Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

The Joe Wilson/Kanye West connection


Our political and pop culture worlds converged this week in a rather unique way. During President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress last week on health care, Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina yelled "You lie!" after Obama stated that the health care reforms he was proposing wouldn't apply to illegal immigrants. It was a remarkable outburst in a chamber that doesn't get as raucous as foreign bodies like the United Kingdom's House of Commons, where this wouldn't likely result in raised eyebrows.

The trend of major public outbursts continued Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards when, as country/pop singer Taylor Swift accepted her award for Best Female Video, Kanye West stormed the stage and said that, while he was happy for Swift, Beyonce had one of the best videos ever (with her hit song "Single Ladies"). Beyonce would go on to win best video later in the night, making Kanye's comments seem even less classy. Kanye left the stage to boos and has been apologizing ever since, on his blog, on the Tonight Show, to Taylor Swift, and probably wherever you see him next.

Bringing us full circle back to the political realm, President Obama made an off-the-record comment during an interview with CNBC where he called Kanye West a "jackass" for what he did at the awards show. The reason why we know about this is thanks to the wonderful world of new media, in particular Twitter, as ABC reporter Terry Moran tweeted "Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a 'jackass' for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT'S presidential." ABC joined Kanye West in the world of apologies, apologizing for the comment getting out thanks to their reporter. There hasn't been much of an uproar over Obama's comment, probably because most people who saw what Kanye did agree with the president about that, if nothing else.

Photo: Christopher Polk/Getty Images

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