New York Times Fact-Checks Kanye's Tweets

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On Tuesday, Kanye West tweeted a number of very emotional complaints about his interview, taped that morning, with the Today Show's Matt Lauer. Apparently, West was unhappy about how Lauer and the Today Show crew handled the audio and the manner in which they discussed West's famous remark in 2005, "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Here are his tweets, which appear that they may have since been deleted.

I went up there to express how I was empathetic to Bush because I labeled him a racist and years later I got labeled as a racist....

He played clips of Bush and asked me to look at his face while I was trying to talk to him. I wish Michael Jackson had twitter!!!!!!

While I was trying to give the interview they started playing the "MTV" under me with audio!!!!!!!


I am a creative person.... I'm not a good celebrity but I'm a great artist... I'm tired of using my celebrity to sell my art.

Enter The New York Times' Dave Itzkoff with an investigative scoop: turns out West was less than honest on Twitter!

But a copy of the "Today" interview viewed by The New York Times appears not to align completely with Mr. West’s account of events.

Itzkoff goes line-by-line through the interview to compare West's account with the real thing. While the differences are fairly slight, Itzkoff's account portrays West as combative and emotional, while West's version has him as the victim of media manipulation. Here's one example:

Later, when Mr. West discusses how he feels it is "poetic justice" that both he and Mr. Bush were labeled as racists, footage from Mr. Lauer’s prime-time interview with Mr. Bush begins to play, and this visibly annoys Mr. West. ... "I didn’t need you guys to prompt my emotions," Mr. West tells Mr. Lauer. "I don’t need all the jazz."

Mr. Lauer calmly explains that it is customary to use archival footage in television interviews, and he and Mr. West go on to finish their conversation.

Read the whole thing. The full interview is scheduled for broadcast today.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.