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CNN SUNDAY MORNING

Bush Praises Reporters' Courage at Annual Correspondents Dinner

Aired April 27, 2003 - 09:07   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: President Bush says he appreciates the work of journalists who as he put it, shared in the dangers of the Iraq War. Mr. Bush made those comments at the 89th annual dinner for White House correspondents last night. Of course we weren't invited; Kelli or I, but for more details, let's check in with our own White House correspondent, Suzanne Malveaux, who was invited and who went to the event. Suzanne.
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Good morning. Well, usually it's rather a light fare; a comedian doing a roast. You may remember last year, it was Ozzy Osbourne; but definitely a different tone. The president, the first lady honoring those journalists who gave their lives, sacrificed their lives in covering the war with Iraq. He singled out in particular two Americans, the "Washington Post's" Michael Kelly, as well as NBC's friend and colleague of mine, David Bloom. He talked about their skill, their bravery, and their decency.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Every commitment worth making, every vocation worth pursuing, brings with it the possibility of sacrifice. Our military knows this well. It is also true of your profession. In this conflict, at least 13 journalists from across the world lost their lives.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MALVEAUX: Anderson, it was a very touching tribute. We also got to hear Ray Charles singing, "America the Beautiful." It was absolutely amazing, and as you know there were the rock stars of Washington D.C., who were there; Secretary Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. But there were also those celebrities of the Hollywood type; Bo Derek, Rob Lowe, even the bachelors that were there. At my table I got to sit with Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson and Phil Kent, who's the CEO of Turner. It was a very good evening.

Also, I want to tell you on a more serious note, the big question coming up this week, is whether or not the president is going to declare that the war is over. Now, a White House official telling us that General Franks, who's the one on the ground, who would make that call says that he has not told the president whether or not the war is over, but to expect that the president as early as this week is going to basically summarize the state of the war in Iraq. He could do that at a number of occasions, perhaps tomorrow in Dearborn, Michigan when he speaks before Arab Americans, or more likely when he's aboard the USS Lincoln that's going to be returning from battle some time later in the week -- Anderson.

COOPER: Suzanne, you mentioned the term celebrity for Bo Derek and the bachelors. I think sub-lebrity (ph) is actually the correct term for both of those. I hate to ask you this; I hate to put you on the spot, but the bachelor was there; any love in the air?

MALVEAUX: You know, both of those bachelors, I want you to know, they both of those are taken. Actually that the Firestone Bachelor as well as the bachelor that hooked up with Trista. But I'm not going to admit that I actually watch the shows, so. Just something I must read, of course.

COOPER: I heard that you got a picture taken with one of the bachelors. Is this true?

MALVEAUX: Well, that's true, but actually that wasn't up to me.

KELLI ARENA, CNN ANCHOR: You nailed her, Anderson.

MALVEAUX: I was forced to do that. I can't believe that.

ARENA: Of course, of course we know, we know.

COOPER: Sure, got it. All right. Thanks very much, Suzanne Malveaux at the White House. Thanks very much.

MALVEAUX: Sure.

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