The 31st annual “Christmas in Washington” concert on TNT December 21 suffered a dramatic 25 percent loss in viewers from the previous year, according to Nielsen Media Research. The 2011 cablecast of “Christmas in Washington” drew 1.5 million viewers. The 2012 showing had only 1.136 million viewers.
The concert, traditionally attended by the President and his family, drew international attention over the scheduled appearance by Gangnam Style rapper PSY (given name Park Jae-sang) when it was revealed the South Korean entertainer had made highly inflammatory, anti-American performances the previous decade.
In an insult to America’s troops and their families, President Barack Obama confirmed his attendance at the taping of the concert several hours before PSY issued a written apology the afternoon the news broke of his anti-American past on Pearl Harbor Day.
As a purported reaction to the war in Iraq, PSY rapped a song at a show in South Korea in 2004 with lyrics that called for the murder of American troops, their children and their extended families. In an earlier performance PSY smashed a model U.S. Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The onstage tantrum was in the context of South Korean anger over GIs not being punished for an accident that killed two school girls walking on the side of a road when they were killed by a military vehicle the men were driving.
It was the lyrics to "Dear American," written by fellow South Korean metal band N.E.X.T., which PSY rapped that caused a backlash against his appearance at the Christmas show, including a White House petition by this author that called for Obama to rescind his invitation to perform at the show:
"Kill those f***ing Yankees who have been torturing Iraqi captives Kill those f***ing Yankees who ordered them to torture Kill their daughters, mothers, daughters-in-law, and fathers Kill them all slowly and painfully " (Profanity edited.)
The Obama administration quickly spiked the petition telling the press, which dutifully repeated to the American people, that the most powerful man in the world had no influence over an event to which he lent by his presence the honor and dignity of the office of the commander-in-chief of America’s Armed Forces--even when the star performer had publicly called for the savage murder of the troops under his command and their families.
As the show was taped on Dec. 9 at the National Building Museum, reports came out of Obama warmly greeting PSY on stage. A pool photograph soon followed showing Obama and PSY laughing and shaking hands. Vice President Joe Biden was photographed earlier at the show in a group photo with PSY and other performers.
In an interview after the show, PSY said Obama only talked with him about how his family is embarrassed when he dances Gangnam Style. PSY apparently offered no apology to Obama, nor did Obama rebuke him.
Americans showed more respect for their brothers and sisters in arms than their president. Not only did the PSY “Christmas in Washington” show lose 25 percent of its audience, the show’s key demographic of 18-49 year old viewers was only 300,000, placing it between "Brides of Beverly Hills" and "Fashion Police."
“Christmas in Washington” is a charity event, the proceeds of which went to the National Children’s Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Talk show host Conan O’Brien emceed the show. Other performers included Motown legend Diana Ross, Megan Hilty, Demi Lovato, Chris Mann, the Naval Academy Glee Club and Scotty McCreery.