It’s Very Telling What Parts of Tucker Carlson’s Kanye Interview Were Not Aired
He's gotta make sure even guests don't give the game away.
After years of alarming behavior, Ye—Kanye West before legally changing his name a year ago— arrived at his Paris fashion show with right-wing commentator Candace Owens, both of them sporting matching “White Lives Matter” shirts. This is a man who has also worn a confederate flag (not the surrender flag, the stars and bars) and frequently donned a MAGA hat, so this wasn’t that surprising. The very public backlash to the “White Lives Matter” shirts let Fox News talking head Tucker Carlson see an opportunity in Ye, so he invited him onto his show the first week in October.
Part of this interview went viral but was largely overshadowed by Ye’s antisemitic messages over that weekend and his social media accounts becoming locked. If the interview with Carlson alone wasn’t bad enough, the overt antisemitic remarks Carlson and his team edited from the interview, obtained by VICE‘s Motherboard, are very telling. They paint a clearer picture of the purpose of the interview if it wasn’t already obvious.
For clarity, as with all reporting needs to be whittled down. Because there are concerns that this was a mental episode aired to millions (Kanye has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder) and he went on many tangents, I’ve touched on what were reoccurring connected themes in this two-part interview. Ye’s mental health struggles do not absolve him from the harm he is doing, and disorders don’t make people more prone to accepting or parroting White Supremacy. And as New York Magazine writes, Ye can be both bipolar and accountable for his publicly antisemitic remarks.
Recap of the aired interview
The Carlson interview started off the bat with Ye claiming that half of Black mortality is due to abortion, and much later he repeats partial truths about Planned Parenthood. The second time Ye brings this up has been edited, but we’ll get into that below. In later parts of the interview, he claimed to have a “BLM Officer” fired at Nike, and that the acceptance of even one fat Black body in the media is promoting Black genocide. All this and much more that Tucker Carlson giddily eats up. Between every commercial break, Tucker repeats the mantra that Ye is mentally stable and preps his audience to believe that the same people “silencing” Ye come after them, too.
Outside of all of this, the most jarring part of the interview was the way Ye talked about his mother, Donda West, who died following surgery in 2007. They were very close, and she fostered Ye’s creativity from a very young age. He’s warped her image (and education) to be weak and “controlled by someone else” in an effort to break apart the Black family unit conservatives love to mischaracterize. Every time he circled back to this, Ye compares this distortion to his relationship to his family.
One of the few questions Carlson asked was when did these beliefs all start, to which Ye had a common answer to many who were radicalized in the later 2010s—Trump. The only person around Trump that Ye took issue with was Jared Kushner, who Ye frequently described as manipulative and money hungry. Every adult in Trump’s family is (including Kushner), but Ye only criticized the only person born Jewish in the group in terms like these. (Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism when she married Kushner.)
The second half of this two-part interview is more of the same.
What didn’t make it to broadcast
It should be a surprise to no one that the most alarming elements of the leaked footage included many antisemitic things Ye said while speaking to Carlson. I’m not talking about the dog whistles and reading-between-the-lines language that Carlson and others use on the network, but the clear-as-day remarks.
Half of the alarming statements came from discussing his children. Ye took issue with them learning about Kwanzaa and said he would rather them learn about Hanukkah. The reason: “At least it would come with some financial engineering.” This pulls from one of the oldest antisemitic tropes in history that Jewish people control the banks and al media (for mass hypnosis—another antisemitic trope.)
Ye also claimed that fake children were put in his house to “sexualize” his kids and people have kidnapped his kids. This might be his paranoia that Ye’s discussed in the past or his strained relationship with the Kardashian clan. However, given his other statements, it is important to note the perceived belief of conspiracy towards children is often a straight line to more antisemitic beliefs like blood libel (think QAnon and WayFair.)
To come back to the Planned Parenthood discussion, Carlson heavily edited out Ye’s initial response. Everything bolded was edited out:
Planned Parethood was made by Margaret Sanger, a known [eugenicist] with the KKK to control the Jew population. When I say “Jew,” I mean the Twelve Lost Tribes of Judah, the blood of Christ. Who are the people known as the race “Black” really are. This is who are people are. The blood of Christ. This is a Christian is my belief. And I believe that if we saw ourselves as a people and not a race, then we would treat our people better.
This omission (with zero push-backs) deliberately excluded the antisemitic belief that Black people are the “real Jews.” This conspiracy theory partially stems from some Black people feeling the need to make up history because our pre-enslavement histories were purposefully stripped from us during slavery. Ye is one of many Black celebrities (mostly men) to claim this. An off-shoot conspiracy theory growing in prominence on TikTok claims Black people are the real Indigenous people of the Americas. There are Black Jews and Afro-Indigneous people; these theories should not be conflated with these people.
It wasn’t just the antisemitic stuff that didn’t make it to air, though. Carlson (who is likely vaccinated) also left out that Ye took the COVID-19 vaccine. The segment failed to include Ye linking former collaborator Virgil‘s death of cancer at 41 to elitism and racism. Carlson also cut a minute when Ye talked about “energy communities” and rethinking the human species.
Why this matters
This caution exercised in what was aired proved to be invaluable to Carlson, as days later (unlike Ben Shapiro and Owens), he was not put in place to defend Ye’s interview. Even since the leak, Carlson hasn’t addressed what was said by Ye and his lack of pushback. (Which, to be fair, is the role of a journalist and not what his own lawyer said people shouldn’t place any trust in him as we would with a journalist.)
Carlson has infamously cut interviews and refused to air them before. In 2019, Carlson straight up refused to air his heated interview with Rutger Bregman and didn’t address it until it was viral. So what makes this instance different? Fascistic entertainment hubs parading as news are always in short supply of tokens to serve as cover against accusations of racism, sexism, etc. The few that do exist aren’t respected by their wider community and don’t do much outside of the pick-me grift. Ye is an artist with a massive following and worldwide public recognition that they don’t even need to have on the payroll.
Again not to absolve active participation in white supremacy (among other things), but Ye isn’t even the only person with mental health issues serving this purpose. Look no further than the Georgia Senate race. While Fox News and other major “left-leaning” media like CNN will falsely call any criticism of apartheid Israel antisemitic even though conflating Israel to Jewishness and an expectation of dual loyalty is actually antisemitic, Carlson will give space to as much antisemitism is as profitable for a wide audience.
After all, the former grand wizard of the KKK, David Duke, among many other white supremacists, frequently cited Carlson as an ally to their cause, and praised Carlson for his ability to make their message more palatable to the masses.
(via Motherboard, feature image: Fox News screencaps & Alyssa Shotwell.)
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