Why Is Bill O'Reilly Not Calling Out Mike Huckabee's Gangster Glorification?

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"You may remember a couple years ago that Pepsi hired gansta (sic) rapper Ludacris as a commercial pitchman. [I] objected, saying major American corporations have an obligation not to reward people who harmed society...Unlike Ozzy Osbourne, who curses, or Britney Spears, who's an immature exhibitionist, Ludacris is hard-core. He glorifies criminal conduct, and kids hear this stuff."—Bill O'Reilly, 2004.

It didn't matter that Ludacris had mostly been known to hip-hop and cross-over pop audiences as a comic rapper, an exaggeration of a cartoon character. It didn't matter that Ozzy Osbourne had fucked up kids, two of whom went to rehab (Jack in 2003, Kelly in 2004), and that Britney Spears brought trucker hats and bald vaginas into style. No, it was Ludacris who was the villain.

For years, Fox News and its compatriots have waged war against both Urban America and Black America, using the term 'hip-hop' as an automatic condemnation, a scare tactic on a television network that manufactures fear between commercials. Forget the system of police pat-downs and profiling, of living without hope; it's the hip-hop music that supposedly inspires crime. Any thinking person realizes that almost all rappers are caricatured; Rick Ross is the embodiment—that being said, Fox News commentators speak as if they have rocks for heads. By their logic (what it is), being a rapper is synonymous with gangster, making 'gangster rapper' redundant. (That Fox News and the New York Post tend to call every black male singer a "rapper"—Akon, Sean Kingston, Chris Brown—which further speaks to their racial politics.)

Oh so recently, Common was the talk of the talking heads, being billed as "controversial"—something that Common has decidedly not been, at least for the past ten years—because he had performed at the White House and at one time had written about guns. Two weeks ago, President Obama's birthday party was referred to as a "Hip-Hop BBQ," despite it being overwhelmingly attended by black non-rappers and many more rich white people.

It's nothing new. As O'Reilly has repeatedly opened his mouth, rappers' names—50 Cent, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco—have somehow made their way in. He called Young Jeezy's "My President is Black" offensive; Eminem, "vile." O'Reilly has tried to get rappers kicked off of college campuses and corporate gigs and suggested that Snoop be deported. (This was after Snoop had posted a video to the Internet in which he put a lit blunt next to a picture of Obama.) The most transparent rendition of Bill O'Reilly's philosophy is within his conversation (ha) with Rev Run, in which he says (while speaking of Nelly—Nelly!—in 2003), "What I have to do is what I think is right, and I think gangsta rap is wrong."

(This is a good as spot as any to point out that national violent-crime and property-crime statistics are at their lowest point in quite some time, and that hip-hop has never been more mainstream than it is right now.)

There's far more nuance to hip-hop than just cold-blooded warfare, but I suppose it's easy to explain away a culture in one line. If Bill O'Reilly and his ilk want to condense hip-hop down to black and white terms, in which it's all guns and drugs and bitches and hoes and no regret, then I'd love to hear what they all have to say about Fox News' own Mike Huckabee's performance at this weekend's Iowa Straw Poll.


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7 comments
Qwertitus
Qwertitus

someone was listening to john stewert. He made the argument verbatim a few weeks ago on his show

john
john

O'Reilly is a traitor, doing an australian's bidding. His boss even admitted that his news organizations are biased (see Charlie Rose)... There is nothing to be said here, the information is out there, people hear what they want to hear, and the only people who actually see O'Reilly are hopeless, or like to see some good bashing on an unarticulate rapper with absolutely no clue about politics (why are black people represented by rappers? why can't we invite black professors, or lawyers? America is blessed to have a lot of those...). If you analyze it, you will see that most Fox News political commentators have no authority on politics.

WaxBrain
WaxBrain

WTF is "Gangsta Rap" anyway? That ended when like Tupac was killed. All I hear now is fake MC's talking silliness. No one comes off as hard at all anymore. Eazy was hard. Tupac was fucking crazy. Lil' Jeezy looks and acts like a clown (not a dig really). What these douche bags think is "Gangsta Rap" is just fast talking w/ swear words. O'Reilly is a fucking idiot.

Leechaseanderson
Leechaseanderson

Hey Joe (too many), She's a Jar/ Via Chicago (Wilco), Rowboat (Beck, Johnny Cash), Possum Kingdom (Toadies), Hazard (Richard Marx), Stray Cat Blues (Rolling Stones), Jesus of the Moon (Nick Cave).  All songs about raping or killing women. 

Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys sang about underage girls.  That's statutory rape. 

The issue the Republican Party (and apparently Tegan and Sara too) have here is that these are black kids talking about it. 

Apparently the violence in video games and movies is okay.

biteofpythias
biteofpythias

magicians and illusionists use misdirection to pull our attention elsewhere and hide their sleight of hand. the misdirection perpetrated on white middle class and working class families as they've watched their quality of life diminish over the last thirty years has been to refocus their anger and fear on the black man on the sidewalk, while our corporatist government has facilitated the looting of the store out the back door. the commonalities of the struggles expressed in country music and hip hop speak to the shared struggle of working class families of all races as well as the desire to find escape in the fantasy of music. If only we could focus on that shared experience rather than buy into fear and blame of each other, the transparent palming of our future by the corporate magicians would become obvious to all...

Customconcern
Customconcern

Tegan and Sara just wanted to make sure all their fans knew that they disapproved of a group that most of their fans had never heard of anyway. 

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