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My full report from the Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner

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(Note: Several of the photos can be clicked on to see larger versions of them.)

The best comes first. Yes, me and Katherine Harris. Interestingly, she was very nice, and a friend who knows her quite well says Harris is the nicest, NICEST person you will ever know. Doesn't mean we like her politically, but it amazes me how "nice" so many of the most strident Republicans are in person. Compare that to some of the most strident Democrats - they can be less nice.

UPDATE: Some of you didn't get the camp factor behind why I wanted a photo with Katherine Harris. (Guess I'm lucky I didn't get that photo with Bay Buchanan.) As much as you may not like me taking a photo with her (personally, I think it's funny), imagine the fun that we now have a photo of Katherine Harris with her arm around one of America's top gay activists :-) It's all a matter of perspective...

The grand ballroom at the Hilton, where we had dinner. Nothing special, it's the same grand ballroom where every advocacy group in town (practically) holds their annual dinners. You can see the dais in the back to the right, where Cheney and company were.

Sitting at our table was Victoria Jones with the Talk Radio News Service. You can see her in the photo near the bottom left. You might recognize her from the daily White House briefings where she usually grills Scottie with really good hard questions. We like her. I was sitting next to the senior counsel for Congressman John Conyers, who was also quite interesting, and very interested in blogs.

What's important about these events is that, yeah, they're fun, but they're also important networking opportunities. And that's what makes Washington work, when it works. In that regard, the two most important contacts of the evening were finally meeting General Wesley Clark, and a great talk I had with a guy from CNN about my perceptions of the network.

I was invited by Ellen Ratner of the Talk Radio News Service. She's a wonderful woman I met through another journalist friend. Ellen is incredibly spunky, energetic, smart, and kick-ass. It's hard to find enough adjectives to describe her adequately. She has a new book coming out soon, we'll be talking about that more when it comes out.

Me and my prom date, CNN blogchick Jacki Schechner (while it could be taken as vaguely sexist, I still like the word blogchicks for Jacki and Abbi (Abbi's photo is coming), especially since the "chick" ending, phonetically, is a diminutive in Russian, like "ito" is in Spanish, so in essence it's kind of like an affectionate term for blog. Whatever, I'm tired).

And by the way, check out the sunglasses on the woman behind me. [Shiver]

Blogchick #2 Abbi Tatton, who was equally fabulously decked out. Women get to wear the best stuff, all the guys were penguins (cute penguins, but penguins).

CNN's after-party, called "Club CNN" or something like that. It was quite fun. Great music, mood, and the best margarita I've ever had. A wee bit crowded, but it was fun. It was actually there that I had the really interesting talk with the CNN guy about my take on the networks, it's problems, fixes, etc.

Again, it's fun going to these kind of things, I won't deny it - actually, it's a lot of fun, hanging out with a who's-who of politics (there were a lot of members of Congress there - I had a very odd discussion with former Senator Breaux (D-LA) in line for the metal detector, it involved the Senator running naked - like I said, it was a bit odd, and he started it) and journalism when that's what I do for a living, it's fun, and you definitely get swept up in a moment if that's your kind of thing. But it's also incredibly worthwhile from a political networking perspective (I met a lot of TV producers on the various political shows and networks), so it's good all the way around.

Anyway, there you have it. Oh yeah, I also got to talk to Madeleine Albright, who was my old prof at Georgetown, that was fun (but unfortunately that was when I thought taking photos was low-brow - silly me).

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