Michelle Wolf, the comedian whose terrific and incendiary routine at the 2018 White House Correspondents Dinner set off a firestorm, has blasted the WHCA for ditching comedians for a presidential historian at the 2019 event.
In a tweet, Wolf called the WHCA "cowards" and shared some equally harsh words for the media who fed the outrage after Wolf's routine.
— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) November 19, 2018
Wolf's tweet comes after the WHCA announced that historian and author Ron Chernow will be the featured speaker at their 2019 event. For what it's worth, Chernow is a celebrated, award-winning author's who's written some excellent biographies including books on George Washington, U.S. Grant, and the Alexander Hamilton bio that inspired the blockbuster musical Hamilton.
The choice of Chernow follows the outrage surrounding Wolf's routine, in which she shared plenty of harsh words for the Trump administration, particularly White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Among Wolf's jokes was one slamming Sanders' habit of, well, lying all the damn time: "I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies."
Sure, Wolf's jokes were hot fire, but roasting the media, the president, and the absurdity of Washington, DC has become something of a tradition for the WHCA speaker. Just check out Stephen Colbert's scathing speech at the 2006 dinner during which he destroyed then-president George W. Bush.
But in the wake of Wolf's speech, many, including respected reporters, chastised Wolf for her doing her job by delivering jokes. Somehow some interpreted the eye shadow joke as an attack on Sanders' physical appearance.
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
Wolf was quick to point out that wasn't the case at all but that didn't stop the conversation from spinning out of control and for the debate to reach its inevitable conclusion of abandoning comedy at the event altogether for 2019.
Elsewhere, reaction has been, like the response to Wolf's routine, "mixed."
lol the whca essentially got bullied into turning their silly party into a great courses tape https://t.co/4jqiGEydSi
— Matthew Zeitlin (@MattZeitlin) November 19, 2018
Interesting. WHCA seems to have decided normal comedian-fest WHCA dinner is no longer appropriate in the Trump sleazeball era. Inclined to agree. https://t.co/Kh2E9BNe48
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 19, 2018
I'm not super-invested in what WHCA does for its party. I do think there's difference whether they made this change because they've decided having a comedian was *always* a bad idea or if they think it's a bad idea *while Trump is president.* https://t.co/6tNzMIfQWD
— James Poniewozik (@poniewozik) November 19, 2018
— David Clinch (@DavidClinchNews) November 19, 2018
Stripping the WHCA dinner of the one thing that bursts the self-contented bubble of the elitist audience is not what needs to be fixed. IT’S EVERYTHING ELSE! https://t.co/Uf3waTa7r7 pic.twitter.com/k2IvSLEFoN
— Dan Froomkin's White House Watch (@froomkin) November 19, 2018
One good thing about the #WHCA pivot from comedy to a presidential biographer is that the only thing the president's more afraid of than comedians is historians.
Because history won't be kind.
— Karen DaltonBeninato (@kbeninato) November 19, 2018
While these dark times surely call for more comedy to distract us and, as Wolf did, speak truth to the absurdity of present day, maybe the fact that the Trump administration is such a comedy of errors is enough?
After all, if we didn't laugh, we'd cry.