O’Reilly, Jon Stewart Engage in ‘Common’ Rapper Debate

Tuesday, 17 May 2011 05:26 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Comedy Central fixture Jon Stewart says that, if the rapper known as “Common” had been excluded from a White House appearance, then a whole slew of performers should not have been allowed through the presidential doors. Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly says no one who glorifies police killers should be validated with a White House invitation.
 
The two debated the issue Monday of last week’s invitation by first lady Michelle Obama to the rapper, whose real name is Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., to participate in a White House poetry reading.
 
O’Reilly said the issue is simple: “Common” glorified the convicted killer of a New Jersey state trooper.
 
“They found 16 live rounds in her purse, and this guy thinks she’s great,” Bill O'Reilly said, also expressing outrage that “Common” visited Joanne Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, in Cuba. “‘Common’ wasn’t even born when this crime took place."
 
Chesimard was convicted of murdering State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973, but she escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba. The United States still has a $1 million dollar reward for her capture.
 
Stewart pointed to songs by musicians Bono and Bob Dylan that support convicted murderers and noted that there was no outrage at all when those artists were invited to the White House.

“That is exactly the same. Why are you drawing the line at ‘Common’? There is a selective outrage machine here at Fox that pettifogs, only when it suits the narrative that suits them. This guy is in the crosshairs in a way that he shouldn’t be,” Stewart said. “You may think he’s ignorant in believing that Assata Shakur is innocent.
 
“But then guess what? Bono can’t go to the White House, [Bruce] Springsteen can’t go the White House, Bob Dylan can’t go to the White House,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of people that aren’t allowed to sit in the White House because they’ve written songs about people convicted of murder.”

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