Sometimes the ‘old ones are the best’ – this story pre-dates my blog (June ’09) – I liked it so much I want to add it and share with you…
David Miliband has been forced to deny being the author of a Twitter message paying tribute to Michael Jackson.
Some media organisations published a tweet which they said was by the foreign secretary but which was later revealed as a spoof.
The fake message said: “Never has one soared so high and yet dived so low. RIP Michael.” Mr Miliband has now issued his own, genuine, tribute to Jackson on the Foreign Office website. He says: “The death of Michael Jackson is very sad news for his family, friends and fans. “My thoughts are with his family at this time. But the instant Twitter put out in my name last night was not me.”
The fake tweet was published at about midnight on Thursday, shortly after the singer’s death was confirmed. It was picked up by several media organisations, prompting the Foreign Office to put a message on its own Twitter page urging people to disregard it. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office tweet says: “David Miliband does NOT have a Twitter account.”
The spoof David Miliband has 1,990 followers on Twitter, although his tweets are clearly satirical in tone. One says: “Another idea from Eyebrows, sack all the drivers and use McDonalds staff instead. He reckons Reagan would have done it. No Al!”
Another tweet says: “Off to consult further with our International Partners re: Resolution 1718. Fire up the private jet and put the lawyers on expenses.” The fake Miliband account is one of a number of twitter pages set up in someone else’s name, some of which have been closed down after threats of legal action.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron have both issued brief statements on Jackson’s death. No 10 said Mr Brown’s thoughts were with the pop legend’s family at this difficult time. “This is very sad news for the millions of Michael Jackson fans in Britain and around the world,” a spokesman said.
Mr Cameron said: “I know Michael Jackson’s fans in Britain and around the world will be sad today. “Despite the controversies, he was a legendary entertainer. “Everybody will be thinking of his family, especially his children, at this time.”
Paramedics were called to Jackson’s Los Angeles home at about midday on Thursday after he stopped breathing. He was pronounced dead two hours later at the UCLA medical centre. Jackson’s brother, Jermaine, said he was believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest. Jackson, who had a history of health problems, had been due to stage a series of comeback concerts in the UK, beginning on 13 July.