The White House Correspondents’ Dinner has rarely meant as little as it does today. During the Bush administration, the “Nerd Prom” was an excuse for Stephen Colbert to bomb in the Washington Hilton ballroom harder than George W. Bush ever bombed in Iraq. During the Obama administration, the WHCD became just another platform for Dems to lash out at their critics, with the eager help of Obama’s enablers in entertainment and the media.* The only time the WHCD has ever really mattered was in 2011, when Obama and host Seth Meyers took turns bashing private citizen Donald Trump for the “birth certificate” stuff. As Trump sat there absorbing their abuse, that was the moment he decided to make a serious run for president and get revenge. Good call, Seth. Well done, Barry.
This year, the host was someone named Michelle Wolf. I had never heard of her before Saturday, and she quickly demonstrated why:
What a lovely, mellifluous voice. She sounds like Roseanne Barr after a carton of Lucky Strikes and a tank of helium.
I don’t think Wolf’s act was particularly funny — let alone “brilliant,” as her #woke peers insist — but it didn’t offend me either. It was mostly boring. One half-hearted layup after another. She gets a shrug emoji from me, probably because I don’t have an emotional or financial investment in loving Trump or in hating him. I have no dog in this fight.**e
Not everybody was as sanguine:
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 29, 2018
So now the White House Correspondents’s Association is apologizing. (I think?)
— WHCA (@whca) April 30, 2018
This is ridiculous. They hired a comedian to tell jokes, and she did. They’ve returned to the adversarial relationship with the White House that they abandoned during the Obama years, which is as it should be. And yet, now they’re apologizing? (I think?) Well, it makes as much sense as anything else in 2018, I guess.e
Our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters on the left insist that Wolf’s jokes weren’t slamming Sarah Sanders personally. The comments about her makeup choices, and her supposed resemblance to Aunt Lydia on The Handmaid’s Tale, and calling her an “Uncle Tom, but for white women who disappoint other white women,” none of that was intended to be mean or personal, we’re told. Yet they also insist that Trump supporters shouldn’t complain about how mean and personal the jokes were, because he has said so many nasty things about women. “It wasn’t personal, and also, it’s fitting that it was so personal.” Much like Bill Clinton on Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, they want it both ways.
The only real laugh I’ve gotten out of this whole thing is watching Wolf’s peers praise her for telling the sorts of jokes they never would’ve told about the White House between 2009-2016. The entertainment industry was terrified of offending the Obamas and their supporters. Conservatives were excoriated as bigots for Speaking Truth to Power™. Hell, a Missouri rodeo clown in an Obama mask became a huge national scandal. Dissent was treason… until the Dems went out of power again.
I don’t remember a WHCD host calling out anybody in the Obama administration for lying to us. Or at least not in such deeply personal terms. It would’ve meant the end of their careers as comedians. After all, who wants to hire a racist?
It’s fine for a comedian to roast politicians from either party, but let’s not pretend that the same set of standards applies to both. Let’s not pretend that insulting a member of the Trump White House is in any way brave. There’s nobody safer in America than a comic who offends Republicans. Any Republicans. Wolf has only raised her profile and drummed up publicity for her upcoming Netflix show. She triggered the people she was supposed to trigger, so now she’s a heroine of the #Resistance. Which is fine. Good for her.
Just don’t expect me to give a $#!+ the next time a Republican says something “misogynist.” If I point out that Michelle Obama reminds me of Aunt Esther but without the dress sense, or that Hillary Clinton looks like an oven mitt with feet, you can yell at me all you want. I don’t care if you’re offended. I’m just following Michelle Wolf’s example.
And in that spirit: I’m impressed that Wolf showed up at the WHCD without giving any thought to her personal appearance. She didn’t care that she looked like a shrunken apple in a Carrot Top wig. Kudos.
(In case you’ve forgotten, which you have, last year’s WHCD was hosted by Hasan Minhaj. That’s right, the Hasan Minaj. He must be green with envy right now. He was every bit as mean and nasty last year, and now he’s faded back into obscurity. Overshadowed by the white girl. So racist.)
President Trump’s greatest achievement in office has been ripping away the media’s thin veil of objectivity and exposing the ugly truth underneath. They’re utterly biased partisans, no better than Democratic operatives with press passes, and there’s no denying it anymore. Trump hasn’t beaten them. They’ve beaten themselves. And they still can’t figure out why anybody voted for him.
At least they’ve given up the lie that putting women in positions of power will lead to a more peaceful, harmonious society. As it turns out, that doesn’t apply when the women in power are Republicans.
P.S. As the other Stephen Miller points out, nothing Michelle Wolf said was as brave as Bill Burr taking on Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton.
*If that’s not redundant.
**That wasn’t a comment on Michelle Wolf’s looks. Unless it was. Either way, deal with it.