The Washington Press Corps’ version of the senior prom was held on Saturday night. The White House Correspondents’ Dinner offers members of the media a night to dress up and act like the cool kids in school for one night a year. President Trump called this year’s event “a total disaster.” It was so bad, in fact, that the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) has now offered a half-apology.
And, boy, was the president right. For the past two years, Trump has declined to attend the event, and with good reason. The event has become nothing more than a leftist stoning of those they disagree with.
The correspondents’ dinner dates back to 1921 and, except for times of crisis, has been held annually. In the past, it has been an occasion for the current occupant of the White House to make fun of himself and for members of the media to roast him as well. The dinner is charitable in that it funds scholarships for budding journalists.
Typically, entertainment is offered and the list of past luminaries who have performed is impressive. Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, James Cagney, Barbara Streisand, Jay Leno, and Ray Charles are among the stars who have performed at the event. Even disgraced senator Al Franken performed twice at the dinner.
But the event must be losing some of its luster, as this year, an unknown “comedian” and leftist activist was invited to perform. Someone named Michelle Wolf took to the podium for 19 minutes of cringeworthy vulgarity and leftist demagoguery. Wolf’s performance cannot be called a comedy routine — not because she was cruel and boorish, but because her set was about as funny as a visit to a children’s burn ward.
A quick Google search reveals that Wolf’s audience (if she has one) would be limited to the extreme left fringe of the political spectrum. Wolf was a writer on Trevor Noah’s truly awful version of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show. She will be hosting a Netflix show, the trailer of which was released to coincide with her appearance at the correspondents’ dinner. Wolf has also performed at benefits for Planned Parenthood. The White House Correspondents’ Association knew (or should have known) what they were getting when they hired Wolf.
Here are a few examples of Wolf’s “humor”:
“Of course, Trump isn’t here, if you haven’t noticed, he’s not here. And I know, I know, I would drag him here myself, but it turns out that the president of the United States is the one p*ssy you’re not allowed to grab.”
Wolf never refered to the president as President Trump — only Trump. A modicum of respect for the office has always been a feature of these dinners. No more apparently.
“A lot of people want Trump to be impeached. I do not, because just when you think Trump is awful, you remember Mike Pence. Mike Pence is what happens when Anderson Cooper isn’t gay.”
Do I detect a touch of homophobia there, Ms. Wolf? Or is it ok when leftists tell gay jokes?
“Mike Pence is very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don’t knock it until you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there.”
Groan. I thought it was a fetus or just a lump of tissue, Ms. Wolf. Why are you calling it a baby?
Wolf’s closing remark was bizarre. As she walked off the stage, she simply said, “Flint still doesn’t have clean water,” which was some sort of parting shot to the Trump administration, I guess.
Wolf, apparently, has no regrets about the crazy, rambling performance. “I wouldn’t change a single word that I said. I’m very happy with what I said, and I’m glad I stuck to my guns,” Wolf told NPR. “I knew what I was doing going in, I wanted to do something different.”
It was different, you’ve got to give her that. Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and the Republican leadership were also victims of Wolf’s mean-spirited barbs.
And, as mentioned above, the WHCA has somewhat apologized — but not really. “Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press, while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people,” said WHCA President Margaret Talev. “Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”
I wouldn’t recommend actually watching the performance for a number of reasons. It was distasteful, boorish and uncomfortable to watch. But, maybe more importantly, it wasn’t a bit funny. Wasn’t it supposed to be?
Nevertheless, Ms. Wolf has the right to say and think what she wishes; it’s hypocritical to suggest otherwise. But as the First Amendment guarantees Wolf’s right to utter nonsense and filth, it also guarantees our right to describe her performance as what it was: disgusting.
Photo: AP Images