WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is standing by its decision to invite the rapper Common to participate in a poetry event despite conservative and other criticism that the musician has glorified the killing of police officers with his lyrics.

Spokesman Jay Carney says President Barack Obama has spoken out against violent and misogynistic music lyrics. But Carney also said media reports about Common’s participation in Tuesday night’s East Room event distort what the rapper stands for.

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Carney says Common has earned praise for being a socially conscious rapper. He adds that Obama appreciates Common’s work trying to get children in their Chicago hometown interested in poetry.

Republican strategist Karl Rove and 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin have expressed displeasure at the White House for inviting Common.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.