wanted dead and to go “Death Con 3” over. And has been virulently attacking for many weeks, in fact months and perhaps years. (A news story yesterday told how in 2018 he apparently wanted to title his album Hitler. And had to be talked out of it.)
Fun fact: Writing "love speech" doesn't make people (and business partners) forget one's hate.
And that’s the point of this all.
Kanye West can cry out that he’s all about love and The People, but his words and words and relentless words come tumbling out before him. He can’t claim his was misquoted. They were his own social media postings he himself wrote. (And never claimed anyone else did.) They’ve been his own relentless, ongoing words.
And beyond his own virulent and violent words of anti-Semitism that have been picked up by white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups, he even has taken on his own black community, wearing “White Lives Matter” t-shirts and claiming George Floyd wasn’t killed by a now-convicted police officer kneeling on his neck for eight minutes, but rather died from a drug overdose. (A “claim” the Floyd family has sued him $250 million for.)
That’s the problem he faces.
Given all he’s said about Jews and even blacks and for so long, it’s very difficult to apologize and say, “Gee, I didn’t mean it. It was hurtful and wrong, I’m sorry.” Because clearly he did mean it, and meant it repeatedly. Bluntly. You don't accidentally want to title your album Hitler. Single “oops” statements can be apologized for with a mea culpa. But this is about core beliefs about who a person is. Such things require acknowledging who you are, explaining the hurt and harm it caused – giving comfort to white supremacists, understanding why it is wrong and why you have been wrong for so long and what you are going to do about the long process of changing who you are right now and for the rest of your life.
And even that doesn’t erase what is on the long record of what you said.
That’s the problem he faces.
By the way, the added problem is that I don’t see most people, and most especially Kanye West, given who he’s showed himself to be his long public life, going through such a complete public cleansing of his past. And even if, for some miraculous reason, he did, it would likely be seen as being just an attempt to reclaim is lost partnerships and money, not a public rending of his soul. But even if – beyond even miracles – his words and actions are so profoundly powerful that they are seen as deeply heartfelt to the extent that he’s gone through a personal conversion…those words he’s long said still live on.
And though people at that beyond-miracle point could forgive him, it would still be hard for businesses to want to risk being associated in any way with those early and relentless, hate-filled, violent words. And hoped-for album titles.
To be clear, I think it’s possible some people, maybe many, would be able to forgive Kanye West and keep listening to his music, and would want to buy his products if they could find them being made and sold somewhere, even if he only gave a moderate apology.
The hurdle for West is that it’s hard to see he has even that in him. And further, while it might be enough to win some or many fans back, it wouldn’t be enough to bring businesses back. He’s much too toxic to the corporate world for just a mild “I’m sorry if I offended anybody” apology.
And his business deals are the core to his wealth now, not his music. And music trends are short shelf lives. The public often can forgive egregious, but simple transgressions, however those tend to take a while, let’s say five years. The music world in five years (let alone more) may not likely have much place for a Kanye West, other than in the Oldies bin. And the fashion world is even more fickle, often changing from season to season. And now make it, what if the mea culpa comes in 10 years?
I’m not saying Kanye West won’t be able to turn around how he’s crashed and burned his life. Or that he will be impoverished by his actions. Financially, he should be better than fine, just perhaps at a less-grandiose scale. And depending on how he chooses to respond to everything, he may stop being a pariah.
But “should” and “may” are tangential terms. And they come up against a monumental wall and onrushing tsunami that he himself created.
That he himself created, and then dared Adidas to do something about it. Not recognizing the obvious that his world revolved around so much more than just Adidas. Who, in the end, had utterly zero interest in understanding that it was far more in their corporate interest to move to higher ground.
There are so many biblical quotes one could throw around here, starting with “Pride goeth before the fall.” But it’s one other that most stands out --
We have not yet reached the point where this deeply-ironic biblical phrase has taken on brand new meaning, but it’s up to him to avoid it:
Abandon all hope Ye who enter here.
I completely understand the well-deserved focus on Kanye West ongoing barrage of anti-Semitic and violent comments, reaching a peek with him basically dismissing any threat that Adidas would cut ties with him.
Indeed, Adidas was put in a somewhat tricky position because Adidas isn’t his sponsor, but his business partner and an important one. And so, they risk losing business if they’re even able to end the partnership. But then, they’re also risk losing business and credibility if they don’t end their relationship with him and remain partners with a virulent, violent anti-Semite. Made all the more pronounced when White Supremacists draped banners on a 405 Freeway overpass in Los Angeles in support of West, saying that he’s right about Jews. Not really the kind of association one would think Adidas wants, whatever the financial cost of finding a way out of their contract.
And West appears to have kicked in the Law of Unintended Consequences, as another partner, Balenciaga dropped its relationship with him. Which also not only shows Adidas that a company can break ties with West, but puts pressure on them to do so. And then yesterday, his talent agency CAA dropped him from their roster. And Vogue broke off their relationship with him. And production company MRC is not releasing a completed documentary on West. And now, this morning Adidas did cut ties with Kanye West.
(Go figure, he was wrong, it turns out there was something Adidas could do about it...)
To be clear, it’s not like Kanye West will be financially hurt much if at all by any of this. If he doesn’t earn another nickel in his life, he’s still doing great. (After Adidas dropped him, Forbes magazine already removed West from their billionaire's list, significantly plummeting his net worth to $400 million. That's a huge loss of wealth. It's also a massive amount of money.) That said, we don’t know his financial ties and if he’s leveraged and has outstanding loans, and how losses from other business cutting ties will affect his finances. So, it could be a problem for him. But not only do I doubt that, in terms of real-life "problems," I also don’t care. This isn’t about money. It’s about a virulent, violent anti-Semite.
If he wants to buy the far-right, extreme social media company Parler, and post his hate-filled rants, he has that right to become a human pariah surrounded only by White Supremacists for support. And others have the right to demean him as much as possible.
But like with Trump, this isn’t about Kanye West. It’s about the near-total silence of the Republican Party, whose leadership has shown cowardice in action and putting its own racial hate and anti-Semitism front and center. It was silent went Trump went on his anti-Semitic rampage about Jews and Israel. And it’s silent about Kanye West. When a Hollywood talent agency shows more morals than the Republican Party – or most anybody – you know you’re scraping the bottom.
Once more, Trump is at it again (not that he has stopped) with the far-right anti-Semitic rant on his social media site, this time about Jews and Israel. He always loves saying -- as he did here yet again -- how much evangelicals love Israel, even more than American Jews do (because if there's anything Trump knows about, I'm sure, it's what Jews anywhere think...). But what he always ignores explaining is why evangelicals love Israel so much: it's because, to evangelicals, Israel is where End Times will occur, and Jews who don't convert will die in flames.
So...yeah, I can see why evangelicals looooove Israel for that reason a whole lot more than Jews do.
"I love Israel so that it can be destroyed in a burning conflagration"
With friends like that...
To be clear, this isn't just Trump. He spews his hate when he knows there's an audience in the GOP base. And, of course, it comes on the heels days earlier of Kanye West's anti-Semitic and violent comments about going "death con 3" on Jews -- to a notable lack of criticism from Republican officials.
I wrote about this yesterday on social media, and I was surprised how many people "liked" it -- 150 (so far) with 40 retweets. What should not come as a shock is that I got a few responses trying to explain that, well, yes, Trump is right, we must all repent and Jews must do so first. (It should also not come as a shock that after as politely as I had it in me, I told these respondents off and then muted them, before blocking. Because, y'know, that whole "Life is too short" thing.)
One of the things I did point out is that hard as it may be for evangelicals to accept, not everyone in the world is actually Christian -- nor is even half of the world. But I did at least thank them for proving my point that the reason the anti-Semitic Trump keeps mentioning evangelicals' looooove of Israel has absolutely nothing to do with loving Israel and supporting it, but is about waiting for its destruction.
But then, most of these are the same people who were waiting for Trump to be reinstalled last year as president with the dead JFK Jr. as his vice-president.
So, consider the source....
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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