Not a member? Sign up now
On Monday night's O'Reilly Factor, Jon Stewart returned to the no-spin zone, at Bill O'Reilly's invitation, to engage in a civil sparring match over the recent "nontroversy" surrounding rapper Common's invitation to a White House poetry reading. Critics, including O'Reilly, had a problem with the rapper and his "inflammatory" lyrics, because he's a scary hood rat who was in N.W.A. or something, right? I wonder why no one made a stink when Common performed at the Obama Home States Inaugural Ball back in 2009?
So Stewart had to make the case, and point out the distinction, that Common, in previous lyrics, was not celebrating convicted cop-killers Mumia Abu-Jamal and Assata Shakur, but rather perhaps "honoring someone who he thinks was wrongly convicted of cop-killing." To this point, O'Reilly sarcastically and rhetorically asked, "Is this Perry Mason we're talking about now? Is this the most brilliant lawyer of all time?"
Then Stewart made the point which clinched the debate when he brought up Leonard Peltier, the Native-American activist convicted of killing two FBI agents, and subject of U2's "Native Son." The song was written by Bono, who's visited the White House more than once. O'Reilly weakly accused Stewart of "pettifogging the issue," but Stewart exclaimed, "Boo-yah!" and was off and running. He cited Bob Dylan (White House visitor), who wrote "Hurricane" about boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, wrongly convicted of a triple murder. You see where this is going?
Stewart then stated, "There is a selective outrage machine here at Fox that pettifogs only when it suits the narrative that suits them." O'Reilly countered by mentioning a trip that Common had made to Cuba (almost as bad as San Francisco), and trying to lump him in with Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright. I'm surprised he didn't accuse Common of being a communist. Finally, Stewart dismissed the absurdity of the whole flap and asked that O'Reilly join him in promoting the reinstatement of the assault-weapon ban, as part of National Police Week, "because that doesn't celebrate killing cops metaphorically, or figuratively, it tries to get weapons that kill cops literally, off the streets."