I had hoped to make it through the rest of the night without having to spend another minute thinking about Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and I’m sure you did, too. Unfortunately, at 10 p.m. on Sunday, White House Correspondents’ Association President Margaret Talev issued a statement apologizing for comedian Michelle Wolf’s explosive monologue, so you’re getting one more blog post.
Apparently, speaking truth to power is not welcome in a room full of journalists. Here’s the statement:
Indeed, it appears the WHCA was under the impression they’d hired some softball comedian to tell everyone on both sides what a good job they were doing, while making some light jokes about Trump’s hair, because it is so silly!!! Everyone can agree on that! What fun! Such jokes! Sadly, the WHCA had apparently never bothered to watch one of Wolf’s stand-up sets, and now they are very sorry that she had the audacity to spoil CNN’s meal by pointing out how complicit everyone is in the hellscape in which we are all currently embroiled. And she used such naughty language, goodness.
Of course, by distancing themselves from Wolf’s set, the WHCA has made nice with the people within the Trump Administration from whom they need access. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will remember that Maggie Haberman defended her honor, not that she deserved it, or that she’ll stop spewing untruths from the podium anytime soon. From an outsider’s perspective, that’s pretty much the whole point of this White House Correspondents’ Dinner, hence why it’s so repulsive—it’s hard to hold people’s feet to the fire when you feel compelled to flatter them in exchange for scoops, then celebrate together over monkfish at a Hilton.
Which is why Wolf’s set was so good. She didn’t give a fuck if she made people angry. She was not trying to curry favor. She does not intend to get invited to the White House, convince Kellyanne Conway to leak to her that President Trump calls Don Jr. as “the gross, sad one,” then put it in her TELL-ALL bestseller and make a bajillion dollars. She was the voice of Americans out there who are sick to death of this shit—from cable news, from the White House, from Chris Cillizza’s Twitter feed—but don’t have the opportunity to say it to anyone’s face. That is not to say that journalists aren’t breaking important stories—certainly, many are, and with all the anti-media sentiment out there, it is difficult work. But media is also full of high-paid blowhards who trade in the pursuit of the truth for their own ratings and fame, and Wolf told those folks to suck it.
Anway, White House Correspondents’ Association is very sorry you had to hear all that, and they will try much harder to ensure future dinner attendees are forever safe from criticism heavier than the weight of a very fluffy pillow or Jimmy Fallon.
No word yet on where they stand re: Flint’s poisoned water.