What began on Sunday as a snafu – Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards – has escalated into a Web-wide conversation on the usefulness of Twitter and the state of presidential politics in the YouTube age.
First, some back-story: On Monday, just as discussion of the West/Swift incident was really getting started, President Barack Obama sat for an interview with CNBC. Quite reasonably, Obama assumed anything he said was off the record. So when asked about West, Obama dispensed a short critique of the rapper's behavior.
"I thought that was really inappropriate. It was like, she was getting an award, why are you butting in? I hear you," Obama said to a small group of reporters. "I agree with you. The young lady seems like a perfectly nice person, she's getting her award, what is he doing up there?"
Next, he offered up a sobriquet not fit for print in a family publication. "Cut the president some slack," Obama joked a few seconds later, perhaps worried the press would run with the remarks. "I've got a lot of other stuff on my plate," he said.
But ABC reporter Terry Moran, who was apparently listening in on the feed, did not cut the president any slack.