Rapper and actor Common’s recent invitation to perform at the White House fueled a heated debate last night between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly. The Daily Show host was invited on The O’Reilly Factor for the sole purpose of discussing Common’s lyrics. During the interview the Stewart defended Common and accused Fox News of being “a selective outrage machine…that pettifogs [an issue] only when it suits the narrative that suits them.”
The Obama administration took some heat last week after inviting the hip-hop artist Common to perform in a poetry reading at the White House. Conservatives did not agree with Obama’s move to invite the Grammy Award winning artist to participate, because Common has defended convicted cop-killer and Black Panther member Assata Shakur in some of his lyrics.
WATCH ‘MORNING JOE’ COVERAGE OF THEIR DEBATE:
O’Reilly argued, “when a president invites someone [to the White House]…the résumé has to be put in front of them and they have to select people who are almost unimpeachable, because they are getting that honor of going to the White House.”
Stewart said that if the White House were to hold the standard of not permitting artist who supported someone that was convicted crimes against police officers, it would also have to shun legends like Bono, Bob Dylan, and Bruce Springsteen — all of whom have written songs about people who have been convicted for killing cops.
“Guess who wrote a song about Leonard Peltier? Bono. Guess where he was?! The White House. Booyah! That’s a rap word,” said Stewart.
According to USA Today the rapper himself was likely aware that he was the motivation behind last night’s talk show host face off. “Sooooo…is anything good on tv tonight?” tweeted Common.