In the last 30 years, every commander-in-chief has attended the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner — until President Donald Trump broke that streak this weekend.
Over the years, there have been other reasons the dinner has been unexpectedly noteworthy. In 2011, for instance, when then-President Obama showed up to the annual event and did his usual comedy routine on a Saturday, all seemed ordinary.
The next day, an elite team of Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, killing the most wanted man in the world — Osama bin Laden.
“[Admiral William McCraven] selected the night – whether it was going to be Saturday night or Sunday night,” said Jeremy Bash, then a senior aide to CIA director Leon Panetta.
Bash joined Major Garrett and Steve Chaggaris of CBS News and Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic for a special episode of “The Takeout” podcast recorded just before annual dinner. The full “Open Mic” episode is available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google Play.
McCraven spent months planning the mission.
“He wasn’t explicit about it. He cited weather. But I know in his mind because I’ve talked to him about it – he was worried about doing the operation on the night the president, the secretary of defense, the CIA director were all going to be in the Washington Hilton. It would not have worked,” Bash said.
“There were so many operational contingencies that required the senior leadership of the country to be involved that it was just an impossibility to do it on [Saturday],” Bash added.
Alan Ruck was 29 years old when he played Cameron Frye, the 17-year old hypochondriac sidekick in the cult 1980s classic “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”
What does he think the hapless Frye would be doing today?
“I think he’s probably on his second or third marriage. I think he’s probably in a 12-step program,” Ruck told “The Takeout.”
The movie was not expected to be a commercial success.
“We saw a rough cut of it about four months before it came out. We were all mortified. We thought it was going to tank,” Ruck said.
Instead, it made more than $70 million the year it was released and millions more since.
The NFL draft may have wrapped up last week, but DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the National Football League Players Association, wasn’t there for it.
“I never stay for the actual draft. I kind of know what’s going to happen,” said Smith who has led the union since 2009, and who also appeared in episode 2 of “The Takeout.”
Former White House press secretary Josh Earnest was doling out advice for Democrats during “The Takeout” this weekend: find some new voices.
“If Democrats are in a situation in 2018 where the leading voice of our party is the former president of the United States, we are going to have some trouble,” Earnest said. “We are going to need other Democrats to step forward whether that’s congressional leaders, whether that is elected officials. It’s going to be multiple people – multiple somebodies – who need to assume that responsibility.”
Earnest told “The Takeout” he does not watch current White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s daily briefings.
“Well, it’s just a different thing now,” Earnest said. “It’s sort of like there are times when it’s hard to look at pictures from high school. Like you have good memories. They seem better in your memory than they do in real life. So you’d rather just keep the memory than have the whole thing eradicated by turning on television.”
President Trump is a regular viewer of Spicer’s briefings. But when Earnest was offered the job as White House spokesman, President Obama assured him he would not watch.
“I think he wanted it to be a relief to me,” Earnest said.
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For more from this special White House Correspondents dinner edition of “The Takeout, with CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, CBS News Political Director Steve Chaggaris, and Atlantic Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Goldberg, listen to “The Takeout” podcast, available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and CBSNews.com. And follow “The Takeout” on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @TakeoutPodcast.
Producers: Arden Farhi, Nick Fineman
Show email: TakeoutPodcast@cbsnews.com