Conservative media loves Kanye West.
In a tweetstorm that stretched more than six hours Wednesday, West upended traditional partisan media stances, if only for a day. And all he had to do was say some nice things about President Donald Trump and wear a MAGA hat.
West has been public about his support for Trump stretching back to 2016. He said at a concert in November of that year that he didn't vote but would have backed Trump if he did.
And the following month, he met with the then-President-elect at Trump Tower. But the reaction to West's tweets, in which he called Trump his "brother" with whom he shares "dragon energy," was different, in part because Trump himself weighed in, retweeting two of them.
The coverage of the tweets Wednesday on the right was glowing. West led the Drudge Report, Sean Hannity called it "a new political landscape in America," and Breitbart posted 11 photos about West's tweets and other related ones on Instagram in 24 hours. One by one, Fox News hosts read the words "dragon energy" as his tweets were displayed on screen through the evening. It echoed conservative media's response to the first episode of "Roseanne," a celebration of the rare Trump supporter in mainstream pop culture. "Shut up and dribble," this was not.
West isn't a typical conservative hero. He famously went off-script in 2005 during a nationally televised Hurricane Katrina fundraiser and said then-President George W. Bush "doesn't care about black people." He attended March For Our Lives. As he himself tweeted, he doesn't consider himself Republican, he doesn't agree with "everything Trump does," and he loves Hillary Clinton too. And some of his lyrics are explicit, the type that could have ended up in a Laura Ingraham segment about how rap is anti-women. So West's quick embrace by conservative media suggests its dismissal of celebrity political opinions as disingenuous, applicable only when the said celebrity is liberal.
It was the former reality TV star Trump who boasted he didn't need J.Lo or Jay-Z to attract a crowd during the campaign, and who tweeted he wanted people and not celebrities to attend his inauguration. In actuality, Trump has had trouble attracting famous supporters. But when they come, both he and conservative media are happy to have them. "Very cool," he tweeted Wednesday.