Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Thursday advised Obama confidante Valerie Jarrett to get “gangsta rappers” like Jay Z and Kanye West to say their behavior is wrong if the White House really wants to improve minority communities.
President Barack Obama had invited O’Reilly to the launch of his new initiative called “My Brother’s Keeper” earlier Thursday. The program aims to create opportunities and improve conditions for young minority men, but O’Reilly said he doesn’t believe the White House sees the “urgency” of the situation in the streets.
“You have to attack the fundamental disease if you want to cure it,” O’Reilly told Jarrett. “Now I submit to you that you’re gonna have to get people like Jay Z, Kanye West, all these gangsta rappers to knock it off.”
“They idolize these guys with the hats on backwards, and the terrible rap lyrics and the drug and all of that,” he continued, adding that high-profile figures need to hammer young people with that message to “reverse the peer pressure.”
O’Reilly also challenged First Lady Michelle Obama to come on “The Factor” and tell teenage girls “You stop having sex. You stop getting pregnant. This is wrong.”
Jarrett said the first lady’s mentorship program accomplishes more for young women than a single Fox News interview could, but she conceded that perhaps the outreach program could find some musicians that kids respect to come and speak to them.
“Look, either tell them they do it or you audit them. That’s it,” O’Reilly joked.
O’Reilly has inveighed against “gangsta” rap culture for over a decade. He called for a boycott of Pepsi back in 2002 that led to Ludacris being dropped from his endorsement deal and debated Jon Stewart in 2011 over the Obama administration’s invitation to Common to participate in a poetry event.
Last summer, he used the Trayvon Martin case as a jumping off point in his syndicated column to suggest that rappers like Jay Z, West and Lil’ Wayne do a public service ad for the federal government urging kids to reject drugs and violence in order to fight the “black crime problem.”
Watch below starting at the 2:30 mark, courtesy of Fox News:
This post has been updated.