It’s like the Crimean War, if the Crimean War were started by an oversensitive pop star.
If you follow Kanye West on Twitter, you know that something bad happened to him this week. The rapper spent almost all of Tuesday night complaining about his vicious treatment at the hands of Matt Lauer and the Today show. As Lauer’s name is almost always accompanied in print by the word “affable,” the idea of him provoking Kanye seemed a little outrageous, but the rapper was clearly upset. As he explained in his own inimitable language, “HE TRIED TO FORCE MY ANSWERS. IT WAS VERY BRUTAL AND I CAME THERE WITH ONLY POSITIVE INTENT.”
What could have left Kanye feeling so tortured, misunderstood and misused? Why, Lauer (or, rather, Today‘s producers) had the gall to run B-roll over West as he was being interviewed about his 2005 statements regarding George Bush’s response to Hurricane Katrina. The nerve! Now Kanye can’t trust anyone!
Lauer fired back gently, stating “It’s something we do every day. If someone is talking about an incident or a location, we run video of that location or that incident. There was nothing improper about it.”
Bush, meanwhile, has stayed out of fray, merely stating that he appreciated West’s apology about the spat.
More on TIME: The recent life of Kanye West
But West is still not backing down. The rapper fired off another stream-of-consciousness Twitter rant last night about Lauer’s airing of the above clip:
This is just a small slice of the day to day bull____ that goes on that helps to precipitate the idea that I such an ___hole…. cause when I don’t perform oh noooow I’m the one that’s crazy or a jerk! I want you guys to look at that footage and start to put everything together now. It’s very simple to call someone angry or spoiled or the one thousand names I’ve been called, but it’s harder to try to take a look at what’s really behind the curtain. I’m so happy that my real fans are not as “basic” as the media makes them out to be… Did you see them try to justify playing the audio under my interview. Yo sometimes you’re just wrong and it ain’t nothing you can say to justify it believe me I know!
To put the final cherry on top of the drama cake, West announced today he was canceling his scheduled Black Friday concert on Today.
So, who really comes off as a winner in this week’s premiere celebrity feud? It’s hard to say. Just kidding: It’s Matt Lauer.
As much as we love Kanye West and his Twitter feed — both have provided us endless entertainment and inspiration — West is clearly being oversensitive here. Yes, it can be annoying to go on TV and have people try to “package” your real life into an acceptable story-line (that’s what seems to bother West most about the B-roll incident), but that’s the nature of the business. You can’t take it personally when people don’t do exactly as you request.
Lauer we will give a pass for trying to calm the situation down, even if he didn’t succeed. But someone at NBC should have known after West’s first huff to not roll tape over him while he was speaking ever again. Why risk another hissy-fit?
And George Bush, well, he comes off looking gracious and accommodating. But! Let’s not forget that this whole thing got started when Bush said that Kanye calling him a racist was one of the lowest points of his Presidency, which we’re still not letting him off the hook for. This was a man who was President for maybe the worst decade in American history, and that’s what he chooses?