Kanye’s been watching [my] stuff for a while,” Ali Akbar, a former Tea Party operative-turned-MAGA pundit, told me with glee over the weekend, referring to the sudden emergence of Kanye West as a conservative-media celebrity. A month ago, the idea would have seemed absurd: Akbar, who frequently reminds his viewers that he’s black and Arab, is best known for producing videos with far-right conspiracists like Mike Cernovich and Lucian Wintrich, and his lengthy philosophical rants, which he live-streams with the use of an iPad in his home office. Last week, however, amid a stream of pro-Trump tweets, the legendary rapper and cultural behemoth shared two of Akbar’s videos. West’s liberal fans wondered if he was having a public breakdown, or was merely misinformed. The right hailed him as cause célèbre.
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