MEDIA
07/20/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Obama Radio And TV Correspondents' Dinner Speech (VIDEO)

AP: President Barack Obama knows a little something about catching flies -- knowledge he says he's using to help win over groups in solving the nation's health care crisis.

"I'm pleased that in our quest to reform the health care system, I have gained the support of the American Medical Association," Obama told the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner Friday night. "It proves true the old expression that it's easier to catch flies with honey. And if honey doesn't work, feel free to use an open palm and a swift, downward wrist motion."

Featuring political and topical humor, the black-tie dinner at the Washington Convention Center was the group's 65th annual gathering of journalists, politicians and their guests.

During an interview for CNBC at the White House on Tuesday, a fly intruded on Obama's conversation with correspondent John Harwood. So Obama waited for the fly to settle, put his hand up and then smacked the insect dead in one try.

Obama told the crowd he is working to repair the financial institutions and auto companies. "But you probably wouldn't understand the concept of troubled industries," he said, "working as you do in radio and television."

But he said Friday's dinner was far better than his appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner, a higher profile event that typically attracts Hollywood celebrities.

"Why hang out with celebrities when I can spend time with people who make me one?" Obama said.

The president also poked fun at himself and his acerbic chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who was seen in photos on top of a camel during a trip to Egypt.

"I'm sure you've all seen the pictures of Rahm on that camel," Obama said. "I admit, I was a little nervous about the whole situation. I said at the time, 'This is a wild animal known to bite, kick and spit. And who knows what the camel could do?'"

On a more serious note, Obama concluded his remarks by saying he appreciated the work of broadcasters who bring truth to people and allow people to bring truth to the world. He noted how this was happening in scenes from the current disputed presidential election in Iran.

JibJab.com, a comedy Web site, and the Onion News Network, a parody of a 24-hour TV news network, provided some of the evening's laughs along with John Hodgman, a "Daily Show" contributor who also personifies the PC in Apple commercials.

Sweet Honey in the Rock, a Grammy Award-winning female a cappella ensemble, was also part of the entertainment. First lady Michelle Obama had the group perform in February at the White House.