John McCaslin

"People keep coming up to me and asking, 'Are you OK? Are you OK?' "

Or so an amused Katie Couric told us at Saturday evening's White House Correspondents' Association dinner, referring to the myriad reports of late that she might be abandoning the anchor chair of "The CBS Evening News" later this year — well before her five-year contract expires — because of the newscast's record-low viewer ratings.

Fox in henhouse

"Hookers and politicians — it's a match made in heaven," explains Dennis Hof, owner of the Bunny Ranch — the largest legally operated house of prostitution in the nation and now in its third season of being featured on HBO — as his reason for attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

Meanwhile, at John McLaughlin's annual rooftop brunch yesterday at the Hay Adams Hotel, Mr. Hof told us that during the dinner "I spotted several of my customers," two of whom e-mailed him yesterday morning and "thanked me for not walking up to them to say hello."

During yesterday's brunch, Mr. Hof presented the longtime host of "The McLaughlin Group," a former Catholic priest need we recall, with a "VIP pass" to the Bunny Ranch.

Mr. McLaughlin, who was at the event with his wife, took the pass in good humor.

Late and early

"I hope he hurries up. I've got three sermons tomorrow, and it's already past my bedtime."

Such was the late-night assessment of Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in the Washington region and author of the Black Contract with America on Moral Values, who couldn't wait for George W. Bush to deliver his final remarks as president to the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

Baseball guy

"I know you! I know you! You don't give me enough credit," President Bush told Ward 2 D.C. Council member Jack Evans, who introduced himself by name to the commander-in-chief at the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

"I've met the president three or four times before, and all he ever wants to talk about is baseball," noted Mr. Evans, who worked very hard to bring professional baseball — and the Washington Nationals — back to the nation's capital.

Two thumbs up

"Best entertainment in a long time," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said of Craig Ferguson, the Scottish-born host of CBS' "The Late Late Show" and featured entertainer of Saturday's White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

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