Watch Jon Stewart & Bill O'Reilly Debate Rapper Common's White House Poetry Reading

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May 17 2011, Published 5:05 a.m. ET

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Jon Stewart and Bill O'Reilly engaged in debate is nothing new, but their recent war of words was a bit different. The talk-show powerhouses were at odds last night on The O'Reilly Factor over an invitation extended to the rapper Common to take part in a poetry reading at the White House last week.

Common's invite was met with dissension from conservatives who claim that the rapper "celebrates violence and cop-killing in his lyrics, and therefore had no place performing at the White House," Fox News reports.

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"It's just so lacking of class and decency," Sarah Palin said of President Barack Obama's invite to the rapper.

Jon decided to tackle GOP's outrage on The Daily Show. The political satirist quipped that, "(Common was) subject of Fox News Channel's latest exercise in fits of hissy."

Bill wasn't going to let it slide, so he invited Jon on his show to debate the topic.

"It's a poetry slam. Who gives a crap?" Jon said.

"A lot of people do," Bill shot back.

Jon maintained that he wasn't trying to call the conservative backlash on Common's invite wrong, but that they needed to be "consistent" with their "outrage." He referenced a story of Leonard Peltier — a man who was convicted of killing two federal agents back in the '70s.

Jon Stewart
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"Guess who wrote a song about Leonard Peltier? Bono. Guess where he was? The White House. Booh-yah!" Jon demanded.

But the host fired back, "You know this guy is sympathizing with two cop killers. You know that."

"I don't know him," Jon replied.

Bill added, "That's enough for a sitting president to say, 'You know what? This guy might be radioactive.'"

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Later in the show, Jon pointed out, "By the way, songs are not literal. When The Weather Girls sing, 'It's raining men,' it's not really precipitation of males."

"Stop attacking The Weather Girls; I like them."

Bill did thank Jon for stopping by the show and said he found him "smarter and funnier than most liberals." The second part of their debate will air tonight.

Catch Jon and Bill debate in the clips below and read a full transcript of their discussion on

Part 1

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Part 2

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