Following the day-long freakout by Fox over hip-hop artist Common being invited to the White House for a poetry event, Fox was finally confronted by a guest who exposed the right-wing media's abject hypocrisy over the issue. Fox's supposed outrage apparently stems from Common lyrics it views as “controversial” and his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, President Obama's former pastor. Common, who is from Chicago, has said he's known Wright since he was a child from attending Trinity Church there.
But when guest Keli Goff, a political analyst and contributing editor for TheLoop21.com, pointed out during tonight's On the Record that conservatives have embraced artists like Kid Rock -- whose offensive lyrics haven't kept Sarah Palin from praising him -- Fox's outrage was exposed for what it is: selective and decidedly hypocritical.
During a segment about the Common invitation, guest host Martha MacCallum said the invitation was “disturbing on a lot of levels.” She then claimed that in some of his lyrics, the rapper talks about “glorifying the killing of policemen,” among other things, and asked: “Why would we want to do this?” Goff disagreed with MacCallum's characterization, saying that Common “is one of the good guys in hip-hop,” “known for not putting the misogynistic lyrics out there,” and that he is “politically conscious.”
Goff's words echo the sentiment expressed by a Fox News reporter in an October 2010 report on FoxNews.com. As we pointed out earlier, Fox News reporter Jason Robinson lauded Common's music as “very positive” and noted that he is known as the “conscious rapper.” But MacCallum wasn't buying it. She claimed that inviting Common wouldn't “bring respect to the White House” or “elevate people.” She added: “This is no Robert Frost. This is no Maya Angelou -- this moment that is happening tomorrow night. ... How can you possibly compare these lyrics to the works of these people and say that we're elevating?”
MacCALLUM: When you have an opportunity to teach children about, you know, poetry, right? This is something they already know, you know what I'm saying. This is their world in many cases. They're familiar with this. Take it a step higher for them. Teach them about something that they don't know. Missed opportunity, in my opinion.
Goff then replied:
GOFF: Can I just say, from this line of reasoning, the Pope wouldn't be welcome in the White House because he's presided over one of the biggest pedophilia scandals in American history, right? From that logic ... people shouldn't be welcome that you think have presided over offensive ideas. Willie Nelson is a Kennedy Center honoree. He's been convicted of drug abuse, multiple drug possessions, multiple times.
MacCallum, who earlier had suggested she was offended by the White House's invite because of Common's supposedly offensive lyrics, repeatedly called this logic “absolutely ridiculous.”
Goff then made the point that there is an argument that the Pope is “controversial,” and therefore, by Fox's logic, might not be appropriate to be part of a hypothetical White House event inviting “religious leaders from around the world” to teach children about religion. Besides again calling that logic “ridiculous,” MacCallum had no answer.
And, for the record, Angelou has praised Common. According to the Chicago Defender, she said recently: “I wanted to speak about Common, who is extremely uncommon. When I first heard him, I knew he was rare. I thought, my goodness, this young man...hello. So good, so talented, well raised. When I met his mother, I understood much. I will always support him. I know that I stand on the shoulders of great men and women. And I know there are young men and women who stand upon my shoulders.”