“It was evident the band wasn’t actually playing during the song,” writes Washingtonian’s Sophie Gilbert.
Does this matter? After all, it’s not unprecedented. It was so cold during Obama’s 2008 inaugural that cellist Yo-Yo Ma and violinist Itzhak Perlman didn’t risk playing their valuable stringed instruments.
Nor did anyone attempt a coverup, once the question was raised. A Marine Band spokeswoman confirmed to CNN that Beyoncé apparently opted to use a version of the song that the band and she had recorded the day before.
“We don’t know why the decision was made,” said Marine spokeswoman Kristen DuBois, adding that use of pre-recorded stuff “isn’t that unusual” in such circumstances.
Yes, maybe. But by not saying this in advance, Beyoncé has given the voracious 24-minute news cycle of the Internet world an analogy with which to play. Most folks took it light-heartedly – joking that it was OK, she’d privately sung the anthem the day before (that’s a reference to Obama’s Sunday private swearing-in) or that it’s too bad, but federal law now requires her to be punished by rejoining Destiny’s Child.
But a few administration critics took this as an easy way to hit the White House for what they perceive as its overall falsity. And others appeared genuinely unmoored by the revelation.