''There Is Selective Outrage Here''
6:00AM ET May 17th, 2011
Contributor : Hip Hop Blog Staff
A Rocky Williform Company
Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart finally had their debate over rapper/actor Common's appearance at the White House last week. The pair went back and forth during a special "The O'Reilly Factor" dedicated specifically to Common and his appearance.
Several right-wing pundits had an issue with Common being invited, claiming he supported cop killing by recording a song in 2000 dedicated to Assata Shakur, who, in a highly-controversial trial, was convicted of shooting a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. Shakur escaped from prison and lives in exile in Cuba.
"They found 16 live rounds in her purse, and this guy thinks she's great," Bill O'Reilly said. "Common wasn't even born when this crime took place."
"I can't speak for him, because I'm not him. I can rap, I rapped on the show, I think it was impressive," Jon Stewart said. "You are saying that he is promoting cop killing. What I think he's doing is not celebrating, but honoring someone he thinks was wrongly convicted of cop killing."
"I think he's not defined as an artist by this Assata Shakur case. It isn't that big in his career as you think it is," Stewart added. He also reminded O'Reilly that Bono of U2 ("Native Son") Bob Dylan ("Hurricane Carter") had both written songs that 'supported' convicted murderers, yet there was no controversy when they were invited to the White House previously.
"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 argued. "You may think he's ignorant in believing that Assata Shakur is ignorant. You may think he's ignorant in believing that Mumia [Abu-Jamal] is. 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. 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."