The link is to the youtube video of Common's objectionable appearance.
This is from the NBC story:
Their objection stems from a 2007 YouTube video of Common flagged by The Daily Caller. In the video, Common says "tell the law, my Uzi weighs a ton" as well as "Burn a Bush cos' for peace he no push no button."
Leaving aside the affront he poses to Police officers, he is a clear and present danger to the English language.
It is hard to write a hard and fast rule, sometimes one set of considerations may outweigh what would normally put someone beyond the pale. Ronald Reagan was sheepish when chided for inviting Frank Sinatra to the White House. You wouldn't normally invite someone with well-known ties to organized crime to the White House but for a truly great artist (that your wife happens to be sweet on). Could you say anything about Common that couldn't be said about someone who had been invited at some point to the white house? I suppose not.
But still, we are entitled to question the President's judgment. The White House is not his pad, it is the people's house and the people invited there to take a prominent role in public events should be people that all Americans can, broadly speaking, think are admirable and not offensive. Could someone watch the youtube video linked to and say that about Common?
Bob Dylan has been brought up as a counter example, someone who had defended someone convicted of murder. But Dylan thought that the guy did not do it. That is not Common's point.
"This is someone who fought for my freedom." She fought for his freedom by killing this cop--that is her point, no? Surely that is a bit different? Is it bad enough to keep someone out of the White House? Well, I think so. The president is the chief law enforcement officer in our country. It is, oddly enough, National Police appreciation week or something. It just isn't done.
We know that Reverend Write or Bill Ayers will never be invited to the White House because his association with them had become a problem in the election campaign leading the Obama operation to throw them under the bus. Once you are under the bus you don't come back. Having them to the White House would now just be too inconvenient.
Ask yourself, if Common had become a problem during the campaign is there any doubt that he would have found himself under the bus as well? Can you watch this Common fellow and then listen to another sermon on racial tolerance from Obama?
NBC says that Common was on his best behavior:
It ended with "one King's dream, he was able to Barack us."
Sanctimonious and insipid. Whether treating Common as a respectable figure is acceptable, treating him as a poet is genuinely appalling.