Obama's iPod Flip-Flop: Last Year He Said He Had All Michael Jackson's Music on His iPod; Now He Says He Can't Use an iPod

By Nicholas Ballasy | May 10, 2010 | 6:48 PM EDT

President Barack Obama (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) -- President Barack Obama told Hampton University’s graduating class on Sunday that he does not “know how to work” an iPod. Last July, however, after pop-star Michael Jackson’s death, Obama told the Associated Press (see video below) that he had Jackson’s music on his iPod.

“You’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t always rank that high on the truth meter,” Obama told the graduates.

“And with iPods and iPads, and Xboxes and PlayStations--none of which I know how to work (laughter), information becomes a distraction, a diversion, a form of entertainment, rather than a tool of empowerment, rather than the means of emancipation,” said Obama.  “So all of this is not only putting pressure on you. It’s putting new pressure on our country and on our democracy.”

In July of 2009, 10 months ago, the Associated Press asked Obama in a one-on-one interview, “A lot of folks in the black community are concerned about how you reacted to Michael Jackson’s death, that it wasn’t respectful enough or out-front enough. How do you react to that?”
Obama said, “Well, I’m not, I know a lot of people in the black community and I haven’t heard that.”

The iPod family with, from the left to the right : the shuffle 3g, the nano 5G, the classic 6G and the touch 3G. (Photo by Matthieu Riegler, Creative Commons, Wikipedia Commons).

The AP reporter then said, “Well, I'm getting a lot of e-mail about it, and a lot of folks feel like there wasn't an official statement or something from you. It's not the typical way that the White House responds when somebody of stature dies.”

Obama then said, “Well, look, you're the first person who has actually asked me about it. So, you know, I think that Michael Jackson is, will go down in history as one of our greatest entertainers. I grew up on his music. Still have all his stuff on my iPod. I think that his brilliance as a performer also was paired with a tragic and, in many ways, sad personal life.”

Apple’s popular iPod Touch can play music, videos, connect wirelessly to the Internet and run applications purchased through Apple’s iTunes store, giving users the ability to access news, games, restaurant locaters, Internet radio, etc., on the device. Apple’s iPod classic only plays music and videos.