Employing unprofessional speculation, reporters Katie Rogers and Joe Coscarelli hinted in the New York Times that famously flaky rapper Kanye West’s Twitter admiration, if not full support, for President Trump was related to incipient mental illness: “‘Dragon Energy’ For Trump and Rapper.”
It’s uncertain which reporter contributed that tasteless speculation, since both have authored petty, puzzling, conspiratorial stories in the past, with music writer Coscarelli wondering in February 2017, “Was Beyonce Robbed of Best Album?" by the "white, traditionalist" singer Adele. Rogers made the front page in August by mocking Trump’s D.C. hotel and his family’s eating habits.
As crazy as it seems -- though in this world, that’s a high bar -- the mercurial president accused of racist comments and the bombastic rapper accused of supporting him have long seemed to enjoy each other’s company.
It’s as if the liberal press and Twitterati truly think it’s verboten for one solitary member of the fame class to voice any positive thought toward a candidate of one of the two major U.S. parties who earned 63 million votes on the way to winning the country’s presidency. Chance the Rapper, a friend of West, had to remind everyone that “Black People don’t have to be Democrats.”
In a string of tweets that seemed to outrage and concern his fans, Mr. West tried to defend his admiration for the president from “the mob” of people who “can’t make me not love him.”
But the tweets caused bedlam among Mr. West’s fans. They had begun debating his mental stability earlier Wednesday after the rapper confirmed that he had parted ways with his manager and then called the president, who has made a series of racially divisive statements, his “brother.”
Given the context, the positive relationship Mr. West enjoys with Mr. Trump is glaring, particularly because Mr. West has been vocal about how past presidents handled relations with African-Americans.
Mr. West once accused President George W. Bush on live television of not caring about black people, and he openly criticized President Barack Obama, who repeatedly called the rapper a “jackass.”
Mr. Trump, who has used vulgar language to disparage a number of majority-black communities and countries, has not been the subject of Mr. West’s critiques.
Mr. West has long appeared to be fascinated with the possibilities of the presidential platform: In 2015, he seemed to enjoy provoking the public into believing he was interested in a 2020 run. And in December 2016, after he was hospitalized for a “psychiatric emergency,” Mr. West visited Mr. Trump, then the president-elect, at Trump Tower in Manhattan....
The bond between the two -- and speculation over Mr. West’s mental health -- apparently alarmed his wife, Kim Kardashian West, who was a vocal supporter of the Clinton campaign and has openly criticized Mr. Trump’s handling of major events, including hurricane response in Puerto Rico.
Still, those in the rapper’s orbit expressed concern for his well-being because Mr. West’s online interaction with the president came as he acknowledged that he had fired his manager, Scooter Braun, and his lawyers, writing on Twitter: “I no longer have a manager. I can’t be managed.”
Mr. West’s recent flurry of activity followed more than a year of public silence since an episode in November 2016, when he was hospitalized. Just prior, while on a tour that would soon be canceled, the rapper had begun expressing an affinity for Mr. Trump, and when he resurfaced the next month, it was to meet with the new president-elect.
The reporters even nitpicked misspellings in West’s Twitter feed, misspellings apparently never happening on Twitter before.