Yesterday, we noted some of the righteous barbs comedian Michelle Wolf stuck into the inflated egos and stuffed shirts at the White House Correspondents' Dinner, including the one about the media in the room helping to create malignant existential threat Donald "Rump" Trump. As many have noted, when you hire a comedian to do a roast, that's what you should expect -- unless you're clueless administration stenographers. (The "democracy dies in darkness" WaPo even gave Hugh f*cking Hewitt valuable space on its op/ ed page to lament Wolf's roast -- no link!)
But the barb causing many of our self- absorbed defenders of freedom to desperately clutch their pearls was this line about White House Spokesliar Sarah "Huckster" Sanders:
“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. She burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”The media herd sprung into action with outrage about a physical appearance slight that... wasn't. Here's just one of the herd in clueless solidarity with Sanders:
That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2018
To which Michelle Wolf responded:
Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials. https://t.co/slII9TYdYx— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018
Others have noted the hypocrisy of the Rump- electing and enabling media in all this:
I’m no journalist so I just want to make sure I understand the rules: You can express outrage over something a comic never said but we can’t point out that your false both-sides-ism is part of what made the current administration possible? Cool. Got it. https://t.co/YAjmYrYX1O— Danny Zuker (@DannyZuker) April 29, 2018
Threats to a free press, ranked:— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) April 29, 2018
1) The Trump administration -- which routinely threatens individual journalists, outlets, and 1st amendment principles
2) Sycophantic access journalists who self-censor and play down admin threats and corruption
9 million) Michelle Wolf
This is shameful. A comedian labeled a lie as a lie, and a liar as a liar — and the #WHCA condemns her for this? The function of a free press is to hold those in power accountable, not to apologize when someone does so. https://t.co/YChp2GpitX— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) April 30, 2018
You know, it's almost like there's a different standard for the white guy that "speaks his mind," and for women, who are immediately labeled "vulgar" and "insulting."— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) April 29, 2018
(Trust me, there is.)
If some in the press were as hemmed up by this @WhiteHouse’s open embrace of white supremacy, misogyny, mass incarceration, environmental pollution, corporate corruption, and defecation on the First Amendment as they are about what a comedian said, we might be getting somewhere.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) April 29, 2018
Comedian ends comedy dinner by saying that Flint still doesn’t have clean water, an attempt to point out Washington’s continued neglect of people who need help.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs) April 29, 2018
Washington responds with a rigorous debate about the tone and civility of the comedian’s jokes.
The more I think about it, the more impressed I am that Michelle Wolf did such a harsh act WITHOUT insulting any woman's looks. She aimed straight at the white female enforcers & never once suggested that anyone was a bimbo or a dog—like the man they work for surely would have.— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) April 29, 2018
Compare what @michelleisawolf and @realDonaldTrump both said tonight and and ask yourself which one was less factual and more dangerous than the other ... go ahead, I’ll wait. https://t.co/gtZeialLkn— Col. Morris Davis (@ColMorrisDavis) April 29, 2018
That would be this Rump speech.
And finally, after the head weasel of the White House Correspondents' Association apologized for Wolf's roast:
Wait...you hired a comedian and satirist to do a roast and then act shocked that she used comedy to satirize and roast people? pic.twitter.com/81GuEMOnDq— Charles Gaba (@charles_gaba) April 30, 2018
More reactions to the WHCA statement from real live journalists here.
While a budding autocrat spews lies and insults and threatens the rule of law every single day, this self- referencing chickenshit non- story is dominating the news for these self- involved jackasses? These are the brave hearts and truth tellers that are going to save our democracy?
BONUS: Molly Roberts gets it --
That Wolf’s performance was not “normal” for the correspondents’ dinner is a testament to its timeliness and necessity — nothing is “normal” right now, and pretending otherwise out of a false sense of the fourth estate’s friendship with the executive would have been the real disgrace. Wolf called the Trump administration out for tearing down democracy. Then, the people who are supposed to care most about holding autocrats to account called her out in turn for, essentially, not being chummy enough.
BONUS II: So does BooMan.