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Jon Stewart-Bill O'Reilly show: Who won the Great Poetry Debate?

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Peter Kramer/AP

(Read caption) The Jon Stewart-Bill O' Reilly debates have been going on for some time now. Here, they appear on 'The O' Reilly Factor' in September 2010.

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Jon Stewart and Bill O’Reilly debated poetry last night on “The O’Reilly Factor.” Specifically, they argued over whether it was wrong for the Obama administration to invite the rapper Common to the White House for a poetry event last week.

Who won? Advertisers, most likely. Ratings go up whenever this pair is on screen together. They’re like Starsky and Hutch, Felix and Oscar, or Seals and Crofts – an odd-couple duo that somehow works. They actually address each other’s points and don’t shout or throw chairs. Maybe they should hold a big event on the Mall in D.C. in the name of civil discourse and ... oh, right.

Anyway, Mr. O’Reilly pointed out that, 11 years ago, Common wrote a song that defended convicted cop killer Assata Shakur, and that the rapper has traveled abroad to meet with Ms. Shakur, who escaped from prison in 1979.

“Common traveled to Cuba to meet with someone who was convicted of killing a New Jersey trooper,” said O’Reilly, referring to Shakur. “A member of the Black Liberation Army. They found 16 live rounds in her purse.”


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