Michelle Wolf Backlash Everything Everyone Hates About Reporters

Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Politico reports on the outrage–outrage, mind you–over comedian Michelle Wolf’s monologue at Saturday night’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner in Washington, in which Wolf roasted both the fourth estate and members of the Trump administration in attendance within an inch of their very comfortable lives:

Almost immediately after Wolf, best known as a correspondent on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” left the stage at the Washington Hilton, those who pack into the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room on a daily basis began to distance themselves from her performance. A number of journalists deemed her act too caustic.

“The spirit of the event had always been jokes that singe but don’t burn. Reporters who work with her daily appreciate that @presssec was there,” NBC News White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell wrote on Twitter.

As consternation over Wolf’s jokes continued, White House Correspondents’ Association president Margaret Talev said the comedian’s monologue “was not in the spirit of that mission,” on a night when the association wanted promote a unifying message.

We want to zero in on the response by Margaret Talev in particular:

She acknowledged that “the comedian reflects on the press corps, but I don’t think that the comedian speaks for the press corps.”

Talev, a Bloomberg News correspondent who doubles as a CNN analyst, said she had one regret: “To some extent, those 15 minutes” of comedy “are now defining four hours of what was a really wonderful, unifying night. And I don’t want the cause of unity to be undercut.” [Pols emphasis]

Given that the White House is presently occupied by the most polarizing chief executive in modern American history, we have to wonder about the “cause of unity” that seems to have been so important to the organizers of Saturday’s dinner and the surprising number of journalists who have jumped on the bandwagon of attacking Michelle Wolf. We’re not and have never once claimed to be journalists, but it seems to us that the “cause of unity” should not be considered a journalistic pursuit.

In fact, that seems way, way off–enough to invite some pretty basic questions about what journalists think their job should be. Everyone knows that a degree of rapport between journalists and the leaders they report on is necessary, but not to the extent where the desire to maintain that rapport trumps the obligation to report the facts. The dollar-driven relationship between reporters and the powerful subjects of news reporting is widely blamed for, among other things, the rise of Donald Trump.

It’s a phenomenon not unique to White House correspondents–witness last summer’s weird backlash by local reporters in defense of Sen. Cory Gardner, who felt that Colorado citizens who had been waiting for months and longer for a face-to-face meeting were impolite to Gardner once they finally got one. In both cases, it’s reporters who have forgotten that their responsibility is to the public–not to the politicians, however friendly and engaging they or their staffers may be.

If this isn’t obvious to you, you’re either a politician yourself or a journalist. And you’re part of the problem with today’s journalism–not the solution.

29 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DaftPunk says:

    Call the whambulance for the acutely injured fee-fees of these triggered snowflakes.


  2. flatiron says:

    right wing wackos in the admin who lie and attack all day but whimper if anyone says boo

    And the complicit press who cower in fear of upsetting the snowflakes

  3. Arvadonian1 says:

    Anyone who voted for Trump, a man who bullies people with disabilities, has lost the right to criticize others for "crossing the line"

  4. Early Worm says:

    There have been controversial performances are this event before. Several Bush aides walked out on Colbert's performance in 2006. Seth Meyers was criticised in 2011, in part for being so mean to Trump. Larry Wilmore was controversial in 2016, harshly criticising the media. The biggest difference here is that Trump refuses to show up and instead sends his enablers. The brutal jokes aimed at him appear rougher because he is not there to laugh at himself or respond with his own speech. And the jokes made about his enablers are seen as cheap shots because they are just underlings, and don't get a turn at the mic.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      Sanders gets a turn at the mike everyday.  She has had ample chance to show some small sense of integrity with what she says.  If she didn't want to be called a liar, she shouldn't lie every time she stands behind a mike.  The skit will leave a mark because every time Sanders goes into one of her holy than thou routines, everyone in the room is going to be thinking Lydia.  It was a brilliant take down of the lying scum that Sanders is.

  5. gertie97 says:

    If the Washington press corps is whining, fuck 'em. They always have had a very high opinion of themselves. Wolf's comments were spot on.

  6. MichaelBowman says:

    A white guy with an AR-15 killed four blacks at a Waffle House, taken down by an unarmed black guy. Trump doesn't utter a word about the incident and the media lets it slide.  Deplorables call Chelsea Clinton 'ugly', Hilllary a hag; Obama an ape and Michelle Obama a man.  Drumpf: "bleeding badly from a facelift", "fat pig", "dog", "Look at that face? Would anyone vote for that?" and threatens physical violence on a disabled reporter. 

    A (black, female) comedian tells some jokes at dinner and they're outraged.  

    What a bunch of #snowflakes. 

    For the record, I'd rather neither side was engaging in this behavior, but one has to put things like this in the context of current events.  And yes, Duke was Spot. On. in his thoughts on Frank Luntz and the world swamp in which we must all learn to cohabitant with, and swim around, these floating turds.

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      I think that they should stop the dinner altogether.  Bye-bye.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        Or just stop televising the event? 

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          It’s on CNN for christsakes . . . 

          . . . how much more “not televising” could it get??!

          Roger Edwards’ YouTube channel probably gets more viewers . . .

        • Gilpin Guy says:

          I've reconsidered this.  It's kind of like the nations jester gets to speak truth to power one night a year.  Except for Obama who had a better wit than the whole room combined, somebody gets butt hurt about the savage political satire every year.  It's not legit political satire in the Thomas Nast mode unless it gets inside the stuffed shirts and they get incensed about it.  Like seriously who knew booking a black female comedian, to do a roast for the fucking white nationalists who blackballed Kapernack and approve of every police shooting of an unarmed black man as justified, would result in some in your face truth?  Surely someone on the selection committee knew her material.  She is going to be a national name after that gig so I say keep it and give the toads a good yearly roasting with some up and coming talent.

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        I’d prefer they keep the dinner and the comedians, and stop the Yammybonkers administration.

        Isn’t this the same president that recently refused to invite the press corps and anyone from the opposition to his only State dinner???

        Fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, fuck him, . . . and the horseface Huckabee-Sanders lying shitbag that rode in on him!

  7. mamajama55 says:

    Wolf was truthful and hilarious. That's the point of a comedy routine at at press awards banquet.

  8. Davie says:

    So in summary


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