These Fox News Stars Gushed Over Kanye West—How About Now?

Friday - 02/12/2022 20:33 Author: Editors Desk Source: The Daily Beast:
After Tucker’s chat with Ye—which edited out his antisemitism—Fox stars raved about the rapper-turned-far-right troll. Where are they now that he’s gone full Nazi?
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / Getty
Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero / The Daily Beast / Getty

Now that Kanye West has gone full Nazi after telling Alex Jones “I like Hitler” and posting swastikas on Twitter, plenty of right-wing media figures have egg on their faces—perhaps nobody more than the handful of Fox News stars who’d only recently gushed about the rapper’s intellectual genius.

Prior to Ye going “death con 3” on Jewish people, and before it was known that Tucker Carlson had edited out West’s antisemitic remarks, a slew of Fox News hosts and pundits raved about the star’s right-wing commentary following his much-hyped October interview with Carlson.

In the initial two-part interview that aired on Carlson’s primetime show, the Fox News primetime star presented West—who at the time sparked controversy for wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt at a fashion show—as a conservative folk hero. Describing the rapper’s political observations as “interesting, deep, provocative,” Carlson dismissed concerns about West’s mental well-being while praising him as a rational, deep thinker.

The morning after Carlson broadcast the first part of his Ye interview, Fox News personalities began falling over themselves to laud the musician-turned-far-right troll.

“If you express anything outside of Black Lives Matter and say ‘all lives matter’ or ‘white lives matter,’ that’s somehow an insult. An insult to whom? Again, I say watch this interview,” Fox News contributor and resident “media critic” Joe Concha said on the Oct. 7 broadcast of Fox & Friends First. “Kanye West is wise, he is unique, and certainly he is fearless.”

On Thursday afternoon, after Ye declared that he likes Hitler, Concha observed on Twitter that the rapper’s “meltdown is complete” and has hit “a new horrific bottom.” The Fox News pundit then blocked multiple Twitter users who replied to him with his previous remarks cheering West as “wise” and “fearless.”

Concha wasn’t alone in his unapologetic praise for Ye at the time. Following his initial comments, the denizens of Fox & Friends continued to jump aboard the hype train. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt, for instance, raved that “you can’t help but like him because he is not apologetic” and “people listen to him because he is interesting.” West is “fascinating,” she added. “[I’m] glad he is strong enough” to deal with all the adversity he has faced.

Earhardt’s colleague Will Cain, meanwhile, boasted: “He is authentic, he is unfiltered, and he is independent.” Neither Earhardt nor Cain have commented on West’s intellectual rigor following his turn to full-blown Nazism.

Joining them in unabashed Ye appreciation was Jeanine Pirro, who said that evening on The Five that West was “nobody’s fool,” that she was “impressed with him,” and that she liked “a lot of what he said.” The Fox star continued: “I liked that ‘White Lives Matter.’ It’s not just freedom of speech, he has the chutzpah to say it!”

Pirro, too, has yet to comment on the leaked Carlson interview showing antisemitic comments or West’s Nazi pivot. While she hasn’t directly discussed West, she did say this week that “Holocaust deniers” and Sandy Hook truthers should be allowed on Twitter. “America was founded on the concept of free speech. Hate speech is protected. I'm tired of saying it,” she said on Thursday.

Later that same evening, on the network’s “late-night comedy” show Gutfeld!, Fox Business Network host Kennedy declared that West’s interview was “great” and “really smart” while saying she “always appreciated about him how he pushes the boundaries.”

The former MTV VJ also claimed West is “someone who has thought deeply about his art and opinions and he expresses everything so clearly,” therefore the “fact that he is making people mad means that as an artist he is doing his job.” Since then, however, Kennedy has somewhat addressed Ye’s antisemitism on her FBN show, at one point joking during an Oct. 27 broadcast about West calling the cops on a synagogue and telling a guest he’s gone “crazy.”

Finally, the following morning on Fox & Friends Weekend, and just as West was launching into his overt antisemitic rants on social media, co-host Pete Hegseth expressed hope that West’s outspokenness “empowers other people to have the courage to do the same thing.”

Of course, by the following week, the network’s fawning over-the-top praise for the bigoted megastar tapered completely off after West dug deeper into his hateful rhetoric. Additionally, it was revealed that Carlson had excised a number of eyebrow-raising comments from West during their interview, including antisemitic tropes and off-the-rails conspiracy theories.

In recent weeks, meanwhile, Fox News has done its best to virtually ignore West’s unhinged actions that have caused headaches for Republican leadership. After West brought toxic white supremacist leader Nick Fuentes to a dinner with former President Donald Trump, the network remained mostly silent about the ordeal—and even got angry when reporters dared ask GOP leader Kevin McCarthy about it.

And in the wake of West praising Hitler and getting banned from Twitter after starting a war with “Chief Twit” Elon Musk, Fox News has barely mentioned the meltdown. At the time of publication, Fox News has only briefly brought it up three times—including asking West’s former in-law Caitlyn Jenner for her thoughts on it.

Reps for the Fox News personalities did not respond when asked how their opinions of West had changed in light of the leaked Carlson footage or the rapper’s recent behavior.

 Keywords: Kanye West

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