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White House faces furor over Psy’s anti-U.S. lyrics
Question of the Day
The White House deleted a petition Friday on its website demanding that President Obama rescind an invitation to “Gangnam-style” rapper Psy to sing at a Christmas concert in Washington, because of the performer’s anti-American rants.
The petition was signed by about 500 people who objection to the singer’s scheduled performance, which Mr. Obama is to attend. But the White House said it took down the petition because it violated the terms of participation on the administration’s “We the People” website.
Psy, a 34-year-old South Korean performer whose “Gangnam-style” video is the most-watched of all time, apologized Friday for making obscene comments about U.S. troops at a protest concert in 2004 in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He reportedly sang:
“Kill those f–ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives.”
“Kill those f–ing Yankees who ordered them to torture.”
“Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law and fathers.”
“Kill them all slowly and painfully.”
In his apology, the rap star said, “As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world.”
“The song in question — from eight years ago — was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two innocent Korean civilians that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time,” he said in a statement. “While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused anyone by those words.”
The show is set for Sunday at the National Building Museum in Washington. The White House on Friday gave no indication that Mr. Obama would cancel the invitation or back out of attending the concert, which is scheduled to air on TNT on Dec. 21.
Before the White House took down the petition, people expressed outrage about the performer’s planned appearance.
“As commander-in-chief, how can Pres. Obama honor someone who calls for killing our troops and their families?” the petition said.
In 2002, after two Korean schoolgirls were struck by a U.S.-operated armored vehicle, Psy also expressed rage at America. Onstage, he smashed a plastic model of a U.S. tank into pieces as the crowd cheered, The Korea Herald reported.
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About the Author
Dave Boyer is a White House correspondent for The Washington Times. A native of Allentown, Pa., Boyer worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2002 to 2011 and also has covered Congress for the Times. He is a graduate of Penn State University. Boyer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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