Topic: Media Research Center
Back in 2018, we documented how the Media Research Center suddenly started loving Kanye West when he became a buddy of Donald Trump -- and forgot about how it spent the previous several years attacking him as a foul-mouthed, misogynstic rapper. Well, um, recent events (which we'll get to in the very near future) are prompting us to look at that relationship a little closer, and it seems that the MRC continued its newfound Kanye lovefest.
A June 2019 post by Rachel Peterson and Alexa Moutevelis gushed over an interview West did with David Letterman, which involved "an enlightening conversation about Trump supporters getting bullied and media groupthink that liberals like Letterman don't often get to hear," adding: "Trump supporters are shunned and treated like they don't deserve to even be a part of the national conversation. The media buy into this and push their narrative that automatically assumes anyone wearing a MAGA hat must be a bigoted bully (think of the news reaction to the Covington Kids and Jussie Smollett). Kanye can be off the wall sometimes, but it’s still nice to see a celebrity not afraid to speak up against the liberal media and trigger them by wearing a MAGA hat in public.
An October 2019 post by Gabrie Hays kept up the Kanye slobbering:
In what many have seen as one of his more provocative moves to date, the larger-than-life rapper, producer, and clothing designer Kanye West has decided to take his new Christian-themed concerts to historically African American Howard University, prompting more of the “Kanye, what are you doing?” responses from his former lefty colleagues who can’t stand that he’s the owner of a “Make America Great Again” hat.
Kanye is Hollywood’s highest profile Trump supporter. He's taken plenty of heat for having an oval office visit with the president himself, and has been "bullied" by SNL cast members and producers for trying perform on the sketch comedy show while wearing the red Trump hat.
Despite all that, West has doubled down in support for certain “right wing” things, like Trump, and notably, Christianity. In the last few months, Kanye has focused on a new series of Christian-themed concerts he calls “Sunday Services” and has expressed his desire to forgo making future secular rap albums, and only make Gospel music from here on out. Yeah it ain’t orthodox, but you can’t fault the man for trying to make Jesus relevant in a hip hop kind of way … right?
Later that month, Moutevelis cheered West engaging and Democrat-bashing while also praising his new Christian-themed album, "Jesus Is King," and bashing its critics: "Among the unspeakable horrors Jesus Is King has produced, New York Daily News reported, “Kanye praises notoriously anti-LGBTQ Chick-fil-A in new song.” Pardon me as I listen to Kanye’s new album while picking up Chick-fil-A on my way to the next pro-life rally."
When West album hit the top of the charts the following month, Hays gushed:
If there’s one thing Kanye West shouldn’t be worried about, it’s the elitist music critics who claim his most recent album is a bust. The hip hop artist and fashion-designer has just topped the official Billboard Music “Artist 100” Chart for the second time thanks to the influence of his recently-released Jesus Is King hip hop/Gospel album.
This must be a sweet victory for Ye and his newfound Christian fans who have been told recently that Kanye’s Christo-centric production would bomb and that his Gospel message isn’t fit for the mainstream.
While we know that music quality isn’t necessarily tied to chart success (here’s to most of the “Top 40” for the last two decades) it is nice to see that audiences aren’t deterred from listening to the album, even though it promotes what mainstream culture deems highly-controversial content.
It’s not everyday that a rap album about Jesus Christ is number one on secular airwaves. At any rate, we’ll take it.
In a February 2020 post, Peterson complained that a character on the Hulu show "High Fideltiy" mocked West for wearing a MAGA hat and said that he showed he had "shitty politics and a second-grade understanding of American history," then further groused that the character "defends Kanye by saying that he 'has a mental health issue.' Because that is the only reason that a reasonable person would willingly wear a MAGA hat and like Trump."
Hays gushed over Hays again in a March 2020 post:
Rapper-turned-Gospel-music-producer Kanye West refuses to let the media have the final word on his support for President Donald Trump.
The 42-year-old musician and clothing designer has generated his fair share of controversy in the last year, primarily for his support of the current president (someone many in Hollywood wouldn’t get caught dead praising,) and for turning his artistic ambitions to the message of Jesus Christ.
But as XXL reported, Kanye says it’s just 'cause he’s “out of their control.” He thinks for himself: “Anything I do, three times a year, people say, ‘Whoa, that’s the end. That’s the last we’ll see of him!’ People say I’m out of control. I’m not out of control. I’m out of their control.”And we all know how much the left hates those who refuse to think like them.
Hays served as West's PR agent again the following month:
Some say Kanye West doesn’t matter anymore, since finding Jesus and donning a MAGA hat. Yet there he is, on the cover of liberal men’s magazine GQ. Inside, West is saying he will be voting for Trump in November and calling out the media and Hollywood for trying to pressure African Americans to vote blue. Seems pretty consequential, doesn’t he?
The rapper, fashion designer, and “born again” Christian had an interview with the men’s style magazine where he talked about life on his Wyoming ranch, his newfound relationship with Christ and,of course, his political leanings, which buck celebrity peer pressure and media expectations.
A July 2020 post by Hays cheered West claiming that “Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.”In fact, as we've noted, most Planned Parenthood clinics are located in majority-white black neighborhoods.
In August 2020, as we've noted, the MRC tried to pretend that an effort to run West as a presidential candidate wasn't a Repiublican trick -- though it actually was.
The MRC mostly lost interest in Kanye after tha, serving only passing references to him -- until he resurfaced earlier this month to spout more right-wing-friendly things. We'll get to that soon.