Page last updated at 15:41 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 16:41 UK

Nas in war of words with Fox News

Nas at protest
Nas handed over a petition signed by over 600,000 people

Veteran Fox News broadcaster Bill O'Reilly has retaliated against claims made by US rapper Nas that the corporation is racist.

The presenter called the singer a "vile rapper" who peddled violent lyrics to children and young adults.

His comments came after Nas joined a protest in New York claiming some of Fox's news coverage was racist.

The row began when Nas called the organisation "visual cancer" in a track on his new number one album Untitled.

'Baby Mama'

In the song Sly Fox, Nas takes direct aim at the news channel stating the "only black man that Fox loves is in jail or a dead one" .

When the 34-year-old rapper performed the track in New York recently he urged fans to "Turn channel 5 off", referring to Fox News.

Last Wednesday the performer joined protesters outside the corporation's head office to denounce what they claim is its racist campaign coverage.

One of the pieces they were angry about was a guest who confused Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama with Osama bin Laden and joked they should both be assassinated.

Another was when Fox News referred in a graphic to his wife Michelle, as "Obama's baby mama".

'Right to free speech'

Nas told the crowd: "Fox poisons this country every time they air racist propaganda and try and call it news."

Addressing the issue on his programme, O'Reilly said the rapper's protest was timed to promote his new album which he called "a bomb, a disaster, a catastrophe".

He also stated that any media which had given Nas any attention were "corrupt".

A spokeswoman for Fox said: "Fox News believes in all protesters exercising their right to free speech, including Nas, who has an album to promote."

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