White House's delay in recognizing Jacko's death draws flak

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Washington, June 27 (ANI): The White House's delay in issuing a statement on Michael Jackson's death, and President Barrack Obama indifference towards the musical legend's family, has raised many eyebrows.

Some 19 hours after the death of Jackson was officially confirmed, Obama recognized, through White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the passing of the musical legend while also alluding to his personal difficulties.

"He said to me that obviously Michael Jackson was a spectacular performer, a music icon. I think everybody remembers hearing his songs, watching him moonwalk on television during Motown's 25th anniversary. But the president said he had aspects of his life [that] were sad and tragic. His condolences went out to the Jackson family and to fans that mourned his loss," Politico quoted Gibbs, as saying.

In response to a question, Gibbs said he did not believe Obama had made an effort to contact the Jackson family.

Fans and media were puzzled by Obama's lack of response to an event that dominated news coverage worldwide on Friday and Saturday.

"Why not issue a written statement for a man who's come to this White House, who's visited other presidents, who's been honored by other presidents for his humanitarian efforts, he also worked for the Democratic Party, which this president is the head of, helped fundraise? Why not a written statement?" April Ryan of American Urban Radio Network asked Gibbs.

Responding to a question about the lack of official statement, Gibbs said: "Because I just said it. I thought I did a pretty good job. I asked the president what he thought about it today and as his spokesman passed that along to you."

While a short written statement on the death of a notable figure in American life is usually a straightforward matter, it becomes more complicated in the case of a singer whose musical accomplishments were often obscured by allegations of darker behavior.

"I think people want [Obama] to talk about the Michael Jackson they love, not the Michael Jackson that was weird," said Paul Glastris, a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton. (ANI)

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