Washington in uproar over ‘disgusting’ White House Correspondents’ dinner comedy routine
Author: Josh Siegel, The Washington Examiner - April 30, 2018 - Updated: April 30, 2018
Conservatives Saturday night and Sunday criticized the tenor and character of the White House Correspondents’ dinner after comedian Michelle Wolf ripped into Trump administration officials.
Wolf stunned the crowd at Saturday night’s dinner with biting jokes about President Trump and his White House, including top aides like counselor Kellyanne Conway and press secretary Sarah Sanders, who attended the dinner in his stead.
Trump, as he did in 2017, skipped the dinner in order to hold a campaign rally in Washington, Mich.
Many Washington conservatives felt the dinner was unnecessarily cruel toward Conway and Sanders, and other Republicans.
“My wife @mercedesschlapp and I walked out early from the wh correspondents dinner. Enough of elites mocking all of us,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, in a Twitter post.
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer deemed the dinner “a disgrace.”
Ned Ryun, CEO of American Majority, a nonprofit that trains conservative activists, joked he would like to see a repeat of this year’s White House Correspondents’ dinner in the future.
“I has this exact same thought driving home from the WHCD: how great would it be if they would do it every week or month? Would guarantee us dominance for a generation or two,” Ryun said on Twitter.
Charlie Sykes, a conservative political commentator who is a top Trump critic, said the White House Correspondents’ dinners are harming the media’s credbility.
“You really have live in a bubble not to see how badly last night hurt the media’s attempt to re-establish trust. Seriously, long past time to think about bagging the whole WHCD thing,” Sykes tweeted.
Conservatives, and others across the political aisle, especially defended Sanders, who was subject to attacks about her appearance. Sanders stayed through the entirety of the dinner despite the personal barbs.
Ed Henry, a Fox News reporter, called on the White House Correspondents Association to apologize to Sanders for “disgusting” attacks.
Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” said the attacks on Sanders were an affront to women. Brzezinski has been the subject of personal attacks from Trump, who once caller her “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and claimed she “was bleeding badly from a face-lift” when she visited him at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s private club in Palm Beach, Fla.
“Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable,” Brzezinski said in a tweet. “I have experienced insults about my appearance from the president. All women have a duty to unite when these attacks happen and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology.”
Chris Christie, the former Republican New Jersey governor and Trump ally, said it was striking to see Wolf attack other women.
“You go in and everyone knows where is the line is,” Christie said on ABC Sunday. “And last night, when you attack people’s appearances, when you attack their character, not their policies and you do it repeatedly. I mean, one or two shots in, fine. But what she did last night to Sarah Sanders. To Kellyanne Conway. To Ivanka Trump. I was struck, so was my wife, by the fact that this comedian, this female comedian, spent more time beating up on women last night than she did on men. And I thought that was a fascinating part of her most vitriolic stuff.”
Abby Huntsman, a Fox News anchor, said she hoped some good would come from the dinner, and predicted it would boost Sanders’ fortunes.
“The winner of last night was hands down @PressSec. Sitting poised and beautiful as #wchd comedian Michelle Wolf reminded us how ugly we can be when tearing another person down. I hope this inspires us all to be better, kinder, non-judging people.”