President Obama unleashed a string of zingers about the media (including The Huffington Post) during his speech at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. He also paid tribute to journalists Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin, who both died while reporting in Syria this year.
The media jokes started right away. Before Obama spoke, a pre-taped skit of his inner thoughts played.
"OK, I'm going," he said at the end of the bit. "God forbid we keep Chuck Todd and the cast of 'Glee' waiting."
When Obama got to the podium, he gave Todd a shout-out. "Chuck Todd, I love you brother," he said.
Obama also said he'd be "remiss" if he didn't congratulate HuffPost on its recent Pulitzer Prize win.
"There's no one out there linking to the kinds of hard-hitting journalism that HuffPo is linking to every single day," he said. "And you don't pay them! It's a great business model." (For the record, Mr. President, HuffPost won for its original reporting, and these words are being typed by a paid editor!)
Other targets included Sarah Palin, whose hosting stint on the "Today" show came under fire.
At the end of the speech, as is custom, Obama turned serious, and praised the press. He also noted the deaths of Shadid and Colvin. Shadid, a New York Times reporter, died of an asthma attack in Syria in February; Colvin, a Sunday Times journalist, was killed by shelling in the same country a week later.
"Tonight, we remember journalists such as Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin, who made the ultimate sacrifice as they sought to shine a light on some of the most important stories of our time."
The Obama administration has had a somewhat rocky relationship with the White House press corps, and his aggressive pursuit of leakers has created controversy in journalistic circles. But those things were forgotten on Saturday night.