Common’s Performance at the White House Poetry Night
Rapper/Poet Common performed for President Obama and the First Lady during Poets at the White House.
Stewart vs. O’Reilly on Rapper Common
Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart debate the issue of inviting the rapper, “Common”, to the White House. Aired 5/16/2011.
O’Reilly and Stewart Argue About Common
In an atmosphere thick with political differences, cable TV giants, Bill O’Reilly and Jon Stewart, went head-to-head this week over the invitation of rapper Common to a White House poetry reading.
O’REILLY: “Common traveled to Cuba to meet with who was convicted of killing a New Jersey State Trooper. Common said, ‘Damn this was someone who fought for my freedom.’ This was a cop killer, a woman who gunned down along with two other accomplices, a woman who was a member of the black liberation army, a woman who they found sixteen live rounds in her purse and this guy thinks she’s great.”
Stewart found that a little over the top and countered with another likely reason for Common’s lyrics.
STEWART: “What I think he is doing is not celebrating cop killing but honoring someone he thinks was wrongly convicted of cop killing. I think he believes she was convicted unjustly.”
The two exchanged quips in a debate that made for great TV — but The Baltimore Sun’s Mike Sragow says Stewart was the clear winner.
“Bill O’Reilly … [has] never learned what my father taught me: that when you raise your voice you lose an argument. O’Reilly blustered while Stewart smiled and joked and quipped his way to victory…”
But The Christian Science Monitor writes — the real winner — was advertisers.
“Ratings go up whenever this pair is on screen together. They’re like Starsky and Hutch, Felix and Oscar, or Seals and Crofts– an odd-couple duo that somehow works.”
Stewart blasted Fox News for what he called “selective outrage.” A writer for Hyper Vocal says it’s good to see a so-called “pretty fair discussion” – but wishes the topic of debate would have been more substantial.
“Even if it’s not policy wonk stuff, at least let it be more consequential than a rapper’s invitation to the White House, days after the dude made his appearance. It’s over, move on.”
Though the debate may have been heated and punches may have been thrown the TV personalities ended the night on a friendly note.
“Later on in the program O’Reilly said that Stewart was a gentleman for coming on his show and even said he was funnier than most liberals.” (CBS)
Rapper Common Performs At White House Poetry Night
The White House is under fire for what many are calling a controversial guest list for the “An Evening of Poetry” event at the president’s pad Wednesday night. One of the guests of honor is Common – a rapper some call a socially conscious hip-hop artist, but others call a thug.
Fox News is taking the lead against the rapper — calling him out for his lyrics attacking President Bush and his past performance during President Obama’s campaign.
“Although Common dropped the n-word from the songs that he performed at the presidential event last year he decided not to alter some of the most sexually explicit lines in his songs so I wonder if that’s the type of family entertainment that he plans to provide tomorrow night at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”
“I’ve heard Michelle Obama say this, and I think rightfully so. This is the people’s house, right? You want to bring respect you want to elevate people when you do this okay. So, here’s an opportunity. This is no Robert Frost, this is no Maya Angelou, this moment that is happening tomorrow night.”
But it’s not just Fox against the guest rapper — politicians and police officers alike are also taking a whack. DailyMail reports one of Common’s songs includes lyrics that celebrate a former Black Panther who killed a New Jersey Police Officer. This upset President of the State Troopers Fraternal Association – David Jones. DailyMail adds:
“Mr. Jones said he was particularly upset at the timing of the event, which coincides with Police Week, which includes a memorial service in Washington DC for fallen officers.”
But the White House is backing Common’s invitation, saying President Obama does not support the controversial lyrics but appreciates his conscious brand of rap. A Baltimore Sun blogger adds the critics too, should give Common a chance.
“Common assumes a stage persona and is doing a form of acting while rapping… Also nevermind that, as rap goes, Common’s lyrics are often among the least offensive and sometimes the most thoughtful. The Obama administration could have invited someone much more profane, such as, say, Grammy-winner Eminem.”
A Washington Post blogger pokes a little fun at all the drama – calling out the rest of the invitees.
“But if we’re getting upset about tonight’s invitees, let’s not exclude the rest of the list: Billy Collins, Elizabeth Alexander, Rita Dove, Kenneth Goldsmith, Alison Knowles, Aimee Mann and Jill Scott? Can you believe these people? All anti-American, misogynistic, anti-cop, anti-disestablishmentarianists!”