The Obama Foodorama blog reports that the White House recently removed a petition that was posted on the We the People web site. The petition noted that Beyonce, who has been called upon to sing the National Anthem at the Second Immaculation, is also Pepsi’s newest spokesperson. This is bad for the First Lady’s anti-obesity campaign, according to the petition, so Beyonce should be disinvited from performing for the presidential ceremony.
After picking up 500 signatures, the petition went down the memory hole. Here’s the White House’s version of a 404 error.
Thanks for your interest in We the People, a new tool on WhiteHouse.gov that allows all Americans to ask the Obama Administration to take action on a range of important issues facing our country.
While you can’t sign this petition, there may be other petitions on We the People on a similar issue that you’d like to add your name to. Or, you can create your own petition.
Obama Foodorama contacted the White House to find out what the problem with the petition was.
White House spokesman Shin Inouye told Obama Foodorama that the petition was removed not due to any controversy, but simply because Beyoncé’s Inaugural performance is “not something the White House actually has jurisdiction over.”
The Committee has sole responsibility for masterminding everything from the Inaugural parade to the Balls, Inouye said, and thus the White House is something of a bystander in the whole process, and cannot do anything to get Beyoncé “disinvited.”
Sure, the President of the United States is a “bystander” in a ceremony in which he resumes power, and over which he has actually had a huge influence.
Meanwhile, the White House’s other excuse doesn’t hold up either. The message that replaced the petition says that it violated the “terms of participation” because the White House has no jurisdiction. Petitions that remain on the site, though, include nationalizing the Twinkie industry, constructing a Death Star and saving the “lewpty-lew.” Another calls upon the White House to abolish the current legal system and replace it with motorcycle riding judges to ride around meting out justice Judge Dredd style. That one wasn’t pulled over any jurisdictional issue, but because it failed to attract enough signatures. Which is too bad, because the White House response might have been good for a laugh. Twinkies also can’t catch a break. That petition failed to get enough signatures too. The Death Star petition topped the original 25,000 threshold and got a response, but has not yet reached the new threshold of 100,000 signatures.
It’s obvious that the president really does have jurisdiction over his own ceremony. If he didn’t want Beyonce to sing, she wouldn’t be singing. It’s also obvious that the White House staff is lying about why it had the petition removed. They could have just said “Yes, we removed the petition because it’s unhelpful” and been done with it. Or they could have let it stand, and it probably wouldn’t have attracted much attention. But they chose to lie when the truth would have hurt them less.
So they’re obviously lying about a little thing. How many big things are they also lying about?