Tonight is poetry night at the White House, and the presence of hip hop artist Common has drawn criticism beyond the usual conservative din. Speaking to ABC News on Wednesday, Dave Jones, president of the New Jersey State Trooper Fraternal Assn., said that an administration official called him to find out more about his objections to the artist’s appearance at the event, and was surprised that the official did not know about the background of Assata Shakur, the subject of his song, “A Song for Assata.”
“She’s a domestic terrorist who wrapped her criminality and her abhorrent anti social behavior in a cause to try to disguise her disgust for America in this make believe 1960s radicalism,” Jones told ABC News. “In 1973 she executed Trooper Werner Foerster with his own gun after he was already shot and didn’t represent a threat to anyone. And after she shot him she kicked him in the head to the point that hours later after he was picked up his brain was still part of the remnants on her shoe.”
Common, aka Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., has commented on his Twitter page. His supporters have said that his music is a reflection of the frustration among African American men — not an endorsement of violence against police. He’s also hardly seen as a “gangsta” rapper, having collaborated with the Jonas Brothers and created works regarded as “conscious” rapper.
Updated: Per ABC News, White House spokesman Jay Carney said today, “The president does not support and opposes the kind of lyrics that has been written about.”
He added that Obama “does not think that that is the sum total of this particular artist’s work which has been recognized by a lot of mainstream organizations and ‘fair and balanced’ organizations like Fox News, which described his music as positive.”
Simmons also told Global Grind, in responding to Sean Hannity’s criticism, “Common is a sweet guy, a progressive guy, he’s what Hannity would call a soft ass liberal, he ain’t a gangster like Hannity, he’s not a sexist or racist like Hannity, he’s just a sweet, loving person. So it’s ironic that a person like Sean Hannity, who I like, would say something like that about Common.”
“When it comes to the gangster thing, Common doesn’t want to go to war, but Hannity is quick to go to war and blow up sh*t,” he continued, “So Hannity is more racist, sexist, homophobic and gangster than Common and for Hannity to call Common a gangster, is the pot calling the kettle black.”
Power Couple Split: The Los Angeles Times delves into the reasons behind the Schwarzenegger-Shriver separation. “While many friends said they were surprised by the announcement, two distinctly different narratives were emerging Tuesday about the breakup.
“Some close to Schwarzenegger spoke of a loving marriage that slowly broke apart over time. Friends of Shriver portrayed her as trapped for years in an unhappy relationship that reached a breaking point after the deaths of her parents and a difficult transition back to private life.”
At an event on Tuesday night, Schwarzenegger, speaking at the Skirball Center, said, “I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank our many friends and family for the tremendous amount of support and love that you have given us in the last 24 hours,” Schwarzenegger said, adding that he had spoken to Shriver an hour earlier.
“We both love each other very much … and we are taking it one day at a time.”
Astin’s Part: Sean Astin is endorsing Dan Adler, an entertainment industry executive running for Jane Harman’s old congressional seat. Astin, star of the movie “Rudy,” also is serving as Adler’s campaign manager, and even appears in a whimsical spot that cites the football pic. Adler faces tough competition in Tuesday’s election from two Democratic vets, Debra Bowen and Janice Hahn.