President Trump wasn’t the only person who panned comedian Michelle Wolf’s at times raunchy, vulgar comedy routine at the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday.
Members of the Trump administration and even some journalists called her out for the bawdy performance, with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, describing it simply as a “disgrace.”
Trump, who didn’t attend the gala for the second straight year, decided instead to hold a campaign-style rally with supporters in Washington, Mich., which he contrasted with the WHCD in a tweet early Sunday.
“While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn’t work. Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust…the so-called comedian really ‘bombed,’” the president wrote on Twitter.
Wolf remarked on Trump’s absence from the soiree by referring to his comments caught in a video from “Access Hollywood” that was released weeks before the 2016 election.
“Trump isn’t here, if you haven’t noticed. He’s not here,” she said. “And I know, I know, I would drag him here myself, but it turns out the president of the United States is the one p —- you’re not allowed to grab.”
Trump wasn’t the only object of Wolf’s performance.
She also leveled a cringe-worthy attack on Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, who was sitting on the dais just steps away from Wolf.
“I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Is it Sarah Sanders, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Is it Cousin Huckabee? Is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women?” Wolf said.
New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman questioned the attack on Sanders and praised her for not walking out.
“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 ,” Haberman, who did not attend the dinner, wrote on Twitter.
NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell also stood up for Huckabee Sanders.
“The spirit of the event had always been jokes that singe but don’t burn. Reporters who work with her daily appreciate that @presssec was there ,” she wrote on Twitter.
Wolf defended herself from critics who said she went too far.
“Hey mags! All these jokes were about her despicable behavior. Sounds like you have some thoughts about her looks though? ” Wolf wrote on Twitter early Sunday.
The president of the association, Margaret Talev, said some of Wolf’s jokes made her uncomfortable but she defended the headliner’s right to express her thoughts freely.
“Some of them made me uncomfortable and did not embody the spirit of the night. And that is protected by the First Amendment,” Talev said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
She said the WHCD doesn’t preview what the host will say and doesn’t censor the remarks.
“Michelle Wolf is a comedian, she speaks for herself and that is her right to do that under the free speech in the First Amendment, which we were celebrating,” Talev said.
Wolf also took on Fox News and CNN, Trump’s favorite media punching bag.
Mentioning how CNN likes to “break news,” she said, “You did it. You broke it. Good work. The most useful information on CNN is when Anthony Bourdain tells me where to eat noodles.”
About Fox’s Sean Hannity, she said: “People want me to make fun of Sean Hannity. I cannot do that. This dinner is for journalists.”
Peter Baker, of the New York Times, seemed to sum up the feeling of many journalists after Wolf’s appearance.
“Unfortunately, I don’t think we advanced the cause of journalism tonight,” he wrote on Twitter.
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