Taylor vs. Kimye press conference

Gabby Birenbaum pays close attention to Brian's defense to try and find a hole in his argument. Photo by Marc Chappelle.

Gabby Birenbaum pays close attention to Brian Meller’s defense to find a hole in his argument. Photo by Marc Chappelle.

When Kim Kardashian “exposed” Taylor Swift’s knowledge about Kanye West’s song “Famous,” Twitter broke into debate. As any young professional journalist would do, I decided to hold a press conference in our dorm’s main lounge to inform people about the issue.

Ever since I heard Taylor Swift on the radio in middle school, I have loved her. Something about her awkward dancing at award shows makes me feel like she is my best friend. Whenever she is attacked for having too many boyfriends or being too “good,” I feel an urge to defend her. So it is no surprise that my friends come to me when they have questions about the latest accusations against her.

The Kardashian and West (“Kimye”) scandal was no different. I received numerous text messages and my floor asked me to explain what happened. When I posted in the group that I would be holding a press conference, I immediately received backlash for supporting Taylor. I knew it would be important to have both sides of the argument. So I invited Gabby Birenbaum and Marissa Martinez, who both supported Kimye, to speak with me on the panel.

Even with my expertise in Taylor Swift facts, I was nervous before the press conference started because of my fierce competition. Gabby and Marissa were very adamant about their positions — they had the backing of the people. Gabby is almost as passionate about the Kardashians as I am about Taylor. So there was a lot of knowledge on the panel. It was easy to assume that Taylor was wrong without prior knowledge of the situation because the video recording Kim released confirmed that Taylor had a phone call with Kanye where he warned her she would be featured in his song.

Program director Roger Boye would have been proud. The press conference was balanced and professional. The three of us broke down the history of the feud going all the way back to 2009. We did so with as little bias as possible, which was impressive considering our strong allegiances to Taylor and Kim. After, we expressed our opinions.

Taylor had clearly addressed the phone call in a press release from months before, but that is beside the point. I didn’t win over enough people who were adamantly against Taylor, but my arguments were strong, and we all had a great time. Having a fake press conference where everyone was required to raise their hands and say a publication name is a prime example of the kind of nerdy journalism fun we have at the Medill cherub program.

My interest in music, movies and TV, which draws me to journalism, stems from the Taylor Swift obsession I developed as a tween. Although the subject was silly, the press conference allowed us to take a fun break from one of our many busy days. Before the program, I wasn’t sure how my interest in pop culture would help me in life, but now I know it can be more than just a hobby.