WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Michelle Wolf’s 20-minute set at the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner last Saturday had everyone talking, from New York Times and MSNBC journalists to President Donald Trump.
- Those people have stated they were scandalized by “joke” but Wolf’s fellow comedians have risen to her defense.
- Most of them argued in favor of Wolf’s set and said that most of the critics missed the point of her jokes.
Michelle Wolf’ has been criticized extensively because of her 20-minute performance at The WHCA dinner. The correspondents’ dinner has long been notoriously difficult as a comedy gig. It consists of roasts, where the main target eventually gets to roast back. Imagine the result under Trump’s administration. While the President himself has skipped the event, he has been known to directly attack journalists, calling them “the lowest form of humanity.”
Comedian Guy Branum, a host of a TruTV show, said, “Trump has to some extent broken political comedy.”
Comedians and even other people have been, for a long time, sort of scoffing at politicians and calling them undignified. Figuring out how to continue on criticizing politicians without everyone getting offended has been difficult.
Wolf’s jokes on Saturday mostly targeted people in Trump’s orbit. There were also some directed at the mainstream media, saying they must secretly love Trump because they profit from him.
Four jokes were devoted to press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, including the line, “she burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye.”
While journalists publicly tweeted in defense of Sanders, several comedians pointed out that people missed the joke: it’s not about the smoky eye or Sanders’ appearance, but it’s calling out her lies.
Branum and Wolf observed that the reason she might be severely criticized is that people didn’t expect a woman to be so harsh.
She continued, “If you’ve seen any of my comedy you know that I don’t pull punches. I’m not afraid to talk about things.” Known as a comic who makes fun of everyone, she operates by the approach, “if you offend everyone, you offend no one.”
Her defenders say that the critics are being hypocritical, given Trump’s own use of profanity and insults.
WHCA President Margaret Talev stated that Wolf’s monologue was not in line with the program’s mission, which is “to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting, and scholarship winners.” It was not to divide people.
Michelle Wolf’ stated that for her part, she “wouldn’t change a single word.”
She added, “I knew what I was doing going in. I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want to cater to the room. I wanted to cater to the outside audience, and not betray my brand of comedy.”
Source: The Washington Post