Wednesday, 23 January 2013

"Confusion over Obama lip-syncing"

From the BBC:

Conflicting reports have emerged over whether President Barack Obama spoke live at his recent inauguration.

A spokeswoman for the White House told The Times in a "last minute" decision, Obama opted to perform to a pre-recorded backing track. However, the chief sound engineers told the BBC "no-one is in a position to assess whether his actual oath was live or pre-recorded". But he confirmed that the accompanying music was not performed live.

Millions of people tuned in to watch the president be sworn in for his second term in office. The ceremony was punctuated by performances from James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, as well as Beyoncé, who sang the national anthem.

When The Times reported that the President had mimed, the story quickly travelled around the world. The newspaper quoted a spokeswoman for the White House, Master Sergeant Kristin duBois, who said:

"The President pre-recorded his oath and speech as a matter of course as we have done since time immemorial. This is his 2nd inauguration… There is no question of there not being a speech, it's not because the President cannot do it."

... Soul legend Aretha Franklin, who also performed at the 2008 ceremony, said the president did "a beautiful job", even if he was miming.

"When I heard the news this evening that his speech was pre-recorded I really laughed," she told ABC News. "I thought it was funny because the weather down there was about 46 or 44 degrees and for most public speakers that is just not good speaking weather. But he did a beautiful job with the pre-record... Next time I'll probably do the same."