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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Coverage of the White House Correspondents Dinner

Aired April 27, 2013 - 22:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, what's the problem? You two play basketball every Tuesday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Narf ball (ph), Frank.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But we don't want the rest of the world to know that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, Stanley, I'm willing to break you two up if you can get me tickets to a Ravens game.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you kidding me? I'm all out, Frank. How do you think I got elected?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about Taylor Swift at the Verizon Center, backstage passes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now you're hitting me where I live. Thank you, gentlemen. You are the coolest whips in town. You better believe it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to introduce me to Ted Sarandon at the dinner. I can't get my (expletive) Netflix to work.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have three sources at the west wing saying Valerie is on the war path.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You might think I could have possibly called that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is it possible you've been hording tickets to the dinner?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where are you getting that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ed Henry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You mean Mr. Ed Tegrity (ph). I've got to go. That's Jeff Zucker on the other line.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How about this? You tweet it and I'll retweet it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Done. I thought you wanted the immigration bill to pass.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, but that stinky whore wouldn't give me my ravens tickets.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Ben, this is so much cooler than the correspondents' dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A colonoscopy would be cooler on that dinner.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can't run from mayor again, Mike. That would put Anthony Weiner in the pick eliminate tweet that pickle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Then, what do you suggest?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, president and correspondents association.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Doesn't that position only last for a year?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Since when have term limits ever stopped you? And you should know, Mike, Ed drinks big gulfs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ed Henry, Kevin. I want him out.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm going to make some calls. Is that Frank on the phone? Let me talk to him. Frank, it's Charlie Rose. Tell me this. Why did you can sell last week?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Margaret Thatcher died. I was in mourning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. How about next week?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I'm already booked on "the today show" but I'll be in touch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. If I play ball will you at least get Bloomberg off my back?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Only if you give me your absolute unquestioning loyalty.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's a pretty big ask.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Forty-two seconds during the dinner to say whatever I want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Take 45.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Washington and Hollywood. Some new faces, some old faces, some new faces on old faces. And I do sympathize, Conan, not just for that back-stabbing Leno but having to host. It must be so hard to write jokes about a town that already is one. Democrats, Republicans, the White House, congress. You all came together to make this spoof. That's what real bipartisanship looks like.

I'm a lied chief intimidate to get what I want, but at least I get the job done. So, I hope some of you were taking notes. Well, have a wonderful evening. And I'll see all of you at the Bloomberg "vanity fair" party at least those who got the invite. Oh, and Mr. President, welcome to nerf from.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: There you go. It's where Hollywood and Washington meet. And you know what, there was some great production value in that. Great if Washington could work together as Kevin Spacey said in real life. Want to bring back in the ladies, Michelle Turner and Brianna Keilar. What production value that was. And even, you know, you can't write these things. It's probably more like Washington than we dare believe.

BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: It definitely is. And that's the thing that struck me, Don, is to, I would say a viewer outside of the beltway, there were many jokes in there that they're not going to get. Because a lot of them are like inside Washington jokes for sure.

NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ENTERTAINMENT CORRESPONDENT: And you know, the funny thing is, Kevin Spacey, we saw him a lot in that. And there were so many people on the red carpet tonight, Don, when I asked him, celebrities, politicians alike who are you looking forward to meeting here tonight? And it was Kevin Spacey over and over again. They all said, you know, his parts he plays them a little too real. He played the killer a little. So they were all excited to meet him tonight. He is one of the best actors in Hollywood.

LEMON: I thought I loved the action. I thought you were for immigration reform. I was until that stingy Hoyer.

Brianna, you do get a lot of accents in Washington. You know, when you hear it in on the television where everybody kind a sounds like this.

KEILAR: You do. I will tell you though. You do not often get too many southern Democratic accents these days. That has gone by the wayside. He does play, I think, the democratic minority whip in the house.

But, something that struck me and you see it there, the sort of many of the people we have interviewed, Don, are actors from television shows that have to do with Washington.

TURNER: Yes, absolutely.

KEILAR: Bradley Whitford of "West Wing" alum, "House Of Cards" is very represented here deep. We talked to Julia Louis Dreyfuss.

TURNER: Gary Washington.

KEILAR: That's right, and Tony Baldwin. LEMON: But, also, a lot -- there were a lot of reporters there, you know, of Washington reporters are guys from "Politico," you know, from "the Nation," a lot of reporters were featured in that spoof.

TURNER: Absolutely.

KEILAR: They were.

TURNER: And by the way, just a little news entertainment news that we can break, I did ask Bradley Witford. I asked him specifically, will we see a "west wing" movie. Because it's been rumored in Hollywood for such a long time. And he told me, no. Because the last time the cast all got together they shot a bit for one of their cast mate sisters who was running for office. He said when they got together they just felt like it was like the old guys club. And it didn't feel right. so, he does not think we'll see a "west wing" movie.

(CROSSTALK)

LEMON: I hate to cut you guys off there. They're introducing the first lady now. We're going to listen and get back to you. Ok, let's listen.

GAYLE KING, CBS THIS MORNING: Who knew that Ed Henry has jokes? All right, Ed. "House of Card's" I love you on the clips. But the reason why we are here today, you know, I was talking to people as we were coming in, is Conan O'Brien going to be funny? Yes. Is the first lady beautious? Yes, yes, yes. Does the president have a sense of humor? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,.

But the real reason we are here _ I don't care whether it's your first year here as a lot of people are in the room tonight or you've been here 20 plus, this room, this event never gets old because we are colleagues but we are also competitors. But there are a lot of people waiting in the wings who want to take our jobs.

So before the evening started I went backstage to talk to them. I would like without further adieu I would like to introduce you to the real reason, the real VIPs in the room tonight starting with Howard University, Christa Braxton, she add admires you Bill O'Reilly because you work so hard, she says. The person she wants to meet, though, is Candy Crowley. Charmaine Crutchfield, come on out.

And the highlight they said is getting a picture with the first lady and the president of the United States. Charmaine Crutchfield, Rachel Maddow is who she admires because she likes Rachel's point of view on politics. Jubina Portson, so says she admires you, Anna Wintour. You know, she was telling me that Anna Wintour walked in the room and she said, she is beautiful and she looks so good, I said Anna Wintour always looks good. Com out Jubina Portson.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: From Madil, Ashley Joplin. Ashley Jopson told me she loves anybody from "Vyse" because she loves documentaries. Ben Dixon loves anything local news. And those of us know local news. That's a good choice. The first lady said make sure you can see Ashley.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Omar Ramen admires you, David (INAUDIBLE). He loves everything that you do. And Omar knows Margaret Brenan, too. That's also good. University of Missouri from Columbia, Missouri, Risa Chin is a big fan of Maria Bartoromo. Yan Lu (ph) loves all things "60 minutes." Hello to you, Jeff Hegger (ph). At our table is PSY who is sitting next to Charlie Rose. And we asked PSY what he really wants in this country. He says he wants a profile on "60 minutes." I'm thinking you're sitting next to Charlie rose. He knows people. I'll bet that could happen. Jena cook loves you, Conan O'Brien.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Ponsidu (ph) loves all things CNN, special shout out to you, Jeff (INAUDIBLE). Ponsidu (ph) wants to work with you. Kip Ferrell (ph) says his favorite anchor person is Jeff Daniels from NEWSROOM.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: He said he does news the way it should be done. OK, Kip Hill. Steven Rich loves you, Jon Stewart. Come on out, Steven. Alexandria Bakka (ph) had the best answer I thought. Because I asked everybody who do you admire? What shows do you watch? Who's the favorite? Who inspires you? Alexandria thought for a couple of minutes and she said, nobody, really. I want to chart my own course. And I love that answer. Come on out, Alexandria.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Steven rich in addition to Jon Stewart said Brian Fontana, special shout out to you, Paul Rudd. You'll know what that means. And I know that you do. From northwestern, Brenna Monterosa (ph) admires Robin Roberts. Come on out, Brenna. I do, too.

From the University of California Berkeley, Angela Hart loves you, Ryan Lizza. So, she was very excited to meet you backstage.

And last but certainly not least is Jabrin Ingram (ph) who says he loves Shanet Simpson (ph) of channel 7. And God, I hope you are in the room. Come out.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: So, we please have a final round of applause for all the scholarship winners?

(APPLAUSE )

KING: And while you're still standing come on out, Brianna Little. Come on out.

(APPLAUSE) LEMON: All right. Gail King along with the first lady of the United States giving some awards to recipients of scholarship tonight. And that's why this big event of money goes to help people, to help children. We will be right back with our live coverage of the White House correspondents' dinner. Don't go anywhere.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

LEMON: All right, everyone, the president of the United States just introduced at the White House correspondents dinner. We go there live.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Thank you. Thank you, everybody. How do you like my new entrance music?

(CHEERS)

OBAMA: Rush Limbaugh warned you about this. Second term, baby.

(CHEERS)

OBAMA: We're changing things around here a little bit. Actually my advisers were a little worried about the new rap entrance music. They are a little more traditional. They suggested that I should start with some jokes at my own expense. Just take myself down a peg. I was like, guys, after 4 1/2 years, how many pegs are there left?"

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I want to thank the White House correspondents. Ed, you're doing an outstanding job.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: We are grateful for the great work you've done. And to all the dignitaries who are here, everybody on the dais I especially want to say thank you to Ray Ordiano because I'm standing service on that in our country and all our men and women in uniform every single day. And of course, our extraordinary first lady, Michelle Obama.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Everybody loves Michelle. She's on the cover of "Vogue" high poll numbers. But don't worry I recently got my own magazine cover.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: That, look, I get it. These days I look in the mirror and I have to admit. I'm not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE) OBAMA: Time passes. You get a little gray. And yet, even after all this time I still make rookie mistakes. Like I'm out in California we're at a fundraiser having a nice time. I happen to mention that Pamela Harris is the best-looking attorney general in the country. As you might imagine, I got trouble when I got back home. Who knew Eric Holder was so sensitive?

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: And then there's the Easter egg roll which is supposed to be just a nice fun event with the kids. I go out on the basketball court. Took 22 shots, made two of them. That's right. Two hits, 20 minutes. The executives at NBC asked, what's your secret?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: So yes, maybe I have lost a set. But some things are beyond my control. For example, this whole controversy about Jay-Z going to Cuba. It's unbelievable. I've gotten 99 problems and now Jay-Z's one.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: That's another rap reference. Don't.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Of course, everybody's got plenty of advice. Maureen Dowd said I could solve all my problems if I were just more like Michael Douglas in the American pueblo. And I know Michael's here tonight. Michael, what's your secret, man? Could it be that you're an actor in an Aaron Sorkin liberal fantasy? Might that have something to do with it? I don't know. Maybe it's something else.

Anyway, I recognize that this job can take a toll on you. I understand second term you need a burst of new energy. Try some new things. And then my team and I talked about it. We were willing to try anything. So we borrowed one of Michelle's tricks.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I thought this looked pretty good.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: But no bounce. Anyway, I want to give a shout out to our headliner, Conan O'Brien.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: I was just talking to Ed, and I understand that when the correspondents were considering Conan for this gig. They were faced with that age-old dilemma, do you offer it to him now or wait for five years and then give it to Jimmy Fallon? (CHEERS)

OBAMA: That was a little harsh. I love Conan. And of course, the White House press corps is here. I know CNN has taken some knocks lately. But fact is I admire their commitment to cover all sides of the story. Just in case one of them happens to be accurate

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: My former advisers have switched over to the dark side, for example David Axelrod now works for MSNBC which is a nice change of pace since MSNBC used to work for David Axelrod.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: The History Channel is not here. I guess they were embarrassed about the whole Obama is a devil thing.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Of course, that never kept FOX News from showing up.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: They actually thought the comparison was not fair -- to Satan.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: But the problem is that the media landscape is changing so rapidly. You can't keep up with it. I mean I remember when Buzz Feed was just something I did in college around 2:00 a.m.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: It's true. Recently, though, I found a new favorite source for political news. These guys are great. I think everybody here should check it out. They tell it like it is. It's called whitehouse.gov. I cannot get enough of it. Fact is, I really do respect the press. I recognize that the press and I have different jobs to do. My job is to be president. Your job is to keep me humble. Frankly I think I'm doing my job better

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: But part of the problem is, everybody is so cynical. I mean, we are constantly feeding cynicism, suspicion, conspiracies. You remember a few months ago my administration put out a photograph of me going skit shooting at camp David? Do you remember that? And quite a number of people insisted that this had been photoshopped. But tonight I have something to confess. You were right. Guys, can we show them the actual photo?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: We were just trying to tone it down a little bit. (LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: That was an awesome day.

There are other new players in the media landscape as well, like super PACs. Did you know that Sheldon Adelson spent $100 million of his own money last year on negative ads? He's got to really dislike me to spend that kind of money. I mean, that's Oprah money. You could buy an island and call it Nobama for that kind of money.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Sheldon would have been better off offering me $100 million to drop out of the race.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: I probably wouldn't have taken it. But I'd have thought about it

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Michelle would have taken it.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: You think I'm joking.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I know Republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012. But one thing they all agree on is they need to do a better job reaching out to minorities. And look, call me self-centered. But I can think of one minority they could start with, hello.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: I mean, think of me as a trial run, you know? See how it goes. If they won't come to me, I will come to them.

Recently I had dinner. It's been well-publicized I had dinner with a number of the Republican senators. And I'll admit it wasn't easy. I proposed to toast. It died in committee.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Of course, even after I've done all this, some folks still don't think I spend enough time with congress. Why don't you get a drink with Mitch McConnell, they asked? Really? Why don't you get a drink with Mitch McConnell?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I'm sorry. I get frustrated sometimes. I am not giving up. In fact, I'm taking my charm offensive on the road. A Texas barbecue with Ted Cruz. Kentucky bluegrass concert with rand Paul. And a book burning with Michele Bachmann.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: My charm offensive has helped me learn some interesting things about what's going on in congress. It turns out absolutely nothing.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: But, the point of my charm offensive is simple. We need to make progress on some important issues. Take the sequester. Republicans fell in love with this thing. And now they can't stop talking about how much they hate it. It's like we're trapped in a Taylor Swift album.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: One senator who has reached across the aisle recently is Marco Rubio. But I don't know about 2016. I mean, the guy has not even finished a single term in the Senate and he thinks he's ready to be president.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Kids these days. I, on the other hand, have run my last campaign. On Thursday, as Ed mentioned, I went to the opening of the Bush presidential library in Dallas. It was a wonderful event. And that inspired me to get started on my own legacy, which will actually begin by building another edifice right next to the Bush library. Can we show that, please?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I'm also hard at work on plans for the Obama library. And some have suggested that we put it in my birthplace, but I'd rather keep it in the United States.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Did anybody not see that joke coming? Show of hands. Only Gallup? Maybe Dick Morris?

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: Now, speaking of presidents and their legacies, I want to acknowledge a wonderful friend, Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis who are here tonight.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: We had a screening of their most recent film "Lincoln" which was an extraordinary film. I am a little nervous, though, about Steven's next project. I saw a behind the scenes look on HBO. Well, let's just check it out. Roll the tape.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) STEVEN SPIELBERG, WRITER: Well, I was thrilled that "Lincoln" was a success. And as I was thinking about what to do next, in the middle of the night I woke up and it hit me. "Obama," I mean, the guy's already a lame duck so why wait? Picking the right actor to play Obama, that was the challenge. I mean, who is Obama really? We don't know. We never got his transcripts. And they say he's kind of aloof. So I needed someone who could dive in and really become Barack Obama. And as it turns out, the answer was right in front of me all along. Daniel Day-Lewis. He becomes his characters. Hawkeye from "last of the Mohicans,"(INAUDIBLE), Abraham Lincoln in "Lincoln". And you know what, he nailed it.

OBAMA: Was it hard playing Obama? I'll be honest it was. It took awhile. Hello, Ohio. Hello, Ohio. How have you been? Look. Look. Let me be clear about this. You wouldn't believe how long it takes to put these ears on in the morning.

SPIELBERG: Once we had Daniel to play Obama, we had to get the rest of the team. I think we've got pretty terrific performances.

TRACY MORGAN, ACTOR: Working with a legend like Daniel is intimidating. But he makes everybody better. Without him I never could have played Joe Biden, literally. Hi, I'm Joe Biden.

OBAMA: The hardest part? Trying to understand his motivations. Why did he pursue health care first? What makes him tick? Why doesn't he get mad? If I were him I'd be mad all the time. But I'm not him. I'm Daniel Day-Lewis.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: Well, it's a remarkable transformation. I do really sound like that, though, honey? Well, and Groucho Marx (ph) once said -- Senator Cruz that's Groucho Marx, not Carl. That's the other guy. Gouncho Marx once told an audience "before I speak I have something important to say." And along those same lines I want to close on a more serious note. Obviously there's been no shortage of news to cover over these past few weeks. And these have been some very hard days for too many of our citizens. Even as we gather here tonight, our thoughts are not far from the people of Boston and the people of west, Texas. There are families in the Midwest who are coping with some terrible floods. So, we've had some difficult days.

But even when the days seem darkest, we have seen humanity shine at its brightest. We have seen first responders and National Guardsmen who dashed into danger. Law enforcement officers who lived their oath to serve and to protect. And everyday Americans who are opening their homes and their hearts to perfect strangers.

And we also saw journalists at their best, especially those who took the time to wade upstream through the torrent of digital rumors to chase down leads and verify facts and painstakingly put the pieces together to inform and to educate and tell stories that demanded to be told. If anyone wonders for example whether newspapers are a thing of the past all you needed to do was pick up or log onto papers like "The Boston Globe."

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: When their communities and the wider world needed them most, they were there, making sense of events that might at first blush seem beyond our comprehension. And that's what great journalism is, and that's what great journalists do. And that's why, for example, Pete Williams' new nickname around the NBC news room is "big Papi."

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: And in these past few weeks, as I've got an chance to meet many of the first responders and the police officers and volunteers who raced to help when hardship hits, I was reminded as I'm always reminded when I meet our men and women in uniform whether they're in war theater or here back at home or at Walter reed, Bethesda, I'm reminded that all these folks, they don't do it to be honored. They don't do it to be celebrated. They do it because they love their families and they love their neighborhoods and they love their country.

And so these men and women should inspire all of us in this room to live up to those same standards, to be worthy of their trust, to do our jobs with the same fidelity and the same integrity and the same sense of purpose and the same love of country. Because if we're only focused on profits or ratings or polls, then we're contributing to the cynicism that so many people feel right now.

(APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: And so those of us in this room tonight, we are incredibly lucky. And the fact is, we can do better. All of us. Those of us in public office, those of us in the press, those who produce entertainment for our kids, those with power, those with influence. All of us including myself, we can strive to value those things that I suspect led most of us to do the work that we do in the first place. Because we believed in something that was true. And we believed in service and the idea that we can have a lasting, positive impact on the lives of the people around us. And that's our obligation. That's a task we should gladly embrace on behalf of all those folks who are counting on us. On behalf of this country that's given us so much.

So thank you all to the White House correspondents for the great work you do. God bless you all. May God bless the United States of America.

(APPLAUSE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President. Without further adieu I'd like to introduce Mr. Conan O'Brien.

(APPLAUSE)

CONAN O'BRIEN, COMEDIAN: Thank you. Thank you! Thank you. Please remain seated. That's not necessary. Thank you very much. Please, Mr. President. Don't stand. That wouldn't be right.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Good evening. Thank you. Mr. President, Mrs. Obama, distinguished members of the press and Bon Jovi.

(CHEERS)

O'BRIEN: Yes. It's an honor to share this stage with the president. When you think about it, the president and I are a lot alike. We both went to Harvard. We both have two children. And we both told Joe Biden we didn't have extra tickets for tonight's event.

We also have something else in common like the president I too recently got in some hot water by talking about a public official's good looks. It was the time I wouldn't shut up about that stone cold FOX, secretary of transportation Ray LaHood. Oh, man, I like the cut of his jib.

But President Obama, first of all, he had some great jokes. It was a pleasure watching you can stand up here and do what I do. So now it's only fair they get to do what you do.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen, for the next 15 minutes I'll be mired in a tense, dysfunctional standoff with Congress. This is going to be fun.

Now, right away I'd like to formally congratulate the president on his re-election. Congratulations. As you all know, the president is hard at work creating jobs. Since he was first elected the number of Popes has doubled.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: And the number of "tonight show" hosts has tripled. Congratulations!

(APPLAUSE)

O'BRIEN: And while I'm at it I'd like to congratulate president George W. Bush on this week's dedication of his presidential library. Yes, the library has millions of books, articles and documents. And if you go you can be the first to read them.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: You can't hurt me.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Now ladies and gentlemen, let's get going. Right here at the start I'm going to sharing is with you people. And this doesn't leave this room. I say this with absolute confidence because we are on C-SPAN. Who doesn't love C-SPAN? Seriously. C-SPAN. It's an entire channel shot with the backup camera on a ford explorer

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Congratulations to C-SPAN for winning the bid to broadcast this event. They narrowly beat out HGTVQ, TV South America and the Hilton hotel how to check out channel.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: That's right, the Hilton. It's great to be here at the Hilton. Is it just me or is it time to stop using price line to book this event? No, I love the Hilton. I really love the Hilton's motto. "sorry the Radisson was booked."

You know, I was worried that because of this sequester we would be forced to hold this event at a less prestigious hotel than the D.C. Hilton. Then I was told that's not possible.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: But I do want to thank the Hilton for accommodating us. They were kind enough to reschedule a cash for gold seminar.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: By the way, for those of you here for the cash for gold seminar, that's been moved to salon b on the mezzanine. And if Joe Biden asks, there are no extra tickets for that, either.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Quick announcement before we really get going before we continue, if any of you are live tweeting this event please use the #incapable of living in the moment.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Yes. Yes. Yes.

(APPLAUSE)

O'BRIEN: Yes. Also to any U.S. senators here tonight, if you'd like to switch either your desserts or your position on gay marriage, please signal a waiter. By the way, speaking of dinner, tonight's on trace were halibut and filet mignon. Or as CNN's John King reported it, lasagna and cous cous. There's a gavel here and I don't know why.

Here's a fun fact about tonight's food. Everything you ate this evening was personally shot by Wayne Lapierre. Don't worry. It was during a home invasion, though. The fish came in through the window.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: That wasn't peppercorn, that was Bush shot, ladies and gentlemen. Incidentally you may not know this but Wayne Lapierre is the executive vice president of the NRA. Which begs the question, how freaking crazy do you have to be to be the actual president of the NRA?

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

O'BRIEN: He's not even at the top!

Also I'd like to acknowledge that earlier this evening there was some confusion with the seating charts. For a moment someone accidentally sat Governor Chris Christie with the Republicans. That was awkward and I apologize. Very awkward.

But speaking of tables, before dinner I had a chance to mingle. You probably saw me. I worked the crowd. I shook some hands. And sold my Twitter account to Al Jazeera for $500 million. They will buy anything.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: But it is an absolute joy to be here at the White House Correspondents' dinner. Last year Tom Brokaw criticized this event for having too many superstars and a-list celebrities. When I told Tom I would be attending this year he said "that's more like it."

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: That shouldn't be funny to you.

But this is really a star-studded event. This year you've taken us to new heights. I have to congratulate you. New heights. Because you've got some of the guys from duck dynasty here. Duck dynasty. Yes. The guys from duck dynasty are here which can only mean one thing, the guys from storage wars said no.

No, I love duck dynasty. Don't get me wrong. But guys I really don't think your stripe fan whistle is going to -- oh, my God he's here. That's incredible! I always hated that one.

Hey, now as some of you know this is my second time speaking at this event. I was last here 18 years ago back in 1995. A lot's changed since then. Today, you can get real-time information on world events from something small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Back in '95 we talked that George Stephanopoulos.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: I can't see if George is here because there's a crouton in the way.

It's amazing to think how much our country has changed in 18 years. Think about it. If in 1995 you'd told me that in 2013 we'd have an African-American president with a middle name Hussein who was just re-elected to a second term in a sluggish economy, I would have said, oh, he must have run against Mitt Romney.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: By the way, no offense, Mr. President. I do congratulate you on your victory. But as a late night comedian I was kind of pulling for the rich guy whose horse danced in the Olympics.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: The demographics of this country have been rapidly changing over the past two decades, and I look forward to hosting this event 18 years from now. Then my opening line will be (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE) Mario Lopez.

But my prior experience has taught me how these dinners work. If the president laughs, everyone laughs. And if the FOX News table laughs, a little girl just fell off her bike.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: How you doing, bill? Yes, all the Washington news media here tonight, including the stars of online journalism, I see "the Huffington Post" has a table. Yes. Which has me wondering if you're here, who's covering Miley Cyrus' latest nip slips? Who is assembling today's top 25 yogurt-related tweets? Seven mistakes you're making with bacon. That's a real one and you should be ashamed of yourself.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

O'BRIEN: By the way, just before dinner I tried to say a quick hello to Arianna Huffington but she made me watch a 30-second ad first. Yes, a lot of online stars are in the room, but unfortunately Matt Drudge couldn't make it. Yes, he had a prior commitment to teach a web design class in 1997.

Of course, the Washington print media is joining us this evening. The print media are here for two very good reasons. Food and shelter.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: You know, how are you? You know, some people say print media is dying, but I don't believe it. And neither does my black smith.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: You got to meet Zachariah, he's great. Man, rougher for "Newsweek" which after 80 years published its last print issue. Yes. "Time" magazine might gloating but they really shouldn't because "Time" will outlive "Newsweek" the way Juliet outlived Romeo. Read the play. It's very smart.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: These are so tough for old media that Reuters is having its after party right here at the Hilton. Because nothing says we're having a great year like having your after party at the same table where you just had dinner.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: With that in mind, Reuters is asking everyone here to leave a little wine at the bottom of their glass.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: And to be fair, print media still has a big star in Bob Woodward, OK? Got to give it up for Bob Woodward. Yes. Yes. Yes. Earlier this evening a waiter asked Mr. Woodward if he wanted regular or decaf and he said, stop threatening me.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Also tonight, some of the big names in television news, when it comes to television news we have a divided media landscape, OK? FOX News is watched by conservatives. MSC is watched by liberals and CNN is watched by the people who clean the offices at CNN.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: It get's worst. CNN's ratings are so low, now when the logo comes up James Earl Jones says "you're watching CNN?" what the hell?

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: I have to say in the past few years, CNN has made some very odd moves. For example, they replaced the popular Larry King with one of the scheming footmen from downtown Abby. Piers rides right into that show. (INAUDIBLE).

Hey, it's great to see my old friend at MSNBC. MSNBC's Chris Matthews is here. Chris Matthews has the only show where the commercial exists just so they can wipe the spittle off the lens.

By the way, during the Boston coverage on MSNBC last week, Chuck Todd stopped a pundit from speculating on unverified information. There's no joke here. I'm just letting the people at CNN know that you can do that.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: This is a learning experience. Hello to FOX News star Bill O'Reilly. Bill has become quite the author. He's had two recent best sellers "Killing Kennedy" and "Killing Lincoln." He also wrote a book that was not nearly as popular "the natural peaceful death of cats." What were you thinking? The truth is, Bill O'Reilly, this is true, is now working on his next book out this fall. This time it's about the killing of Jesus. It will be the first time in history Jesus' death is blamed on Obama care.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Two quick shout outs to PBS and NPR. Now PBS, yes. Those PBS people love to party. Guys if you party tonight be safe. Wear a tote bag.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: It works. You got to love NPR. NPR's still the number one source for news delivered as if there's a toddler sleeping in the next room. NBC news is in the house. Good Lord they've had a rough go of it, huh?" the today show" let go of Ann Curry after being told Ann Curry said let me get this straight. Al Roker (ph) tells the world he crap his pants at the White House and I'm getting fired? Al's the reason there are no more tours at the White House. They're still hosing it down.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

O'BRIEN: Brian Williams is here. Brian I'm a big fan of your show. "Rock Center with Brian Williams." If you haven't seen it, imagine -- this is great. Imagine Brian delivering the evening news on a different floor of the building a little later with a slightly different tie. It's a mind blower. You got to check it out.

But as I look around the room and I see all the media here tonight I realize this is all just one big high school cafeteria. That's it is. Think about it. FOX is the jocks. MSNBC is the nerds. Bloggers are the Goths. NPR is the table for kids with peanut allergies.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Al Jazeera is the weird foreign exchange student nobody talks to. And print media, I didn't forget you. You're the poor kid who died sophomore year in a car crash. Yes. Cheer up. We dedicate the yearbook to you.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Of course, probably the biggest story that people in this room covered this past year was the Republican failure to recapture the White House. Hard to believe the Republicans didn't fare better in the election with the support of celebrities like Ted Nugent and Meatloaf. I guess they overestimated the number of voters who still drive carpeted vans.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: But the Republican party is on the mend. One rising star on the right is senator Marco Rubio or as he's known in the Republican party, our black guy.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Yes. By the way, as of today the U.S. Senate has a record number of African-American senators, two. Two. In other words, there are now more African-Americans in the Senate than in a Mumford and sons concert.

(LAUGHTER) O'BRIEN: Thank you, younger people. Paul Ryan. "I don't understand" what's he babbling about" who's this man? Paul Ryan recently, he really burst through last year when he ran for vice president. After the election Ryan said President Obama was re- elected because of the high turnout of urban voters. Then when he was asked just how he liked his coffee Ryan said, no milk, no sugar, just urban.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Well, there's RNC chairman Reince Priebus. You heard me correctly. His name is Rinse Priebus. Tonight, he's sitting right in between his brothers, lather Priebus and repeat Priebus.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: House majority leader Eric Cantor is here. Or as I like to refer to him, yet another Jewish Republican from the south gets old.

That reminds me also joining us is a congressman from New York named Steve Israel. That's right, he's from New York and his name is Israel. Now, there's pandering and then there's pandering.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: That's like having a congressman from South Carolina named Jesus H. Gun.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: My name's Gun. Jesus H. Gun.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Yes. You've got to use this thing. It's fantastic! I only used it once! I mentioned Republican governor Chris Christie earlier. Chris Christie and Shaquille O'Neal are sitting at the same dinner table. So let's give it up for the real unsung hero tonight, their waiter.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: That poor bastard. He's going to lose an arm.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: I believe we have one or two Supreme Court justices here. The Supreme Court seems divided over same-sex marriage. The liberal justices favor it while the conservatives oppose. Any lifelong sacred union between two men unless of course it's Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

(AUDIENCE BOOS)

O'BRIEN: What the hell was that? It is no surprise that speaker John Boehner isn't here tonight. Speaker Boehner and president Obama are still struggling to get along. President Obama and John Boehner are kind of like a blind date between Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow. In theory, they understand each other's positions, but deep down you know nothing's ever going to happen.

(LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)

O'BRIEN: Speaking of nothing happening, we are all hoping of course that nothing happens with North Korea. And that got me wondering, what is with Kim Jong-un? Now, in the past we have had really scary enemies like Saddam Hussein and Hitler. Now, suddenly our nemesis is a pouty teenage boy who dresses like Rosy O'Donnell at the Emmys.

Kim Jong-un doesn't understand that we aren't afraid of him. What that guy doesn't get is that we already have an unstable peninsula that will ultimately bring down America. It's called Florida. Yes, it is.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Yes, President Obama has a lot on his plate right now. He is now at that very nice stage where there are no more secrets left to come out about him. We all know that as a child he lived in Indonesia. He studied at a Muslim seminary and occasionally ate dog.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: So clearly from the beginning he was a kid who had his eyes set on the U.S. presidency. Check, check and check.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Here I come.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Now I know the relationship between the president and the press can seem a bit strained at times. Some in this room have even accused the president of being distant and aloof. When I asked the president about it earlier he said "oh," and then walked away.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Of course it's only natural but Mr. President, your reelection was a little less exciting the first time around in 2008. On election night in 2008 you celebrated with hundreds of thousands of people in Chicago's grant park. It was fascinating. This time around you split a charred dog with David Axelrod at the wiener circle. It just didn't have the same buzz.

And by the way, I have a question. And I think some of you also have this question. It's been several months since you were reelected, sir. So I'm curious, why are you still sending everyone five e-mails a day asking for more money? You won do you have a gambling problem we don't know about? Did you pull it on Gonzaga?

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: You did, didn't you? He did. President Obama has already made a lot of changes in his second term. Sir, you recently appointed John Kerry and Chuck Hagel. Very smart move. You appointed the only two people in the United States who look even more tired than you. It's a great strategy.

Mr. President, you're going to leave office as a very young man. And yet the presidency has taken its toll. I don't want to alarm you, sir, but you're starting to look like a judge on "law and order."

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: Just say you're on thin ice, counselor. You could have that part right away. Seriously, Mr. President, your hair is so white it could be a member of your cabinet.

(CROWD BOOS)

O'BRIEN: He can handle it. Speaking of the cabinet, the president recently picked his new treasury secretary Jack Lew. It gives me great joy to know if the president ever has to let him go he'll get to say "it's not Lew, it's me."

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: But the quote I hear the most about the president is that he's always the coolest guy in the room. That's what everyone says, he's the coolest guy in the room. All right, but here's my question. Who else is in that room? It's not hard to be a cool one when the other guys in the room are Biden, Hagel and Kerry. I'd be cool too if I was showing Tom Villsack is showing Steven Shoo how to do the Harlem shake.

Now, I've made some jokes about the president this evening. And I'm looking forward to my audit.

(LAUGHTER)

O'BRIEN: It's coming. I know, sir, it's coming. But I would like to take a moment here and change gears and say something to the president regarding the events of the past two weeks. Some of you may not know. This I grew up in Boston. My parents still live there. And my brother Luke raised his family in Watertown. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Mr. President, for visiting that great city and helping its people begin to heal with your inspiring words.

(APPLAUSE)