Kanye West is stark raving mad at Matt Lauer for throwing him under the bus in a "Today" show interview. In a series of manic emo-tweets, West rails against Lauer, accusing the anchor of intentionally setting him up to look bad (when all he wanted to do was apologize to George Bush for calling the ex-president a racist back in '05.)
In his trademark all-caps, West tweeted: "HE TRIED TO FORCE MY ANSWERS. IT WAS VERY BRUTAL AND I CAME THERE WITH ONLY POSITIVE INTENT."
And then, in no-caps: "I feel very alone very used very tortured very forced very misunderstood very hollow very very misused."
Dear, dear Kanye. Let us speak to you in a language you'll understand: WHY WERE YOU SO SURPRISED?
The super-sensitive, super-egotistical rapper should have known what he was getting into. Lauer is one of the most underrated interviewers in the news-broadcasting business. But by dint of his association with a "fluffy" morning-show, his interviewing skills often get overlooked. Indeed, you'll never hear: "Matt Lauer is a tough interviewer." Such high praise is instead reserved for the crack team of "60 Minutes," Lara Logan, the late Tim Russert.
Lauer no doubt makes a pretty paycheck on "Today," so being taken seriously as a newsman is probably an afterthought (compared to the millions he makes for making your mom fall in love with him every morning). But it's gotta grate on Lauer every now and then, when he gets flak for doing his job -- and doing it really well.
Recall the way he grilled Britney Spears, capturing her in a fragile moment with chewing gum in her mouth and tears in her eyes. Or the way he exposed the Real Tom Cruise, never once showing weakness as Cruise accused him of being "glib."
Lauer's unflappable ability to control and direct a celebrity interview, creating watercooler moments out of what could be one big, bland soundbite, should be recognized and respected.
And look! Lauer got a rise out of West, which isn't really THAT hard to do. But we need to give him credit at least. Turns out West is weaker than he thinks -- and, as it happens, he's no match for an unassuming, quietly fearless news anchor on a morning-show program.