Common performed at the White House’s poetry event Wednesday, despite being called “vile” and a “misogynist” by Fox News and its guests. As the Post’s Dan Zak writes, the criticism over some of the rapper’s lyrics didn’t seem to affect the evening: “The noise of outside outrage didn’t penetrate the relaxed, melodic atmosphere of the East Room, where Common was just another member of a varied cast of poets.”
But just because media figures couldn’t be heard in the White House didn’t mean they stopped speaking.
See Common perform:
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin went on Fox News, calling the White House’s judgement over the invitation “lacking of class and decency and all that’s good about America.” She said the invitation of a rapper who “glorifies cop killing” was especially hurtful considering it is “Police Memorial Week.” Palin denied that this is free speech or rap music issue. She also said she knows the words to “Rapper’s Delight,” but I’m going to need to hear proof of that.
Jon Stewart defended the invitation on last night’s “Daily Show,” saying that Fox News is misinterpreting Common’s poem “Letter to the Law,” which they say is a metaphor for violence against former President George Bush. But does Fox News ever support incendiary rhetoric? Among Stewart’s examples: The network didn’t seem to take issue with Sarah Palin’s trademark line “don’t retreat, reload” and her use of crosshairs on maps of political opponents. And Sean Hannity didn’t condemn Ted Nugent after he told Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to do unpleasant things with his machine gun during a concert.
Stewart was so full of emotion about the controversy he had to rap himself. And you know what? It wasn’t so bad. Maybe he’s hoping for an invitation to next year’s poetry event.