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Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart, two stand-up guys

Written By mista sense on Monday, May 16, 2011 | 6:15 PM

Jon Stewart was a guest on Bill O'Reilly's "The O"Reilly Factor" tonight, and as Bernie Goldberg said later, it was "Godzilla vs. King Kong."   The subject, of course, was the rapper Common, and whether or not it was appropriate for the Obama White House to invite him to a poetry reading.  And in the interview, Stewart gave probably better than he got, which is a tribute to his own debating skills, but is also, at the same time, a tribute to the willingness of O'Reilly, and Fox, to entertain every viewpoint and opinion. 

As Cable Gamers know, Common is controversial--even execrable--for his song defending Joanne Chesimard, aka, "Assata Shakur," who murdered a New Jersey cop back in 1973.   And surely the Obama White House realizes that it made a mistake in inviting Common to the White House; inded, the invite was especially hideous, as it came during National Police Week.

Yet fortunately for Barack and Michelle Obama, they have their cadre of supporters in the media, including Stewart.  Indeed, Stewart was willing, even, to go on "The Factor" to state his case, claiming, thinly, that Common must truly think that Chesimard/Shakur is innocent--a position held by virtually no expert.

Bill let him have it, of course, and Stewart gave it right back, pointing out that other performers who had written songs about cop-kilers had been invited to the White House, including Bono and Bob Dylan.   Where was the outrage to those artists, Stewart wanted to know.  And that's a good point.

The issue, Stewart said, was the “selective outrage machine at Fox” that singled out Common.

Perhaps O'Reilly should have mentioned Common's other songs, including the one in which he seemingly threatened to kill George W. Bush--that could have been a game-changer during the debate.   Oh well, perhaps another time.

After Stewart came a segment with Bill and Bernie, who adjudicated the shootout as pretty much a tie.  Indeed, Goldberg even brought up the blind spot that some on the right have for conservative performers who have gotten out of line in their words, such as Ted Nugent.   In other words, no fear nor favor on the part of Bill's guest.

In closing, Bill said that Stewart was "a gentleman, and I respect that."

And it all adds up, as O'Reilly said of Fox News, to a “vibrant network that wins."  Indeed.

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