Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly Debate Common Controversy

The television personalities argue over the rapper's White House appearance.

Posted: 05/17/2011 06:54 PM EDT

The Daily Show host Jon Stewart and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly appeared side-by-side on FOX News' The O'Reilly Factor last night to debate rapper Common's controversial invitation to perform at a White House poetry event last week. 

 

As previously reported, conservatives weren't too happy about the first lady's decision to extend an invitation to Common because of his "controversial lyrics." Although the performance went off without a hitch, it didn't end the debate on whether or not his appearance was appropriate. 

 

The majority of the O'Reilly-Stewart debate focused on particulars. Conservative O'Reilly repeatedly referenced "A Song for Assata," a track the Chicago MC wrote about the convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, who escaped prison in 1979. The song was featured on Common's 2000 album Like Water for Chocolate.

 

"Common traveled to Cuba to meet with someone who was convicted of killing a New Jersey trooper," said O'Reilly, referring to Shakur. "A member of the Black Liberation Army. They found 16 live rounds in her purse." 

 

The left-leaning Stewart's counter was that O'Reilly should be consistent with his marginalization. "Why are you drawing the line at Common?," asked Stwewart. "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 cross hairs when he shouldn't be." 

 

Tonight Stewart and O'Reilly will match wits again to discuss the 2012 Republican presidential candidates. 

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