It’s a gift. Or to quote a famous seer, you punch up, not down.

Yes, despite Jimmy being on ABC, Kanye West is a much bigger star than Kimmel. In the old days, network television made you a king. Today, a rotund Korean pop star can be much more famous as a result of many more views on YouTube. That’s the dirty little secret of late night television…very few are watching. In a world of DVRs and Netflix, do you really want to see a tired format wherein everybody on the tube imitates what David Letterman invented thirty years ago, even Dave himself?


Credit Jimmy Fallon. He’s a mediocre interviewer at best. But he’s got the Roots as a band, and is constantly pushing the envelope with innovative skits.

But Kimmel was there first. When you’re nobody, you’ve got to take chances. Never a comedian, most famous for being Ben Stein’s sidekick, Jimmy Kimmel was not running his show on autopilot, but trying to figure out how to gain fame, and unlike his aged brethren he realized it was all about the Internet, about YouTube, whilst other outlets were busy issuing takedown notices, Jimmy was making content especially for YouTube, and gaining traction as a result.

Testing limits. That’s the only way you can go viral. Furthermore, since Jimmy is playing every day, he can afford to take shots, he can afford to make mistakes.

So he does a riff and a clip about Kanye West.

And unfortunately, Kimmel is right, Kanye comes across in the interview as someone completely out of touch with the public’s perception of him. That’s what happens when you live in a bubble and are surrounded by yes-people. You think you’re always right and your feces don’t stink.

So Kimmel points this out and Kanye goes nuclear!

Big mistake. This is Jimmy Kimmel’s wet dream, what he’s wishin’ and hopin’ for, one of the world’s biggest pop stars has singled him out for attention. In the process, Jimmy gets bigger and Kanye gets smaller.

The virality is just beginning. And Jimmy has already won the war. Because he’s got a sense of humor about himself. He realizes it’s all irrelevant. Why didn’t Kanye realize that tomorrow Kimmel would make fun of someone else and the clip would disappear? Instead, he poured gasoline on the fire. Calling Kimmel to complain. Effectively threatening him.

Oh that works. That’s like hurling invective online. An endless pissing match.

But usually it’s nobodies, not somebodies.

How does Kanye win here? Has he not seen “House Of Cards”? You win through thought, you utilize your advantages to exact your desire. You can’t change what’s past, you can only get even.

Taylor Swift writes songs about her exes. (If you’re young, male and virile, I’d run away. She’s got to have a hard time getting a date, at least with somebody reasonable.)

Kanye could write a song about Kimmel. Even better, he could exert pressure amongst his friends not to appear. You act behind the scenes, you leave no trail, you don’t criticize in public unless you’ve got no fear of appearing a buffoon.

Which Kanye does here.

I just don’t get it. He’s got a baby with Kim Kardashian, who comes from a family that specializes in media manipulation. Hasn’t any of it rubbed off on him? They all know they’re famous for nothing. Except for momager Kris, who suddenly is taking umbrage and pontificating about issues outside her wheelhouse. You’re a well-paid media manipulator, that’s all!

You’ve got to know who you are. Especially in this connected era, where we not only want to talk about you, but bring you down to our level. Yup, that’s what the 1% doesn’t realize, sure, we want to be you, but mostly we hate you, because we realize the game is rigged and we can never ascend the ladder.

So if you’re smart, you stay out of the fray. Rich people should never ever talk to the media, unless their job demands it. Bankers, lawyers before them, their professions have been eternally tarnished by the inane things they’ve said. Now pop stars have specialized in saying stupid stuff. But they must speak to the media to gain traction. Then again, you can speak in a controlled fashion online these days, you don’t need the media as much as you used to. But if you’re gonna talk, think about the consequences, know that show business is high school with money, someone’s always looking to take you down.

So Kimmel’s got a long term contract and a video that goes viral, making his bosses applaud him as he continues to make bank for them day after day.

Kanye’s riding a stiff album, and we all know it’s so hard to come back from failure or what looks like loss.

So who’s the winner here?

Jimmy Kimmel, no contest.

P.S. But Kimmel is just an entertainer. Want to be a legend, speak truth. But most legends don’t speak to the media at all, or fabricate, like Bob Dylan, or control access and results like so many movie stars. If Kanye West thinks he can break the paradigm, he probably believes he can release an album in 2013 without a hit single and anybody will care. We saw how that worked out.

“‘We Are At Def-Kanye Five’: Jimmy Kimmel Reveals How Kanye West Threatened Him During ‘Angry Phone Call,’ Demanded Apology Over Skit”

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