There isn’t a better way to mix politics with entertainment than the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. Saturday night’s dining out brought together a cocktail of entertainers, activists, and top political officials.
Musician/global activist Sheryl Crow and fellow activist and An Inconveient Truth‘s Oscar winning producer Laurie David were among the guests. Crow and David have just completed a two week tour among college campuses. The “Stop Global Warming College Tour” is a call to university leaders, students, and faculty to help spread awareness of global warming and its effects.
At Saturday night’s dinner, David approached the president’s deputy chief of staff Karl Rove to discuss the global warming issue. Words were exchanged and at one point Crow stepped in. There has been some he said/she said comments about what exactly was said.
Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times writes of the incident:
The one thing all three parties agree on is that the conversation quickly became heated.
As Ms. Crow and Ms. David described it on the Huffington Post Web site on Sunday, when Mr. Rove turned toward his table, Ms. Crow touched his arm and “Karl swung around and spat, ‘Don’t touch me.’ ”
Both sides agreed that Ms. Crow told him, “You can’t speak to us like that, you work for us,” to which Mr. Rove responded, “I don’t work for you, I work for the American people.” Ms. Crow and Ms. David wrote that Ms. Crow shot back, “We are the American people.”
In their Web posting, Ms. Crow and Ms. David described Mr. Rove as responding with “anger flaring,” and as having “exploded with even more venom” as the argument continued.
“She came over to insult me,” Mr. Rove said Saturday night, “and she succeeded.”
Mr. Rove did not respond to a request for comment on the women’s Internet posting on Sunday.
Tony Fratto, a White House spokesman said, “We have respect for the opinions and passion that many people have for climate change.” But, Mr. Fratto said, “I wish the same respect was afforded to the president.”
He accused Ms. Crow and Ms. David of ignoring the president’s environmental initiatives, like pushing for alternative fuels, and for “going after officials with misinformed assertions at a social dinner.”
“It would be better,” Mr. Fratto said, “to set aside Hollywood histrionics and try to help with the problem instead of this baseless, and tasteless, finger pointing.”