White House shrugs off 'lip-synch' flap

Jan. 23, 2013 at 5:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The White House said Wednesday it would not "deal with" the question of whether Beyonce lip-synched at the presidential inaugural in Washington Monday.

After Beyonce's performance of "The Star Spangled Banner," speculation mounted she was lip-synching, rather than singing live, because it was so cold in the nation's capitol.

During Wednesday's briefing with reporters, White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked whether President Barack Obama knew Beyonce was lip-synching, and whether the president cared.

"I have not had the discussion with him," Carney said.

He said all he knows is what he's read, and "shockingly, it has not all been consistent."

"I'm glad you guys are focused on the important issues of the day here," Carney said.

"You know, I just, you know, as powerful as this office is, we don't control the weather and -- and as -- as many issues as we deal with here, we still have to choose what we don't deal with, and this is one of those issues."

Capt. Eric Flanagan, a spokesman for the Marine Band, told The Washington Post its members mimed playing their instruments on the National Anthem while the audience in Washington and on television heard a taped performance, because the band had not had an opportunity to rehearse with Beyonce.

Aretha Franklin, who sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" live at Obama's 2009 inauguration, told ABC News she laughed when she heard Beyonce's performance had been prerecorded.

"I thought it was really funny, but she did a beautiful job with the pre-record ... Next time I'll probably do the same."

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