Pro-Trump Pundits Embrace Kanye West After Rapper Takes Apparent Right-Wing Turn

Rapper Kanye West was once the bane of reactionary pundits. He famously told the audience of a Hurricane Katrina charity telethon that "George Bush doesn't care about black people," and his flamboyant persona—coupled with an apparent willingness to disrupt awards shows—has frequently made him the target of right-leaning cultural critics, who often depicted him as a bombastic narcissist.

But West's status within that community has been boosted steadily in recent years at the same time that left-leaning fans have become more skeptical of his politics. First, West appeared to support the election of Trump during a wild onstage rant at a concert in Sacramento, California, just days after the election. West even met with then-President-elect Trump in December of 2016 at Trump Tower in New York City, drawing ire from left-leaning fans.

Those episodes faded into the background for a while but resurfaced in a major way over the weekend and into Monday.

West wrote glowingly of anti-Black Lives Matter commentator Candace Owens on Twitter, saying that he likes the way she thinks. Then, on Monday, he posted not one or two—but nine—different video clips of Dilbert-creator turned pro-Trump self-help guru Scott Adams. Also on Monday, West apparently reaffirmed his love of Trump on multiple occasions in a conversation with radio host Ebro Darden.

Right-wing pundits—ranging from conservatives like Ben Shapiro to the conspiracy peddlers at InfoWars—embraced West in a big way following his apparent embrace of the right. Many of them had expressed criticism of the rapper in the past.

"I admire your bold moves against the thought police. And if you want to see these control-freak vampires really go crazy, please join me on my broadcast!" InfoWars head Alex Jones wrote about the rapper.

In 2015, Jones published articles with headlines describing West as a "microcosm of America's degeneration."

Conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly, who has long been a critic of rap music and pop culture in a much broader sense, wrote in defense of West that he "finds himself under attack by the American Stalinists," referring to the blowback he had received from fans.

Kanye West finds himself under attack by the American Stalinists. Please read my column posted right now on about the attack crew. Frightening. I’ll deal with Mr. West tomorrow.

— Bill O'Reilly (@BillOReilly) April 22, 2018

Ben Shapiro, another past critic of West, wrote on Sunday that he was excited for West to tweet out "facts don't care about your feelings," referring to his own self-styled catchphrase.

So excited for him to tweet “facts don’t care about your feelings”

— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 22, 2018

James Woods, the actor and Trump promoter, called West a "sage" and endorsed his music.

"So #Kanye leaves the public arena and returns a sage! Who could have imagined this? I love his music. Now he's my new guru!" Woods wrote.

So #Kanye leaves the public arena and returns a sage! Who could have imagined this? I love his music. Now he’s my new guru!

— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) April 23, 2018

And pro-Trump social media personality Mike Cernovich wrote that West's recent statements were part of a "negotiation" with Trump supporters, and suggested that they should give him something in return.

"Right now there's a Negotiation happening, you can feel it," Cernovich wrote on Twitter. "Kanye has reached out. Energy requires balance. Will Trump supporters say what needs to be said? Let Colin Kaepernick play."

It's not clear, however, that West wants the quarterback turned activist to be signed by any football team, or that Trump supporters would have any influence in making that happen even if he did. Cernovich also wrote that reality had been "ripped open" by Kanye's endorsement of Scott Adams' videos.