Archive for Saturday, May 4, 2002

Osbourne to dine with president from a distance

May 4, 2002


— No, Ozzy Osbourne won't be dining with President Bush not at the White House anyway.

Instead, the rocker-turned-sitcom star and the leader of the free world will be among the 2,650 guests at tonight's annual dinner of the White House Correspondents Assn.

Osbourne and wife/manager Sharon will be guests of Fox News talk-show host Greta Van Susteren. Having interviewed the couple recently, Van Susteren says she invited the hell-raising pair because these press dinners "can get kind of slow."

"I wanted to do something a little different," Van Susteren says.

News of her invitation got somewhat mangled by a British tabloid that reported a presidential invitation to the British singer. White House officials say they doubt the early-to-bed, early-to-rise Bush has seen "The Osbournes," given that the program airs at 10:30 p.m. in Washington.

Now in its 88th year, the correspondents' dinner has given Washington reporters a chance to break bread with Washington officials who can become sources, at least in theory.

In addition to professional performers comedian Drew Carey this year the dinner has featured jokes from the presidents themselves.

During the last 15 years, the event has also attracted politically inclined celebrities, a trend that began with the 1987 appearance of Fawn Hall, secretary and paper-shredder for Iran-Contra conspirator Oliver North.

The event became especially glitzy during Bill Clinton's presidency, with appearances from such high-profile Democratic supporters as Barbra Streisand, Robert De Niro and Kevin Spacey.

Last year's event, the first featuring President Bush, was a more staid affair, though most of the cast of NBC's "The West Wing" did show up.

It's uncertain whether Osbourne will cross paths with the president, but he is expected to be an object of interest from the hundreds of other politicians in attendance.

"I think it will be fun for them to meet him," says Van Susteren. "I think it will be fun for him."

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