Universal Mind Control: The Media
This weekend Kanye West and Lady Gaga canceled their long anticipated tour, “Fame Kills”. No reason has been given for the cancellation, but I suspect the negative press Kanye received following the Taylor Swift incident, is the culprit.
At the MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), Kanye stormed the stage, and interrupted Taylor’s acceptance speech for Best Female Video (View the other nominees) by snatching the microphone from her, and saying that Beyonce should have won the award.
Anyways, I was pissed off when I heard the news of the cancelled tour. My friends and I planned to attend the tour when it stopped in Buffalo. So, the cancellation was a big disappointment.
However, after thinking about it, I realized that it wasn’t the tour cancellation that angered me. I was mad because of the way the media crucified Kanye following his outburst at the VMAs.
Kanye West has been branded the “rudest person in the music industry.” Also, according to Larry King, Kanye needs counseling and rehabilitation.
Does his action at the VMAs deserve this response?
Think about it—Congressman Joe Wilson interrupted the President of the United States during his speech about health care at a joint session of Congress. Wilson not only interrupted the President, but called him a liar (See it for yourself).
In the nation’s history, such an outburst has never occurred during a session of congress. Yet after the incident, Wilson’s public approval went up!
Joe Wilson’s actions are treated one way and Kanye West’s another way. By the way, Larry King did not suggest that Wilson get counseling and anger management treatment.
Why has the American public responded so differently to these two incidents? We need to turn to the media, including twitter and the blogs, to answer this question.
The media constructs the lens through which people view reality. The media controls people “how” people see issues; and ultimately “how” you see an issue will determine “what” you think about an issue.
In the media’s social reconstruction of this incident, they used terms like “invasion,” “jack-ass,” “crashes,” “rants,” even “HIJACKED” to describe Kanye, while using terms like “innocent,” “defenseless,” “young,” and “role model” to describe Taylor. The language on internet was even more forceful (Look at twitter’s response): “Nigger moment” “Asshole” and words a like.
When the visual images are added to the equation, it sounds as if the media was talking about the Virgin Mary rather than Taylor Swift.
Wilson, on the other hand, was portrayed as a rational politician that simply allowed his outrage over Obama’s health policy to get the best of him. He simply overreacted and should be rebuked, nothing more.
Thus, according to the media, Wilson is rational, but Kanye is irrational. Although he overreacted, Wilson still has a legitimate reason to be angry with Obama over his health policies. On the flip side, Kanye has no legitimate right to be angry over MTV’s selection of Taylor over Beyonce. Wilson overreacted but Kanye was rude.
Think about this: how would people view Wilson if the media portrayed him as a southern racist that attacked Obama mainly because he was black. What if the press said that Wilson quest to deny health care to illegal immigrants might lead to the needless death of millions?
On the other hand, what if the media simply said that Kanye was drunk and got too emotional in his quest to defend the honor of Beyonce and questioned the selection process used by MTV?
I am not defending Kanye, calling Joe Wilson a racist, or diminishing Taylor Swift’s accomplishments. My point is this: the media controls our public perception of events. It constructs the lens through which we view reality, and this lens ultimately determines what we think about things. The only thing most of us know about these two events is what the media told us.
Sidebar – Kanye West wasn’t the only one who liked Beyonce’s video lol. (A fan’s remake of Beyonce’s single ladies)