Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both took swipes at the media during their stand-up routines at the Al Smith Dinner in New York on Thursday night.
Several boldfaced names attended the dinner, which always features dueling comedy appearances by the presidential candidates during an election year. Katie Couric, Chris Matthews, Fox News chief Roger Ailes and CNBC's Maria Bartiromo all sat just behind Obama and Romney.
Obama saved a special zinger for Matthews, whose operatically despairing rant about the president's first debate performance has become the stuff of legend.
"I particularly want to apologize to Chris Matthews," he said. "Four years ago, I gave him a thrill up his leg; this time around, I gave him a stroke."
Romney poked fun at the idea of liberal media bias in his monologue:
Of course rules of fairness have to be enforced, because what other safeguard do we have, besides the press?
Now I never suggest that the press is biased. I recognize that they have their job to do, and I have my job to do. My job is to lay out a positive vision for the future of the country, and their job is to make sure no one else finds out about it.
Let's just say that some in the media have a certain way of looking at things. When suddenly I pulled ahead in some of the major polls, what was the headline? "Polls Show Obama Leading from Behind."
And I've already seen early reports from tonight's dinner, headline; "Obama Embraced by Catholics. Romney Dines with Rich People."