Of course, that's not the only thing that we've been accused of socializing this year. You might have heard we passed a health care bill and -- (applause.) Is that Roger Ailes applauding out there? (Laughter.) Some Republicans have suggested that the bill contains a few secret provisions. That's ridiculous. There aren't a few secret provisions in the health care plan -- there are, like, hundreds. (Laughter.)
Tonight, in the interest of transparency, I'd like to share a couple. Let's see -- this provision is called the Bay State of Denial. It reads: "This bill shall cover short-term memory loss related to the passage of Massachusetts health care reform." So, good news, Mitt, your condition is covered. (Laughter.)
This next provision is called the Jersey Shore-Up. It reads: "The following individuals shall be excluded from the indoor tanning tax within this bill." Snooki, J-WOWW, the Situation, and House Minority Leader John Boehner. (Laughter.)
This provision ought to put a common misperception to rest. It says right here: "If you do not like the ruling of your death panel you can appeal." (Laughter.)
Now, look, obviously I've learned this year politics can be a tough business, but there are times where you just can't help but laugh. You know what really tickles me? Eric Massa. (Laughter.) Apparently Massa claimed that Rahm came up to him one day in the House locker room, stark naked, started screaming obscenities at him -- to which I say, welcome to my world. (Laughter.) I feel you. It's a tense moment.
You know, even as we enjoy each other's company tonight, we're also mindful of the incredible struggles of our fellow Americans in the Gulf Coast, both those leading the efforts to stem this crisis and those along the coast whose livelihoods are in jeopardy as a result of the spill.
Also in our thoughts and prayers tonight are the men and women in uniform who put their lives at risk each and every day for our safety and freedom. (Applause.) So in that spirit, I'd also like to pay a tribute to the journalists who play an extraordinary role in telling their stories.
Earlier today I gave the commencement address at Michigan, where I spoke to the graduates about what is required to keep out democracy thriving in the 21st century. And one of the points I made is that for all the changes and challenges facing your industry, this country absolutely needs a healthy, vibrant media. 'Probably needs it more than ever now.
Today's technology -- (applause) -- today's technology has made it possible for us to get our news and information from a growing range of sources. We can pick and choose not only our preferred type of media, but also our preferred perspective. And while that exposes us to an unprecedented array of opinions, analysis, and points of view, it also makes it that much more important that we're all operating on a common baseline of facts. It makes it that much more important that journalists out there seek only the truth.
And I don't have to tell you that. Some of you are seasoned veterans who have been on the political beat for decades; others here tonight began their careers as bloggers not long ago. But I think it's fair to say that every single reporter in this room believes deeply in the enterprise of journalism. Every one of you, even the most cynical among you, understands and cherishes the function of a free press and the preservation of our system of government and of our way of life.
And I want you to know that for all the jokes and the occasional gripes, I cherish that work, as well. In fact, tonight I wanted to present all of you with a bipartisan congressional resolution that honors all those wonderful contributions that journalists have made to our country and the world -- but, unfortunately, I couldn't break the filibuster. (Laughter.)
Thank you very much, everybody. God bless you and God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)
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