The crowd at the 60th Radio & Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington, D.C., Wednesday was mostly buzzing about that day's testimony before the commission investigating Sept. 11, but President George W. Bush managed to pull out a few laughs during his keynote address.
Per tradition, the president poked fun at himself. In this case, he treated the radio and TV media to a spoof slide show titled the "White House Election Year Album." When a picture flashed of Bush in the Oval Office wearing an Everlast boxing robe, the President quipped, "The contest is going to be a slugfest. I'm feelin' good, feelin' ready."
For another slide of Bush's visit to an aircraft carrier last year, the president said, "It ticked me off when Democrats questioned my service in the National Guard in Alabama."
He took a few jabs at Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry. For a picture of himself on the phone, he commented, "Hey, John. Kim Jong Il here. Just wanted to let you know, you're my guy."
The annual dinner drew a star-studded media crowd, including apprentice-terrorizer Donald Trump; Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and Shephard Smith; satirist and radio host-to-be Al Franken; and CNN anchors Aaron Brown, Wolf Blitzer and Bill Hemmer.
Actor Ron Silver and former Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark were also in the crowd, as well as execs from all the major news nets. The mood was decidedly more upbeat than last year's event, which was postponed three months because of the war in Iraq.
The President also teased some of his top lieutenants. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's favorite show? Bravo's gay-themed makeover hit Queer Eye For the Straight Guy. The show's "Fab 5" makeover experts could give his Cabinet some pointers, Bush chided, maybe even a new look for Attorney General John Ashcroft.
ABC News' Nightline received the first David Bloom award, named after the late NBC News correspondent who died covering the war in Iraq.
The Joan S. Barone Award for excellence in Washington-based national affairs and public policy broadcasting went to NewsHour With Jim Lehrer for a single program and to CBS News national security correspondent David Martin for a series of reports.