Gigging the sitting president is o.k., especially if you are a member of the establishment Washington press corps, particularly if that president is Republican, and most certainly if that president is Donald Trump.
We speak of a sad woman named Michelle Wolf, who laid a stink bomb at the white House Correspondents Dinner. Is anything more pathetic than an unfunny comedian? This woman’s 15 minutes of fame proved only that the establishment Washington press corps is what Donald Trump said it was — out of touch. Add bitter, toss in some angry and a quart of bias.
Howard Kurtz, host of Fox’s “Media Buzz,” said Sunday he had “never seen a performance like that,” adding that “she was not only nasty but she was dropping F-bombs on live television.”
“The question now is whether comedian Michelle Wolf went too far and maybe damaged the journalism profession,” said CNN host Brian Stelter.
A number of prominent media figures — including Ed Henry of Fox News, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Mika Brzezinski, and the [U.K.] Guardian’s David Martosko — called for the WHCA to apologize.
The Associated Press’s Meg Kinnard tweeted that the dinner “made the chasm between journalists and those who don’t trust us, even wider.”
Margaret Sullivan, columnist for The Washington Post, upped the ante by calling on journalists to cancel the dinner entirely in a Sunday op-ed headlined, “For the sake of journalism, stop the annual schmoozefest.”
If the target had been the Obamas …
Of course, the hard Left cheered Wolf’s mean-spirited diatribe.
NY Times David Leonhardt: “She delivered a comedy routine, which was her assignment. The routine was typical of stand-up comedy. It was edgy and sometimes uncomfortable. Parts of it were funny, parts were less so.”
Adam Conover writes in The Times that Wolf did what comedians are supposed to do: Tell the truth.
Wisconsin conservative Rick Esenberg comes closer to the Blaska Policy Werkes verdict.
I acknowledge that some conservative critics of Michelle Wolf are being a bit inconsistent in their tolerance of comparable bad taste by certain prominent conservatives. But the Wolf routine was more than tasteless. It wasn’t funny. Burning facts? What does that even mean? She’s not funny which may explain why Trevor Noah is not funny. And that’s a real problem when you are trying to do professional comedy.
You can say Donald Trump started it. Make war on the news media, better to be more James Bond than saturate the rubble with bunker busters. Our current President ought to win the Nobel Prize but he does not know how to take a joke or tell one. If he did, he could turn humor back at the news media, as Reagan did, with devastating effect.
See how George W. Bush defused the establishment press.