Karl Rove Rocks a Washington Tradition An annual spring ritual took place in Washington this week when the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner took place. It's an event where journalists sit down with many of the same politicians they cover.
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Karl Rove Rocks a Washington Tradition

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Karl Rove Rocks a Washington Tradition

Karl Rove Rocks a Washington Tradition

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This week, NPR's Brian Naylor attended the Annual Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Here's a white wine-stained page from his Reporter's Notebook.

BRIAN NAYLOR: Okay, it's confession time. I'm a member of the executive committee of the Radio and TV Correspondents Association. So once a year I dutifully pull my tux out of the closet and sit up there at the head table and try not to make too much of a fool of myself at the annual dinner. I had a really great seat this year, right between Nancy Pelosi - you know, Madam Speaker - and Dana Perino, who is the deputy White House Press Secretary. And I don't think she'd mind if I reveal that she's a big NPR fan. So anyway, I'm trying not to reach for my wine glass too often, when this spectacle unfolds before us.

(Soundbite of video)

Mr. BRAD SHERWOOD(Comedian): Now tell me what is you name?

Mr. KARL ROVE (Deputy Chief of Staff): I'm MC Rove.

Mr. SHERWOOD: That's right...

NAYLOR: By now maybe you've seen the video. It's been all over YouTube. MC Rove, a.k.a., Karl Rove, the president's top political aide, the man Democrats love to hate, pulled out of the audience at the dinner and quote-unquote "rapping" along with two performers from the TV show "Who's Line Is It, Anyway?" It was funny; it was bizarre.

(Soundbite of video)

Mr. SHERWOOD: And tell me what is your name?

Mr. ROVE: MC Rove.

Mr. SHERWOOD: That's true. He's crossing his arms. He's rapping and chilling and he's showing his job. He will do it, without fail. Get out his gun because he's shooting quail.

NAYLOR: When I looked over to see the president's reaction, I'm not sure he thought it was so amusing. Of course things have not been going so well for Mr. Bush, as he himself alluded to in his remarks earlier in the evening.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: A year ago, my approval rating was in the 30s. My nominee for the Supreme Court had just withdrawn. And my vice president has shot someone.

(Soundbite of laughter and applause)

Mr. BUSH: Ah, those were the good old days.

(Soundbite of laughter)

NAYLOR: A lot of people think it's wrong for the media to mingle with the politicians they cover, and wrong to laugh at one another while there is a war going on. But as I put my tux away until next spring, I think of my nephew Kevin in Iraq, and my very good friend John, who like Tony Snow and Elizabeth Edwards and thousands of others is battling cancer. And I think that once in a while laughing and mingling isn't such a bad thing.

SIMON: NPR's Brian Naylor.

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