Saturday, September 03, 2005

Kanye West Speaks Up - Censors Freak Out

Yahoo! TV News & Gossip -

Oh man, here we go again. During a live broadcast of a concert benefit for the New Orleans victims, Kanye West took a hard left at Albuquerque (ie. the script) and launched into a rant about the government's response and the media's portrayal.

Here's some of my favorite quotes from the article:

Appearing two-thirds through the program, he claimed "George Bush doesn't care about black people" and said America is set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."

The show, simulcast from New York on NBC, MSNBC, CNBC and Pax, was aired live to the East Coast, enabling the Grammy-winning rapper's outburst to go out uncensored. There was a several-second tape delay, but the person in charge "was instructed to listen for a curse word, and didn't realize (West) had gone off-script," said NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks.

West's comment about the president was cut from NBC's West Coast airing, which showed three hours later on tape.

Comedian Mike Myers was paired with West for a 90-second segment that began with Myers speaking of Katrina's devastation. Then, to Myers' evident surprise, West began a rant by saying, "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food."

While allowing that "the Red Cross is doing everything they can," West who delivered an emotional outburst at the American Music Awards after he was snubbed for an award declared that government authorities are intentionally dragging their feet on aid to the Gulf Coast. Without getting specific, he added, "They've given them permission to go down and shoot us."

After he stated, "George Bush doesn't care about black people," the camera cut away to comedian Chris Tucker.


Now, I'm not saying West is or isn't right in what he said. What got my attention was the knee jerk reaction to censor it. It wasn't like he was yelling F-words and other obscenities or strutting the stage naked (which would be inappropriate considering this was probably a family event) - he was commenting about his government. Whether he's right or wrong (and given the slow response, he might have a point) isn't the focus. In a "free" country, shouldn't he be allowed to say it without being censored?

After the ridiculousness of Nipplegate, you'd think they'd learn. I guess censorship continues it's steady march as the screws keep getting tighter on free speech and free thought.

Comments on "Kanye West Speaks Up - Censors Freak Out"

 

Blogger The Original LRU said ... (September 04, 2005 12:25 AM) : 

Here's an interesting link, and a link to the videos for download.

http://www.boingboing.net/2005/09/03/kanye_west_george_bu.html

 

Blogger The Original LRU said ... (September 04, 2005 12:32 AM) : 

Here's a link confirming the "permission to go down and shoot us" quote.

 

Blogger The Original LRU said ... (September 04, 2005 12:36 AM) : 

And look who's cashing in.

 

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