Sunday, May 07, 2006
May 4, 2006 -- What you didn't hear at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Comedian Stephen Colbert's slam on George W. Bush at last Saturday's White House Correspondents Dinner was met with thunderous laughter but not from representatives of the Bush administration and many members of the media. The microphone used at the dais was a "noise canceling" microphone -- the same type used in Howard Dean's campaign rally hall in Iowa in 2004. The microphones cancel out all other ambient noise except for the speaker. With 2700 attendees and hundreds of hotel staff gathering plates and utensils from tables, C-SPAN viewers could only hear Colbert and what sounded like dead silence. However, according to people in attendance, Colbert's remarks were met with laughter and applause, none of which was picked up by the sound system installed at the dais. Members of the media were more concerned about irritating some of the corporate media moguls present if they laughed at Colbert's remarks. The penalty for such indiscretions might include being dis-invited from the such after-banquet chi chi events like the Bloomberg party held near the Hinckley Hilton.