Pelosi dances away from resolution to salute ‘King of Pop’

July 9, 2009

Call it political stage fright.

Or perhaps fear of igniting a political firestorm over Michael Jackson, the fallen “King of Pop.”

Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday she saw no need to vote on a resolution honoring the musical icon, who had been dogged by unproven allegations of child sexual abuse and acquitted of such charges in 2005.

“Michael Jackson was a great, great performer,” Pelosi told her weekly news conference. CHINA

“What I have said to my colleagues over the years … is that there is opportunity on the floor of the House to express their sympathy or their praise any time that they wish.”

But, she called unnecessary a resolution saluting Jackson as a  “global humanitarian” in the fight against AIDS and hunger, and ”an accomplished contributor” to the arts and entertainment.

“A resolution, I think, would open up to contrary views that are not necessary at this time,” she said.

Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee offered the resolution a day after Jackson died at age 50 of cardiac arrest and she touted the measure at his nationally televised memorial service this week.

But it became apparent not everyone in the House of Representatives was a Michael Jackson fan. When some members asked for a moment of silence last month, a number of  lawmakers walked off the floor. BRITAIN/

Republican Representative Peter King, in comments broadcast on YouTube, denounced what he described as the glorification of a “lowlife” and “pervert.”

A Democratic aide said party leaders wanted the matter to go away. ”They don’t want to end up in a fight.”

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Aly Song (Pelosi in Shanghai in May), Reuters/Stephen Hird (Waxwork figure of Michael Jackson at Maddame Tussauds in London)

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/