Obama in bed with the press?
President Barack Obama poked fun at his close relationship with the press on Friday and teased radio and TV correspondents their industry “was more relevant than ever,” despite more and more Americans turning elsewhere for news.
Obama said he had trouble coming up with fresh jokes after delivering a similar routine just five weeks ago at the annual White House correspondents dinner, a glitzy affair attracting big Hollywood stars.
“The jokes may not be as good, but neither is the guest list,” Obama said at the Radio and Television Correspondents Associations Dinner. “For me, there’s no contest. Why bother hanging out with celebrities, when I can spend time with the people who made me one?”
“A few nights ago, I was up tossing and turning trying to figure exactly what to say. Finally, when I couldn’t get back to sleep, I rolled over and asked (NBC News anchor) Brian Williams what he thought,” Obama said.
Williams recently hosted a gushing two-night special that took viewers “Inside the Obama White House,” and featured such hard-hitting spots as the president firing up his motorcade to pick up hamburgers for his staff. “The truth is, Brian Williams is actually a terrible house guest. He put an empty milk carton back in the fridge. He leaves his wet towels all over the Roosevelt room. We’re pretty sure he clogged the toilet and didn’t tell anybody,” Obama said to roars from the crowd.
Obama joked was he spending much of his time rescuing failed banks and auto companies, but “you probably wouldn’t understand the concept of troubled industries working as you do in radio and television.”
When that joke got a tepid response, Obama sensed he had hit a sore spot and added: “Ho ho. We don’t joke about that. That’s not funny.”
“Despite the flood of new media, I think your programing is more relevant than ever before at least that’s the impression I get when I read the blogs every day,” Obama said.
(Additional reporting by Wendell Marsh)
Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing