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In newly released interview with Kanye West, a Jewish podcaster fails to elicit remorse for antisemitism

The artist known as Ye repeated antisemitic tropes and refused to back down as he spoke to Jewish MIT professor Lex Fridman

A Jewish podcast host Tuesday released a 2 1/2 hour interview with Kanye West in which he pushes back as the rapper continues to rail against Jews, but elicits no remorse.

Lex Fridman, who was born in Russia and teaches artificial intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is perhaps better known for his podcasts, in which he often interviews controversial newsmakers including Elon Musk, Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson.

Fridman recorded the interview on Oct. 19, well into the rapper’s recent tirades against Jews. He released the podcast on Tuesday, the same day that Adidas, amid public pressure, became the latest of numerous companies to sever ties with West.

Similar to West’s rambling interview on the podcast “Drink Champs,” which has since been removed from many platforms, West’s conversation with Fridman repeated numerous antisemitic falsehoods about Jewish control of the media and medicine. West, who legally changed his name to Ye, once again blamed Jews for a “Holocaust” against Black Americans.

“It’s genocide and population control that Black people are in today in America that is promoted by the music and media that Black people make that Jewish record labels get paid off of,” West said. 

Fridman, who did not respond to a request for comment, tried several times over the course of the interview to counter West’s antisemitism.   

When West told Fridman he believed the phrase “Jewish media” was “redundant,” Fridman replied that this was akin to something Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels would say. West changed the subject.

When West claimed that 90% of Black people in entertainment “are in some way tied to Jewish businesspeople,” Fridman said the statement was “a dog whistle” that could have harmful consequences.

“When you say Jewish media or Jews are controlling the voice of Black artists,” angry people may act on it, Fridman said. “When they hear Jewish media, that hate starts being directed to the Jewish people.”

West refused to apologize, saying “Where’s our apology?”

Fridman urged West to “call out individuals” rather than demonize a group in broad strokes, saying: “Don’t call them Jews, call them by their name and start a war against those individuals.”

West then compared himself to a rape victim who says she hates men, and later blamed a Jewish doctor and a Jewish personal trainer who treated him for divulging his medical issues to journalists, accusations he did not back up.

On social media, many praised West’s remarks. Others praised Fridman for calling him out. And some wondered why Fridman would give more air time to West.

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