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Novak pokes fun at cia leak

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Journalist Novak Poking Fun at CIA Leak

Mar 6, 8:03 PM (ET)

WASHINGTON (AP) - The serious news of the day - from Saddam Hussein's spider hole to Medicare to gay marriage - served as fodder for song, dance and silly dress-up Saturday night in the Gridiron dinner, a 119-year tradition of Washington journalism.

In the most unusual turn of this year's satirical script, syndicated columnist Robert Novak - who sparked a federal investigation by printing the name of an undercover CIA officer - was taking the stage as that CIA officer's disgruntled husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Dressed as Wilson in top hat and cutaway coat, Novak sings of himself: "Novak had a secret source ... so he outed a girl spy the way princes of darkness do. ... Now John Ashcroft asks Bob who and how, could be headed to the old hoosegow."

A federal grand jury is probing whether someone in the Bush administration leaked the CIA officer's identity, possibly a felony. Novak hasn't commented on the investigation - until the Gridiron, in song.

Founded in 1885, the invitation-only Gridiron Club exists solely for its annual white-tie dinner, attended by Cabinet secretaries, congressional leaders and the like. The show has been visited by every president since Benjamin Harrison, except one - Grover Cleveland.

Bush spoke at the first three Gridirons of his term, but skipped this year's show in favor of a summit at his Texas ranch with Mexican President Vicente Fox.

Gridiron President Al Hunt, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, spun that into a pun about conservatives' fondness for Fox News Channel: "That pretty much sums up the White House philosophy: Why waste time with newspaper reporters when you can spend quality time with Fox?"

Vice President Dick Cheney agreed to take Bush's place, appearing along with two New Yorkers considered possible contenders for the 2008 presidential race - Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton and Republican former Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Political guests seem reassured by the show's motto: "Singe, but never burn."

Accordingly, the humor relies heavily on outlandish costumes - Ralph Nader as a skunk at the Democrats' garden party; vegetarian presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich as a giant carrot; Bush adviser Karl Rove as Oz's Scarecrow, singing about his boss, "If he only had MY brain."

The voices of the club's 60 veteran reporters, editors and columnists are augmented by more polished singers brought in as "limited members."

A lesbian couple sings "Get us to the church on time." To the tune of "YMCA," a Sen. Edward Kennedy impersonator laments the passage of the GOP's Medicare bill: "We were done in by the A-A-R-P."

In one of many references to Iraq, Saddam Hussein pops out of his hiding place to sing not "Under the Boardwalk" but "Under the floormat, with all the fleas, yeah. But now a cot in a prison is where I'll be."

The "Hallelujah Chorus" becomes "Halliburton, Halliburton, Halli-i-burton."

The show's ending, however, is a more somber tribute to U.S. troops abroad.

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Ashcroft recused self from investigation { December 31 2003 }
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Bush admits cia leak came from whitehouse { July 12 2007 }
Bush aide testifies leak probe { February 9 2004 }
Bush and lawyer huddle on CIA leak { June 2 2004 }
Bush commuted libby prison sentence { June 2007 }
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Bush toughens support of leak investigation { October 7 2003 }
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Cheney aide says bush approved leak { April 6 2006 }
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Cheney reportedly interviewed in leak of CIA name { June 5 2004 }
Cheney source of officer name to libby { October 25 2005 }
Cheney staff focus of probe { February 17 2004 }
Cheney to be defense witness in cia leak case
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Cia name leak from whitehouse { September 30 2003 }
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Colleague says armitage was cia leak source { August 29 2006 }
Did rove blow spooks cover { September 16 2003 }
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Fitzgerald calls new grand jury after woodward testimony { November 19 2005 }
Judith freed to testify about source lewis libby { September 30 2005 }
Judith miller cant remember where name came from { October 16 2005 }
Judith miller retires from the times
Karl rove testifies before federal grand jury on leak
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Leaders express outrage for libby commuted sentence { July 3 2007 }
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Libby lawyer told miller to clear scooter libby { October 16 2005 }
Libby may have hidden cheney role { November 13 2005 }
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Libby retains 5th amendment by avoiding pardon { July 3 2007 }
Libby says white house superiors approved leak { February 9 2006 }
Libby scapegoated to protect karl rove { January 24 2007 }
Libby trial delayed right after 2006 elections { February 4 2006 }
Matthew cooper testify after rove lawyers maneuvering { July 7 2005 }
Mcclellan cant clear cheney in cia leak case { June 20 2008 }
Memo central to leak delivered to powell { July 21 2005 }
Nbc russert rebuts libby testimony { February 7 2007 }
New tork times reporter jailed for concealing leak { July 7 2005 }
New york times reporter given top security clearance { October 16 2005 }
Novak claims book was source of leak { August 2 2005 }
Novak points to cia { October 1 2003 }
Novak pokes fun at cia leak
Novak wont give up source { October 1 2003 }
Pat buchanan says neocons behind whole thing { July 15 2005 }
Powell gives testimony to grand jury
Press secretary says bush behind leak { October 2007 }
Prison fines await those leak cia identities
Probe exposing cia identity { September 29 2003 }
Prosecutor investigating coverup of leak { July 27 2005 }
Prosecutors question Bush on CIA name leak { June 25 2004 }
Reporter held in contempt
Rove and libby worked damage control { July 22 2005 }
Rove blamed libby to jury { October 20 2005 }
Rove called to testify 5th time { April 27 2006 }
Rove confirmed plame indirectly lawyer says { July 15 2005 }
Rove emailed security official about matthew cooper { July 11 2003 }
Rove fight escalates { July 15 2005 }
Rove legal team furious efforts to convince prosecutor { October 27 2005 }
Rove mclellan interviewed cia probe { October 23 2003 }
Rove told cooper wilsons wife works for agency { July 11 2005 }
Rove wont face indictment in cia leak case { June 13 2006 }
Story from two senior whitehouse employees
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Time reporters says he first learned of plame from rove { July 18 2005 }
Valerie plame does vanity fair spread { December 3 2003 }
Whitehouse press secretary contradicts libby { December 2007 }
Wilson suggested rove leaked { September 30 2003 }
Woodward attacked by liberals { November 18 2005 }
Woodward eyed after calling fitzgerald overzealous { November 17 2005 }
Woodward was told of plame before leak { November 16 2005 }

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