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CNN Live Event/Special
Roy Wood Jr. Roasts Washington At WH Correspondents' Dinner; President Biden Pokes Fun At His Age At White House Correspondents' Dinner; Brittney Griner Attends White House Correspondents' Dinner; Biden Highlights U.S. Journalists Imprisoned Overseas. Aired 11p-12a ET
Aired April 29, 2023 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ROY WOOD JR., CORRESPONDENT, THE DAILY SHOW: It's just the newsroom is getting cut, cutting people with cutting budgets, but you'd never hear about the multimillion-dollar executives reducing their salaries within these organizations.
Now, how do we fix this? I don't know. I'm a comedian. I was just -- it's not my job to have the solution. That's how we go. But local reporting is very important. My mother is here tonight. I know she is furious right now because I'm trying to put on camera.
But my mother was amongst a group of black student protesters, fighting for equality in the 60s at Delta State University. And that was a dangerous time. But those types of incidents were covered by local reporters. And some of the shame that came from the national embarrassment of treating people in humanely is part of the pressure that helped to create that type of change.
What would have become my mother and those other protesters have a local journalist wasn't there telling the story. And now it's no different. But thankfully, my mother's story was told. She got to complete a degree at Delta State and continued on to Florida A&M and got another degree. And then for the last 45 years has worked at it historically black colleges and educator and administrator.
One of those many black colleges that need a little bit more funding, you got a 20 on your job. Send that down to one or two black colleges. To my mom, I say thank you for everything you've done for me and for helping countless students in Birmingham, have the opportunity to see a college degree and to see an opportunity to grow, you know.
My mother's journey may not have even begun, if not for brave journalists who chose to chronicle history in real time. And I don't know how to ever repay my mom for what she's done for me and what she's done for so many people in Alabama, but just no mama, if a white billionaire call you an offer to buy your house, please sell it because I might want to become an NFT.
Thank you so much for the Correspondents' Association. Thank you so much (Inaudible). Thank you all so much. Good night. TAMARA KEITH, NPR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT AND CO-HOST: Thank you, Roy. Thank you, Mr. President. Thanks again to our executive producer, Bob Bain, and his excellent team. Thank you to the Washington Hilton. Thank you to our members. And now Kelly O'Donnell, who will take the reins' WHCA president in fewer than three months. Kelly will escort the president of the United States and his intelligence are off of stage.
May the force be with you, Kelly when you take over this job. And everyone here please remain in your seats until the president, the vice president, the first lady and second gentleman have departed. Good night, everyone. Thank you.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN HOST: This has been the White House Correspondents' Dinner you saw comedian Roy Wood Jr. Standing right there, and President Biden right behind him with an impassioned defense of journalism. President Biden pointing out he says journalism is not a crime and talking about Evan Gershkovich in detention in Russia.
Roy Wood Jr. with this strident defense of local journalism around the country. And for both of them relentless jokes---
JESSICA DEAN, CNN HOST: Many, many jokes.
BERMAN: --at our expense.
DEAN: Yes. We're here to be the punching bag. Yes, no, exactly. It was -- yes, it was fun to see that all play out and what is so unique about this of course is that you're sitting right next to the president United States, the most powerful person in the world and you are roasting them and if we're allowed to do that in this country and that is a great thing.
BERMAN: Very first words out of Roy Wood Jr.'s mouth when he went up to that microphone was Mr. Biden you know, you left your classified documents here. And then it kept on going from there.
DEAN: Yes, it sure did. And now we're seeing everybody walking out and I keep thinking about the crush of cars around the Washington Hilton right now. And what a traffic jam that's going to be as they get these motorcades through the city.
But again, just a night to your point with the through line here. Just the defensive journalism getting Evan Gershkovich, Austin Tice back home. We talked about Brittney Griner a lot. And then also just getting a lot of those jokes in.
BERMAN: Our panel was watching right along with us. Everyone laughed at least once over the course of this. (Inaudible), what do you think?
ALEXANDRA PETRI, WASHINGTON POST COLUMNIST: Oh, I thought on the whole, there were fewer jokes than I expected and more than just genuine serious talk about the state of journalism and the need for local journalism, which, I guess almost it's sort of a state of journalism referendum. And it's like, oh, everything seems pretty dire. We'd better remind people that this is important.
We can't make too many jokes because everyone's losing their jobs. And we need to figure out a model that will allow us to have livelihoods. So, but I thought the jokes that were there were great. I loved especially like, if you've vice president that in such a way that there's a documentary about you, you've done it wrong that.
DEAN: You vice president did wrong.
BERMAN: Elzie? (Ph)
LZ GRANDERSON, OPED COLUMNIST, LOS ANGELES TIMES: You know, I love the fact that he now, he took time to defend local journalism, which is dear to my heart. I stood off as a local newspaper reporter and was a local newspaper reporter for many years. But he defended his mother. And he talked about his mother. And it reminded me not to be cynical about this whole thing, right?
Because we're here, we do it all the time. We're like going, yes, yes, yes. But to a lot of people in that room, being there means a lot. And to Roy Wood Jr., it meant a lot. And it meant a lot for him to be able to be in the position to bring this mother to be able to celebrate that and uplift her in front of this room of powerful people.
What an incredible moment. For a comedian, for a man, for a black man in America. That's the thing I remember most because how much he decided, I'm going to take this time, shine away from myself and my moment and thank my mama, is awesome.
CATHERINE RAMPELL, CNN ECONOMIST COMMENTATOR: I appreciated the, oh, to local journalism as well. And the importance of getting the first draft of history right or as right as we possibly can. I thought that was really important. But one thing I wanted to talk about was Biden's remarks.
I actually thought he did a great job. You know, there was a lot of endearing self deprecation there.
BERMAN: He had two minutes on his age. He did two minutes of age.
RAMPELL: Yes. I mean, like I said before the -- when we were pre gaming, I thought that that was going to be part of the focus here is just kind of undercut that attack against him. And I thought it was a pretty effective counter puncher, or whatever you want to call it.
I thought he was, you know, pretty endearing. And he did a great job. And, you know, some jokes at our expense or colleagues' expense, you know---
BERMAN: It happens.
RAMPELL: Yes. ASHLEY ALLISON, FORMER NATIONAL COALITIONS DIRECTOR FOR BIDEN-HARRIS 2020: I thought Biden did great. I thought Roy did amazing. I know, Scott, you're like surprised. She thought no.
SCOTT JENNINGS, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I'd like to hear more about how great Biden. Please keep going.
ALLISON: No. What I actually think was most interested in both of their sets, was they caught on hypocrisy on both sides, actually. And how we talk about Biden's age, but not Trump's age. How we sometimes say women are past their prime, but men are hitting their prime at certain ages. I mean, he didn't pull punches and neither one of them pulled punches. And I appreciated that.
And I think for the American public, it's why they get disgusted with politics, because it's like, wait a minute, you know, you have this stance on policy when it's going in your favor, but then when it's not, you want to flip it. And so, people can read through the BS. They are sick of it. And I mean, I found it refreshing to call it out on both sides, Democrat Republican press, you know, elected officials, I thought it was good.
JENNINGS: I thought the best jokes would told were the Dominion jokes (cross talk). And then he went back to it with smart men, which I thought that was a pretty funny riff. On Biden, the line that will stick with me, is in a lot of ways this dinner sums up my first two years in office, I'll talk for 10 minutes, take zero questions and cheerfully walk away.
I'm just going to -- for the journalists in the room. He wasn't laughing with you. He was laughing at you. I mean, the reality is, I think he's mocking the press. The guy does not take questions that he's up there joking about it. And I just -- and they're clapping and they're laughing about it. And I don't know, I just, I think he owes. I'm pro reporter. And I think the president United States ought to have to talk to these reporters and not mock them.
BERMAN: How did it compare to the speeches that Donald Trump gave at the White House Correspondents Dinner?
JENNINGS: Oh, gosh, what was the (cross talk)
BERMAN: He didn't give him. He didn't show.
ALLISON: Because he doesn't respect reporters. I mean, and that's the hypocrisy is that---
JENNINGS: He does take. He didn't take their questions, does take their questions.
ALLISON: Well, he's also demonized the entire profession.
JENNINGS: I can't say, he didn't (Ph).
ALLISON: Right. So, it's like, you know, sure. Have you been taken Joe Biden, but I would take Joe Biden stance on the press and the freedom of speech over Donald Trump any day. I mean, he wouldn't even go to the correspondents' dinner because he had such a---
RAMPELL: I would say my objection to Trump's treatment of the press is not whether he went to this black-tie event. It's more are like calling us the enemy of the people, you know, that that I think it is (crosstalk)
ALLISON: And feeding a lie that a whole network follow that now has to pay the best voting machine apparently in the world (crosstalk)
GRANDERSON: That was pretty good. I think the other thing that I would take away from this is the paradigm shift that needs to happen when it comes to age. You know, as many people know, I also worked at ESPN for a long time to cover sports. And last week, we had a young man called LeBron James old.
GRANDERSON: And while he is old, as far as the NBA player, he took exception to it and beat that young man's ass. And well, I think when it comes to age in this country, considering that we're getting older, that we're living younger, longer, we're going to have to change our attitudes about age as well. Because just because you hit a number, doesn't mean you're at a certain point in terms of your capacity to give back to the community and to society.
And I think watching Joe Biden, just be old makes us uncomfortable. And we assume because we're uncomfortable, he's incapable. Those are two separate tracks. And I think this campaign is going to force us as a nation to reconsider culturally, how we talk about age, because every metric that I've seen, suggests we're only getting older as a nation.
BERMAN: How Roy Wood Jr. handle that? It was interesting answer because there was --again, that riff about, he joked about Joe Biden napping, right? So, he's making an age joke there. But then flipped it around and said, what he was waking up from the nap, that he was getting things done. And then on stage there, Joe Biden was laughing at that. I mean, there was a cutaway of Joe Biden laughing.
PETRI: Yes. I mean, I think objectively, he has been on the planet for as long as he's been on it, there's no sort of, oh, I'm going to shave off a few years. And suddenly, and I do -- I have to say, as a person who will someday be old that has nothing but massive respect for people who are old. I do wish that more of the people holding the levers of power. We're not like also -- like leaning heavily on levers of power in order to stand up right.
I do like, -- I'm going to get there. And I'm sorry. But I do think he also -- the whole like, he's begging for a job at age 80, was another joke about his age, especially compared to in France. When you can apparently retire at 64, why am I not in France?
ALLISON: Well, I think to your point that like, it's going to be an issue about age, it's also going to be issue about gender, because he directly called the thing about like, well, what is Kamala doing? Well, what does any other vice president doing?
And I do, I fundamentally believe that the way the vice president has been treated is because she is a woman, is because she is a black woman. I also appreciate though Joe Biden was intentional and calling out black women in his speech. And I don't think that that was by accident.
He knows black women are his base. He knows if he's going to win reelection, he cannot lose that some important part of his coalition. And when we hear as being identify, we appreciate it. And I think that was smart tonight.
GRANDERSON: And worked in hyperbole, either.
ALLISON: Its true.
GRANDERSON: I mean, basically it's true. There were no lies detected. He may be uncomfortable with it. But it's the reality of the Democratic Party, that black women have long been the backbone. And when you go through, particularly when you look at what happened in Georgia results, it's really hard to argue with President Biden was talking about it.
DEAN: It's interesting, too, because his age directly -- is directly connected to Vice President Harris in that. I think we can all expect that because his age is going to be so central to this that Republicans are going to zero in on. Well, he's very old. And if anything happens to him, this is your president, and we can expect to see more attacks on her. And they're really going to make that I think, very central to their argument.
JENNINGS: Well, it's not that Republicans have zeroed in on it. It's that voters have zeroed in on it. I mean, she's had a pretty rough couple of years. So rough, in fact that there was reporting this week that people in the White House were ordering other people in the White House to rehab her image and rebrand her before this campaign kicks off.
GRANDERSON: Can we do the same thing with W though (Ph), when it came to Dan -- HW when it came to Dan Quayle. There were questions about whether or not he should still be on the ticket because---
BERMAN: Every four years, there's occasionally some second guessing about whether or if the city vice president will be on the ticket again, and then they always, you know, things are leaked. And then it's always decided, oh, no, no, it's too risky to change it. Look, that video, the video, the announcement video makes clear (crosstalk). She's all over that.
I just want to say on the age thing for just one second here, because it was front and center tonight in the jokes and on the stage. And it is something that's an issue in the campaign. And I'm just curious, if the way that President Biden handled it tonight, if you all think it'll be an effective way for him to handle it, when he's not giving a comedy address.
GRANDERSON: I believe that the things that will remind Americans of his age are moments in which he's speaking from the top of his head, where he has to be quick, when he's moving, he's going to remind them of the older people in their lives. And that may or may not lend itself to safety, but I think that will be the natural correlation. As I said Americans are living longer. So, we have Joe Biden's in our own home.
JENNINGS: I think it really depends on who he's running against. I mean, if the Republicans nominate Trump, who's also old. I mean, they're both up there. If the Republicans nominate somebody much, much younger than it becomes exacerbated. The senior moments versus somebody who looks a lot more vigorous.
And it's the one thing a politician can't lie about their age. They lie about everything else, and they will. But in this case, it will be on full display also, because in the last campaign, he didn't ever have to come out of the basement. This one, I'm not sure he can get away with it. And so, you're going to see more of him. And however, we compare it to whatever the Republican nominee is, I think will drive. Does it answer your question?
ALLISON: Joe Biden has been president now for two years. He just had a state visit with South Korea. He's been to Kyiv. He went to Ireland. It's not like this man has not had a rigorous schedule and has not been. He has one of the most successful legislative agendas in for a Democrat or Republican. He is proving that he is up to the job in terms of his age.
Now, granted, you get older every year, but so do we all. I mean, I think that, sure, if he runs against Trump, it becomes less of an issue. To your question, though, John, I do think that you can't run from it. And I appreciate that that was not what was done tonight. It is what it is.
Like if your age is the worst thing you have going for you, I think you like can run a pretty good campaign, especially if it's day in and day out for the next few years of his administration, he continues to get things done. It kind of becomes a moot point.
GRANDERSON: The thing that concerns me more about 2024, isn't the age of the candidates. It's the age we're living in. Artificial intelligence and the conversations in the language and the vocabulary of technology today is moving extremely fast. And I don't necessarily need the president United States, or the vice president United States to retreat articulate the intricacies of artificial intelligence.
But I need to trust that they'll be able to identify the individuals who are going to be able to make sure that administration is prepared for the new wave of technology. Because the question of, do you trust the decision making of this person, regardless of the age, for the age that we're in.
RAMPELL: I think it was a very deliberate joke. I mean, it was kind of a throwaway joke, but also, I think it was a very deliberate joke to have that dark Brandon meme moment, like to show that he's plugged in somehow to the current culture. I granted it's not as complex an issue as AI. There was no ChatGPT reference in there.
But I do think that that was part of like showing that he's, you know, he understands some part of current technological culture. My guess is probably some younger staffer suggested that joke. I don't think he wrote it himself--
GRANDERSON: Which is fine.
RAMPELL: That's fine. That's OK.
GRANDERSON: I don't need you to be the king of technology just know how to anoint people to be able to make sure we should act responsibly.
DEAN: It also shows right that he's in on the joke, I think is another way. All right. Stay with us. They're not going anywhere. We're not going anywhere. You don't go anywhere. Our coverage continues. We're going to get insight from three people who are in the room tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Brittney Griner and here wife Cherelle. Brittney, where are you kid. Stand up. Come on. I love this woman. Love you Brittney. This time last year, we were praying for you Brittney. Hopefully you know how hard all this we're fighting for your release. It's great to have you home. And boy, I can hardly wait to see you back on the court. Remember your promise, I get to bring my granddaughter, my Allstate girl to see right?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: All right. President Biden there, obviously talking about Brittney Griner, who is in the room with her wife, Cherelle. By the way, a moment in and of itself when you have a president of the United States acknowledging, as if it's nothing, which again in 2023, so perhaps it is nothing, a woman and her wife together in the audience. But then noting Brittney Griner home after being in detention in Russia
DEAN: And it is such a remarkable, and he said a year ago, you were in a jail cell in Russia and now tonight you're here. And it is such a remarkable turn of events and to have her in the room. You know, what were your thoughts?
GRANDERSON: I looked and wondered, why did she decide to cut her locks off? And it's an important conversation because as someone with locks, I know it's a spiritual journey. And when I cut my locks, that means is a different point of my life and I'm reentering. And so, I wondered if she cut her locks for a spiritual part of her growth and part of her healing.
She wanted to let that part go and throws up the energy and the spiritual out elements are in her hair, and she wants to cut it off that she's going to grow new hair. Like where is she in that journey? Locks are very, very, not for everyone, but because I've had an opportunity to talk to Brittney over the years. I know they are important to her. So, I am curious to see in her healing part.
You know, what does this process mean for you now? Where are you symbolizing? Are you suggesting that you are now past this? Are you saying, you're in some sort of limbo and you're still waiting for the others like emotional shoe to drop?
You know, she's in my prayers. I'll put it this way because it's really hard, I would assume to move on for something like that, and the cutting of the locks to me when I saw that, I was like, yes, that's a significant change for her (CROSSTALK).
ALLISON: If you care?
GRANDERSON: Yes, I do.
ALLISON: The reporting that I have read is that when she was in Russia, it was so cold, and her hair would, you know, locks take a long time to dry actually. And so, it was a form of function for health actually because she wasn't able to cover her hair. So, it was almost like selfcare for herself because of her being detained.
GRANDERSON: I thought she arrived that she still had her locks, no? OK.
ALLISON: Not to my, that wasn't---
GRANDERSON: The videos that I saw, it looked as if she still had her locks. So, I was wondering when.
DEAN: OK. We've been told that she did when she arrived and then she cut them off.
BERMAN: Yes. It's a reminder that she was in a Russian prison for a long time. And she was at the White House Correspondents' Dinner tonight. So, it's been a heck of a journey.
DEAN: It's been a heck of a journey. And I thought you had such an interesting point. And I think it was when we were in a break. You said, but the fact that she's out and about and talking about it and telling that story over and over again, perhaps that is a good signal for healing.
GRANDERSON: I think so, right? Like you don't want to be reminded of trauma, right? Unless you're prepared to handle that trauma, which again, you know, not to keep harping on the hair thing. But again, I'm just when I saw the visual thing, and that she's there, I think she's emerging in something different. And I'm just curious to see what this new person will be and what do I have to offer beyond just basketball.
DEAN: It is it not striking that. Here we are, it's 2023. And you've got the most powerful, most of the most powerful people in the United States in this one room.
BERMAN: Except for us.
DEAN: Except for us, obviously, they forgot us. But you have them all in this room, and we're talking about journalists that are imprisoned, Evan Gershkovich, Austin Tice, and then you had Brittney Griner, different situation but similarly imprisoned in Russia. And that that's still happening that, you know, when Evan Gershkovich was put in prison, it was the first time they've done that since the Cold War. And it does signal, I don't know, I'm curious what you all think. Does it signal that we're in kind of a different era?
JENNINGS: Yes. I mean, dealing with the Russian regime. And look, look at the chain of events. I'm very glad Brittney Griner is here. We had to trade an arms dealer called the merchant of death to get her home. We did that. Then they go and take Evan, hostage.
JENNINGS: We've done nothing on -- we've seen nothing responsive on Whelan. So, we have Brittney home, and that's good. And now, we have an arms dealer called the merchant of death on the loose. And, Evan, I don't know what's going to happen to him. I don't know what's going to happen to Paul Whelan.
I think the -- I think the reality is that the record for Biden here is, the jury's still out on whether all this was handled, because the way they're dealing with our people and our journalists and it's awful. It's terrible for their family. Can you imagine having to wake up every day, wondering what news, if any. And if the news will be good or bad.
ALLISON: Can I ask you, Scott? Don't you feel, I mean, just as an American -- Americans and American, looking at our American president, speaking to the parents that are in the family that are in that room, that his administration is committed to bringing them home? I mean, I, at some point, I just feel like a forgetting about politics.
It's like, I think he understands the weight of that. He's met with their families, and they are doing what they can do. And it just hasn't happened. But I mean, I believe him when he says, we will not stop fighting for you. And if we don't believe that, like, what can we believe to bring innocent people home from unjust attainment?
JENNINGS: I believe that he would love for all these people that come on, I honestly believe that. I think we're dealing with a madman. I think we're dealing with a terrible government that wants only bad things for the United States. And only -- they only want to embarrass us. And they want to make our people prisoners for the purpose of hurting them, hurting their families and embarrassing the United States.
And dealing with that there may not be any answers. But I'm just saying at this moment, I don't feel like we're in a great place on how to deal with the Russians on it, because it's obvious what they are willing to do.
BERMAN: And the bottom line is, it's a dangerous time to be a reporter anywhere in the world.
RAMPELL: That's exactly right, including in the United States (crosstalk). I mean, there have been a number of journalists who've been killed, just doing their jobs in the United States recently as well, right?
BERMAN: And again, in huge props to the journalists who were overseas in war zones and brave enough to go to Russia with the restrictions of the threats that are there.
DEAN: No doubt about it. Stay with us, everyone. We're going to go to the red carpet to get some reaction for people who were inside the room when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOY WOOD JR., AMERICAN COMEDIAN: Real quick, Mr. President, I think you left some of your classified documents up here. You can get to. But, to Tucker staff, I want you to know that I know what you're feeling. I work at The Daily Show. So, I too have been blindsided by the sudden departure of the host of a fake news program. Despite the challenging times we live in, I look around this room and I see people that are hard working.
Many of you, I don't even think you should be working that hard. We should be inspired by the events in France. They rioted when the retirement age went up two years to 64. They rioted because they didn't want to work till 64. Meanwhile, in America, we have an 80- year-old man begging us for four more years of work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: That was inside the room of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. So, let's now go to the red carpet. Harry Enten is live with NPR's Eric Deggans and CNN's Sara Sidner. And friends, I want to know what you thought? What was it like to be inside the room for this? We watched on TV. How did the jokes land?
SARA SIDNER, CNN ANCHOR, CNN NEWS CENTRAL: I was in the room where it happened. I want to note that for my mother. And we all were on the floor. Most of -- I mean, laughing. We were -- it was funny. And whoever put together Joe Biden speech, he killed it, like, it was funny, and he had plenty of this for plenty of us. And Roy was on fire.
I mean, it was fun. It was well meaning. We all got our digs in. They got our digs on us. We got our digs in back. What did you think? I thought it was fantastic. People were having a good time.
ERIC DEGGANS, TV CRITIC, NPR: Yes. I thought Roy did a really great job. And I got to point out that the President did shout out to NPR--
SIDNER: He said he loved NPR.
DEGGANS: --because we whispered in the mic just like he does, which is pretty awesome. But, Roy did an amazing job. Now, I spent some time with Roy a few weeks ago at The Daily Show to ask him what he was going to do when he came here. He told me that he was going to be tough on the media, but funny. And I think he delivered on both of those things.
His predecessor, Trevor Noah, was here just a year ago and set the bar pretty high. I think Roy leaped over it with a set that wasn't just funny, but was also serious when it needed to be, talking about the power of journalism, to move forward the civil rights struggle, and the need to stand up for journalists who were being treated as criminals just for doing their job.
He got that message in, but he was also able to deliver Tucker Carlson jokes, and make us all laugh a little bit about the absurdity of things that we face in the media space. It was wonderful. I thought he did a great job.
HARRY ENTEN, CNN SENIOR DATA REPORTER: I wasn't actually allowed in the room. They kept me out here, locked in shame. But, I would just say that I've known Roy for a while. I hang out at the Comedy Cellar in New York, and to watch Roy's career just sort of accelerate so fast. It really was amazing to sort of see and like, oh, my God, and he is the nicest guy in the world. That's what's so incredible about Roy.
DEGGANS: And supportive of other comics too. He is a mentor to comics who are coming up. We saw a star born here in a way. Even though Roy has been on The Daily Show for a while, he has done comedy sketches. He stepped up in a way that I think people are really going to notice in the wake of this.
SIDNER: And you what? He also talks about, in all seriousness, he talked about coming from a journalist background, and the struggles that he watched his parents have during the Civil Rights Movement and their role in that movement, and the fact that local journalism was so important, it was essential and still is. And so, we really hit some strong points. I feel like we're talking about this, like, it's a football game. I just have that feeling.
DEGGANS: Where is that telescreen?
SIDNER: But, he has an incredibly strong and poignant point. But then, he did it with such flair and such comedy, and the timing on every single joke, he nailed it.
DEGGANS: One of the things that he pointed out is that, of course, the media industry has gone through a lot now. We've had a lot of layoffs. A lot of people have lost jobs. It's a dark time sometimes to face the media space these days. And we needed a chance to laugh, and we also needed the chance to sort of salute and pay tribute to people who've done great work. And that's what's so important about a night like tonight.
The last are important, and those are great. But, it's also important to remember what this word means, and people who have paid some of the ultimate prices to do it. And sir, I know you know about this too, to hear about people who are in prison simply for doing their jobs, to hear about people who've been hurt or been criticized for being the enemy of the people.
I mean, I thought it was important that the President stood up, and one of his first words was, you are not the enemy of the people. And we needed to hear that. And so, it may sound a little bit like a cheering section for the press. But, at a time when there is so many layoffs and there is so much talk about advertising cutbacks, it's good to hear that people value what we do, and it's a good rallying cry for us to kind of pull together and move forward.
SIDNER: And look, we would be remiss if we did not mention Evan Gershkovich and also Austin Tice. Evan has now been imprisoned by Russian authorities are literally simply doing his job. And, you have to -- and Austin Tice has been in Syria, and has been taken for many, many years now. It is essential that we stand up for these journalists, because they've literally just trying to do their jobs.
ENTEN: Just trying to do their jobs. And I'm going to make this turn here. Let me just say, I have enjoyed every minute of my job this evening. And John, Jessica, toss it back to you. You guys did a great job. It's been a true blast meeting all these great people. Eric--
DEGGANS: Thank you for bringing me in at the end of the last second. I really appreciate it. So much fun.
ENTEN: Thank you.
BERMAN: I should note, Harry Enten.
SIDNER: I think he should house next to you.
ENTEN: Oh God. No. I think this is a nice little thing. It's a little bit different than the magic wall, but it's all good for me.
BERMAN: Harry Enten, you are magic no matter where you are. Eric Deggans, thank you very much.
Sara, I'll see you in the morning pretty soon. You guys are all great. And by the way, Harry Enten for a long time used to get his mail, no joke, he used to get his mail at the Comedy Store in New York City.
DEAN: No. I looked at you, and he said, it was like, really? He said yes.
BERMAN: Yes. Yes. That's a whole story for another time. We do have a highlight reel from Harry's big night on the red carpet, after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ENTEN: Oh my god. Your accent makes my accent look so crummy by comparison.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: So, we just spoke with Harry Enten who has been working in the red carpet all night for us.
DEAN: Really working it.
BERMAN: Really working it--
BERMAN: --talking to all the big stars coming in and out of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. So, we just wanted to show you some of the truly magic moments.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WOOD JR.: Yes.
ENTEN: I just have one question for you. Obviously, you're the comedian of the evening. But, if you were not in fact the comedian of the evening, would you actually be watching this event?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're the data guy.
ENTEN: I am the data guy. You know who I am?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I know exactly.
ENTEN: And I know who you are.
WOOD JR.: If this was going up again Monday Night Football, and I'll be the yard and check back on it later.
ENTEN: That's a great question. I have no idea what I'm doing here. Oh, you know, they call this the nerd prom. I have to ask, how does this compare to your actual prom back in the day? Well, actually, there is no difference between this prom, my actual prom. I don't have a date to either one. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, I was a nerd. So, this feels right to me.
ENTEN: Your accent makes my accent look so crummy by comparison. And people always say, I have this thick New York accent, but nothing compared to your accent.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, who can make this up?
ENTEN: Who can -- I don't think anyone could make it up. Look, there is Phil Mattingly. I wonder if he'll tell us tales from his baseball days.
WOOD JR.: You know what I would love to see do this event? Chris Rock.
ENTEN: Oh, that wasn't -- wasn't (ph) here be OK.
WOOD JR.: You said it, not me.
ENTEN: I am very hard of myself. Do you suggest that he gets for dinner if he is looking for something interesting to eat in Bentonville, Arkansas?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, of course, the barbecue can't be beat there.
ENTEN: You stand then. You stand now. When the heck do you ever sit down? I'll start on this.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's sort of a foodie paradise there. So, you'll find a lot of different options, and some incredible tacos, Mexican food.
ENTEN: I'm Harry.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Harry, I am Tim.
ENTEN: Yes. I know you because I watched your show Wings. Wings is one of my favorite shows of all time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You must have been four-years-old. But, great. I'm glad you watched it.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was on an episode of Wings.
ENTEN: Were you? Really?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. I played this tall girl at a single stance, and I started crying because I'm too tall and no one wants to dance with me.
ENTEN: You are not too tall for me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, never.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tell three of us wear heels actually.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the -- that's a little known secret of this team.
ENTEN: Whatever you want to wear, is all right by me. Can you believe they allowed me to do this? And I'm just standing here. I'm going to lie to myself. Who am I and what am I doing here? I don't really know the answer to that question. But, someone thought it wise for me to come down here. So, I was like, sure, what the heck? I'll interview some people. I turns out I've met some people. I've had a few laughs, a few jokes. But, at the end of the day, Washington won't change me. I'll change Washington.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BERMAN: I don't think he even knew he was being filmed then. That's just Harry talking to the ether, at some point. He is just venting.
DEAN: He just wanted to get some few things out before he gave up that microphone in that red carpet tonight. But, our thanks to Harry. He did great -- excellent, excellent reporting from the red carpet. Got to the bottom of a lot of issues.
All right. Well, if you didn't get to catch President Biden's jokes tonight at the Correspondents; Dinner, we have highlights for you when we come back.
BERMAN: President Biden cracked some jokes tonight at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. He took jabs at everything from his age to Fox News. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: After all, I believe in the First Amendment, not just because my good friend, Jimmy Madison, wrote it. Look, a lot of ways, this dinner sums up my first two years in office. I'll talk for 10 minutes, take zero questions, and cheerfully walk away. Yes, I know. I just announced my re-election campaign. Some of you scooped that I announced in the video. But, really, really all thought in your heart that I just blurt it out, didn't you?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We tried.
BIDEN: And look, I get that age is completely reasonable issue. It's on everybody's mind. And everyone -- by everyone, I mean, "The New York Times." Headline, "Biden's Advanced Age is the Big Issue. Trump's, however, is not." So, that was "The New York Times" pitch spot. I apologize. I love that guy. I should do an interview with him. You might think I don't like Rupert Murdoch. That's simply not true.
How can I dislike a guy who makes me look like Harry Styles? You call me old? I call it being seasoned. You say I'm ancient. I say I'm wise. Folks, it's wonderful to be back here again, proving I haven't learned a damn thing. I want everybody to have fun tonight, but please be safe. If you find yourself disoriented or confused, it's either you're drunk or Marjorie Taylor Greene. Tam, thank you for hosting. I love NPR because they whisper into the mic like I do.
But not everyone loves NPR. Elon Musk tweeted that it should be defunded. Well, the best way to make NPR go away is for Elon Musk to buy it. And that's more true than you think. Anyway.
This dinner is one of the two great traditions in Washington. The other one is underestimating me and Kamala. Well -- but the truth is we really have a record to be proud of. Vaccinated the nation, transformed the economy, earned historic legislative victories in midterm results, but the job isn't finished. I mean, it is finished for Tucker Carlson.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DEAN: He had some zingers.
BERMAN: He did. No.
BERMAN: He was loaded for bear, as they like to say. No. Look, you heard the President there. Those were the jokes. And talking about his age as openly as he was, was certainly interesting, more tonight in a comedy routine that I've heard him really for the entire President.
DEAN: And really talk about it seriously. And it is a way I think that they can get at it without him having to sit down and do a big interview or whatever. He is self-deprecating about it. He is acknowledging that it's an issue.
BERMAN: All right. A great night. All in all, a great night being here you.
DEAN: This was really fun.
BERMAN: Thank you for doing. Yes.
DEAN: Yes. We had a good time. And look, we're important to you, right?
DEAN: One day, we'll get in that room.
BERMAN: One day, we'll be there.
DEAN: That's going to do it for us. Thanks so much for watching CNN's special coverage of the White House Correspondents' Dinner. Have a great night. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)