Jon Stewart, O’Reilly Debate Over Common [VIDEO]

Common: A poet worthy of notice and respect or a menacing gangster rapper that wants to kill cops? While the question may seem ridiculous, these were the terms of a debate last night (May 16) between talk show hosts Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly in the midst of an ongoing conservative firestorm started after Com was invited to the White House to perform at a poetry slam.

Sarah Palin, taking to Fox News and the Internet, ignited the campaign last week, saying the invite was “lacking of class and decency.” As Fox News went into overdrive, rappers like Talib Kweli and Bun B used Twitter to openly defend the rapper/actor and mock the distortion of his image by conservatives.

Stewart and O’Reilly attempted to come to a final conclusion over whether the Chicago-native’s performance was appropriate or not in a segment that began airing last night on The O’Reilly Factor.

“It’s a poetry slam,” said Stewart. “Who gives a crap?”

“A lot of people do,” O’Reilly responded.

Throughout the debate, Stewart returned to the point that, if you dismiss Common for having lyrics that are critical of government bodies, then the White House should not be allowed to have guests such as Bono and Bob Dylan. (U2 wrote “Native Son” about Native American activist and convicted FBI murderer Leonard Peltier, while Dylan’s hit “Hurricane Carter” was about boxer Rubin Carter, who was wrongly jailed for a triple homicide). O’Reilly stuck to more controversial points, saying Common had been “sympathizing with two cop killers.”

The debate, while substantial, was mostly for entertainment, though. Its most amusing moment came as Stewart made a point about the danger of interpreting songs in a literal sense.

“By the way, songs are not literal,” he said. “When The Weather Girls sing, ‘It’s raining men,’ it’s not really about precipitation of males.”

“Stop attacking The Weather Girls,” O’Reilly deadpanned. “I like them.”

Part two of the debate will air tonight. —Carter Maness

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  • ticnitty706

    Stewart killed that lame with realness and research. Ignorance is truly bliss. Common did a little over one minute poem and they are sounding the alarms like this? I may can see if they had Ice- T or Willie D at the whitehouse but Common? LMAO!

    • Mr. 306

      Exactly. Common may be the one MC i’d show my grandma. No disrespect to Common but he’s generally pretty gentle on the mic.


    Great debate. just look at how stupid o’reily sounds BUT please beliee he has a strong following of people who think he is on point with is agrument.

  • McCody


  • MIYA

    The sad thing is theres actually people that believe O’reilly. Respect to Stewart for standing up to that fool. Id recommend people to watch the clip of Stewart clowning Fox on The Daily Show.

    • ROBD916

      how is that sad that people might be upset that common was invited to the white house?? u really have no idea why people might be upset? really?? as much as i hate him i thot stewart brought up some good points and i thot he was well prepared and as to the clip of stewart clowning on fox i thot that was the most unintellectual attempt at a diss that i have ever seen

      • Bill Bisgby

        You just said the exact same thing the other person said, genius.

        • ROBD916

          other person? wut the fuk are u even talkin bout bro

  • Naomi

    I admire Stewart for being able to hold a pretty civil debate with people like O’Reilly while being able to maintain his cool throughout the conversation. My head would explode.

  • kam

    new found repect for jon stewart

  • Shawty J

    I love Bill O’s argument that by going to the White House this “elevates” Common. By Fox News crafting overblown stories about him and thus generating attention for him is going to be what “elevates” him.

  • Steve

    Common is one of the most respected MC’s and artists in today’s music industry and not only that he is a very genuine and respectable man in the world. Fox just finds petty stuff and is the most controlled news source I have every laid eyes on. People all over the world laugh at this man and this lame excuse for a news station. Not only do i pity O’Reilly but I become even more disgusted to the uneducated or close minded arrogant people that listen to these baboons

    • Nigga Black

      Damn! Were you under the desk fighting with common over who could suck off Jon Stewart the longest?
      I’m not surprised you don’t like Fox. you pwabley hate it when mommy changes the channel over from Dora the explorer!

      • mac

        was that while you were under bill o’reillys desk sucking him off?


    I never thought Nas’s “Sly Fox” record would be Incredibly True. We all know Fox News and O’Reily are a bunch of two headed snakes. As Nas says “O’Reily, Oh really no rally needed I’ll tie you up”

  • Uncle B

    One thing that doesn’t need to be debated is how ignorant Bill O’Reily is.

  • Nigga Black


  • mac

    why is it a big deal that common went to the white house and not any of those other artists? to make obama and aa culture look bad. fuckin propaganda. i always find myself watching these clips of o’riely shaking my head, thinking i cant believe theres still racist fucks like this dude out there.