Michelle Wolf’s remarks “not in the spirit of the mission” according to WHCA
Michelle Wolf was the entertainer at this year's White House Correspondents' Dinner, where she roasted everyone - Donald Trump, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, Mike Pence, and Democrats as well. She had barbs for journalists, too, about whom she said, "you guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you use to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him." Her remarks have drawn criticism, with former press secretary Sean Spicer calling this year's dinner "a disgrace" and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times accusing Michelle of including "intense criticism of [Sarah Huckabee Sander's] physical appearance" in her monologue. (Michelle didn't actually comment on Sarah's appearance.) The White House Correspondents' Association has responded to the criticism with a statement, which you can read in full below. In it, president Margaret Talev says, "last night's program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while offering civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people. Unfortunately, the entertainer's monologue was not in the spirit of that mission."
Michelle responded to the statement on her Instagram.
While she had previous clarified that her jokes were about Sarah's "despicable behavior," not her looks, Michelle responded further to Maggie Haberman's accusations on Twitter as well.
Kathy Griffin, who immediately spoke out in support of Michelle following the dinner, called the White House Correspondents' Association statement "bullshit." "You are a bunch of enablers."
Kathy expounded further in a multi-part Twitter thread where she praised Michelle
Michelle Wolf took no prisoners last night. She roasted Trump, Pence, White House staffers, the media, media personalities. Everyone is focused on Sanders but that was only 1 1/2 minutes of Michelle's act. She went after everyone...as it should be. Michelle Wolf was hired to do a roast. That was her job. She wasn't hired to offer media analysis or be fair and balanced. She was hired to poke fun at powerful people. Not once did she punch down. She focused on the people/institutions that are powerful beyond measure. A comic's job is to go over the line and then push the line and go over it again. Great comics aren't supposed to be safe or careful. That would mean we're not doing our job. By pushing the line we force people to think differently, to ask questions, and disrupt the status quo. Comics by their nature are anti-establishment. They are charged with the often unenviable task of going after people in power. It's a lot easier to tell jokes about the difference between LA and NYC or cats and dogs. Enough with holding everyone else but the President of the United States and his staff to higher standards. This does not mean i don't recognize that investigative journalists at the NYT and WAPO etc are doing their part to expose this administration..what I'm concerned about. Is that journalists often say they can't use certain language about Trump because they have to be objective. Fine. But they're willing to use words like "mean" about a comic's act? How is it objective to offer subjective commentary about a comic's joke's about POTUS?
Jimmy Kimmel also responded to the criticism of Michelle Wolf.
Donald Trump, who didn't attend the dinner for the second year in a row, choosing to throw a rally instead, previously tweeted that it was "a very big, boring bust." He continued his twitter attack, calling Michelle's set "filthy" and saying the dinner was a "total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for."
You can watch Michelle Wolf's entire White House Correspondents' Dinner remarks HERE.