Stop The Presses!

Nov. 8-14: Kanye West Takes On ‘Today’ In Latest Feud

Stop The Presses!

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This week, we learnedsomething about Kanye West. The defiant rapper who has made a name for himselfstaging interruptions at award shows and telethons can't take the heat.

When West taped an appearanceon "Today" Tuesday, he was infuriated with the program producers whoplayed clips of President George W. Bush and Taylor Swift as he discussed them.

In response, an annoyed Westannounced Thursday that he was canceling his "Today" performance scheduledfor Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving, and week of the release of his anticipated album, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy."

"I'm not performing on theToday Show for obvious reasons," West wrote on his Twitter page. "I'm so happythe world got to see just a small piece of 'the set up'".

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Kanye later expressed his disdainfor his treatment on the show and said he forgave them. "All positive energy ...all smiles," he wrote. "Much love to Matt and the whole Today Show. I acceptya'll future apology in advance LOL!"

While reacting to Bush's statementthat West's post-Hurricane Katrina "George Bush doesn't care about blackpeople" comment was the lowest moment of his presidency, "Today" ran interviewfootage of Bush, prompting West to complain.

"I didn't need you guys toplay the tape in order to prompt my emotion to what I'm going to say," West said.

And the tense energy ensuedwhen "Today" ran footage of West and Swift's MTV encounter duringWest's reflection on that moment.

"Yo, how am I supposed totalk if you're going to run the thing in the middle while I'm talking?" Westsaid. "Please don't let that happen again. It's, like, ridiculous."

Before Thursday's broadcast,Lauer explained that the practice of running related footage was customary."During an interview, when somebody references a place or an event, we run thetape. There was nothing inappropriate about it. We do it all the time," Lauersaid.

Spokespeople for NBC had not responded at press time to Yahoo! Music's inquiries to confirm thecancellation of West's Nov. 26 performance. However, on Friday, West's record label confirmed the schedule change with the Associated Press.

West has already suffered losses from his actions this week. According to the New York Post, thedamage-control media trainer West hired specifically to prepare West for the "Today" interview resigned after the debacle.

But perhaps the biggest impact will be on West's pocketbook. Pulling out of the "Today"Black Friday episode creates an incredible missed opportunity forWest. Performing live on a network TV morning show during the week of the album's release would have exposed West to consumers outside his typical MTV demographic -- consumers who are eager to shop and spend money on the biggest retail sales day of the year.

Last month, Taylor Swift set arecord for selling more than a million copies of her latest album, "Speak Now."Performing on "Today" on Nov. 26 could have helped West pass Swift's mark and even won him more public sympathy.

We have a feeling West andthe "Today" team will make amends by Nov. 26. Neither West nor NBC wouldwant to miss out on capturing such an engaged audience. The marketing isalready done. We are setting our recorders now.

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In other news this week,Oprah visited the Jacksonestate to talk to Michael Jackson's parents and children. Rumors surfaced thatpop singer Pink was pregnant. Gwyneth Paltrow sang live at the Country MusicAwards, and Rihanna set another chart record.

But let's thank Kanye West forkeeping it interesting. His "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" album will be out soonso we're sure there is plenty more sensationalistic news to come. See you nextweek.


1) Imma Let You Finish -- "Today" interrupts Kanye

2) Inside Edition -- MichaelJacksons children and parents appear on Oprah

3) Threes Company -- Rihannascores third No. 1 hit this year

4) Mama Marmalade -- Is Pinkpregnant?

5) She's A Little Bit Country -- Gwyneth Paltrow performs at CMAs


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