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Best Interaction at a White House Correspondents Dinner Party

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By Doug Powers  •  May 1, 2011 12:13 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

The White House Correspondents Dinner took place last night in Washington. MSNBC hosted a party where a Barack Obama lookalike jumped out of a cake, much to the delight of a giddy Chris Matthews (that’s an unverified rumor but it sounds about right). From what I’ve read so far, the best part of the evening was when guest bartender Rachel Maddow had to wait on Sarah Palin:

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If only Sarah would have ordered a Bulls Eye.

Mind you, that report was from Andrea Mitchell, so I won’t automatically believe it until its veracity has been verified by any journalist serious enough about his or her profession to avoid getting within a mile of a White House Correspondents Dinner.

At a fundraising brunch earlier in the day, reporters wanted pictures with Palin. Not of Palin, but with Palin:

Once inside, guests of all stripes angled to get a picture with Palin, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin.

The hubbub was enough to cause one reporter to quip: “Look at all these reporters who typically rip her a new one mosey on up to her, desperate to get a photograph.”

As for the dinner itself, the worst joke of the night was President Obama tweaking Fox News about his birth certificate:

As some of you heard, the state of Hawaii released my official long-form birth certificate. (Applause.)

Hopefully this puts all doubts to rest. But just in case there are any lingering questions, tonight I’m prepared to go a step further. (Laughter.) Tonight, for the first time, I am releasing my official birth video. (Laughter.)

Now, I warn you — (laughter) — no one has seen this footage in 50 years, not even me. But let’s take a look.

(“Secret Birth Video” plays.) (Applause.)

Oh, well. Back to square one. (Laughter.) I want to make clear to the Fox News table: That was a joke. (Laughter.) That was not my real birth video. (Laughter.) That was a children’s cartoon. (Laughter.) Call Disney if you don’t believe me. (Laughter.) They have the original long-form version. (Laughter.)

It was a bad joke because it was wildly misdirected:

When CNN covered the White House, 89 percent of the time they were covering rumors, while at MSNBC it was even higher at 93%. Fox News was downright moderate by comparison: birther coverage made up 48% of its Administration coverage.

Can you believe the president didn’t make any gas price jokes? “Sorry I’m late but I had to walk here tonight. With these fuel prices and the rotten mileage the presidential limo gets, we couldn’t afford to fill up because the Republicans refused to raise the debt ceiling.”

Yeah, I know, but at least it would have been a start.

Update: Greta Van Susteren has more about the media fascination with Palin last night, in spite of the fact that she didn’t even attend the Correspondents Dinner.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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