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We Don’t Know Who To Trust

Kanye West appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Show last week.

Jimmy has been very outspoken about and against the Trump Administration, and everything that Kimmel believes has resulted from Trump’s presence in the White House. He’s dedicated several of his top-of-the-show monologues to sharing his beliefs on these serious issues, as opposed to the normal run of jokes late night talk show hosts are known for.

Kanye, as we know, has committed the social media faux pas of saying things that are tangentially and/or directly positive about Donald Trump. Ye’s musical talent, though, along with his marriage to a woman who is arguably the most popular person on the internet,  has allowed Kanye to maintain his pop-culture coolness. So he ended up on Kimmel’s couch.

Though most of the conversation centered around vanilla topics such as Kanye’s latest album, Kimmel did address the elephant in the room: Ye’s positive statements about Trump juxtaposed with Jimmy’s aversion to anythingTrump.

Jimmy asked Kanye how Kanye could be the same guy who famously announced in 2005 that George Bush [didn’t] care about Black people, yet not have that same energy for a guy who’s shown, in Jimmy’s eyes, that he doesn't care about Black people, or any people, for that matter. Kanye paused to think, and for 3 seconds (an eternity on a talk show), there’s complete silence. Jimmy, who I think sensed had awkwardly put his guest on the spot, cut off Kanye’s thinking and cut to commercial break.

The part of the clip that matters lasts about 15 seconds and comes right at the end. The interview continues, but the unanswered question is never revisited or addressed.

Kanye tweeted a day later about the situation and said what I thought I saw: He needed a moment to gather his thoughts for answering such an important question, and the commercial break ended the moment.

Social media, and traditional media, disagreed.

The gist of the headlines: Kanye Stumped By Kimmel’s Question About His Trump Support! Kayne Takes An L When Asked About Trump!

Trump did his Trump thing and took advantage of the situation, praising Kanye for his support. This whole thing won’t even be a story anymore by the time you read it, but that’s not what’s important: I don't know who to trust now.

Probably no one.

For Your Game

The issue is not where you stand on Kanye or Kimmel or Trump. It’s about how no one, not even the general media anymore, can just tell us the facts of what happens without putting their spin — or lean — on the information. The facts are, Kanye was asked a question and did not immediately answer for 3 seconds. While we can’t go into Kanye’s head, let’s call it a truth that he was thinking during the 3 seconds of silence. If I hadn’t seen the clip myself and had read the articles first, I might have also been saying that Ye was “stumped” or “shut down” by the question, or that he “took an L” in the situation in general. CNN and MSNBC both posted headlines saying Kanye was stumped. And while stumped may seem a rather benign term, it conveys a message. Aren’t these outlets supposed to be impartial?

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