Mixed media at bash

Vice Prez Cheney mingles among b'casters

WASHINGTON — Television moguls basked in the new era of media deregulation at Wednesday’s Radio & Television Correspondents Dinner in Washington.

More than 2,000 industry bigwigs and political insiders showed up for the broadcasters’ bash at D.C.’s Hilton Washington — even Vice President Dick Cheney made a rare appearance at a disclosed location to mingle with the likes of Roger Ailes, Larry King, Bill O’Reilly, Tim Russert and Judy Woodruff.

Cheney poked fun at himself in the keynote, noting journos never pass up the opportunity to ask him about his health: “So just let me say tonight that except for the occasional heart attack, I’ve never felt better.”

The dinner originally was skedded for March, but it was postponed when the U.S. went to war in Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) were on hand to honor NBC senior investigative correspondent Lisa Myers for her coverage of the Enron debacle.

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Russert also eulogized NBC war correspondent David Bloom (who died while covering the war in Iraq), announcing an award for enterprise field reporting; the first will be given in Bloom’s honor at next year’s dinner.