Ben Stein's Bad Event Speech

April 2, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Posted 04.02.01 gave a scathing review of Ben Stein's appearance at the 57th annual Radio & Television Correspondents' Association dinner in Washington. The actor, writer, former Nixon aide and Comedy Central host didn't get many laughs from the audience of broadcast journalists who cover the White House and Capitol Hill. Probably his worst transgression: A joke about John Hinckley Jr. on the eve of the 20th anniversary of his shooting President Reagan outside the Washington Hilton, where Thursday's event took place. “The gag generated more winces than laughs,” Inside's Stephen Battaglio reported. President Bush also made an appearance, and his jokes were well-received. But Battaglio's prediction for the dinner's future isn't good: “With the dearth of Republicans in the entertainment industry, it could be a long four years for this event.”

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