In what may have been one of the most awkward moments of the holiday season, President Barack Obama shook hands with controversial Korean singer Psy, who once rapped about killing Americans.
The pair met Sunday night at the annual “Christmas in Washington’’ concert, which featured performances by Diana Ross, Demi Lovoto, and “American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery, and was hosted by Conan O’Brien. The event
benefitted the Children’s National Medical Center.
Psy — dressed in a bright-red, sequined shirt and pink pants — beamed a broad smile as he and Obama met. Earlier, the portly pop star performed his monster hit “Gangham Style’’ and sashayed around the stage as he did the “sexy horse’’ dance.
There was nothing said about the revelation earlier this month that Psy, during a 2004 concert, rapped: “Kill those ****ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives . . . Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers. Kill them all slowly and painfully.’’
The highly-incendiary remarks were made as Psy protested Korea’s participation in the Iraqi war.
Last week, Psy issued an apology, insisting his anti-American rant “was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq . . . I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words.’’
Obama, in a speech to the crowd, praised American troops who are stationed overseas.
“Yes, tonight is about Conan and Diana Ross and Santa and all the other talented folks on this stage,” the president said.
“But it’s also about the Americans who are spending this holiday in a hospital bed, or a shelter, or protecting our freedom on a battlefield far from home. Let’s keep them in our prayers, and follow Christ’s calling to love one another as He has loved all of us.”
The Obama administration had no say in who was to appear at the show.
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