I found a Facebook a meme in my timeline the other day that pretty much summarizes how I feel about Michelle Wolf’s performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner’s (WHCD). Her supposed “comedy” act.
I reposted it and went about life feeling like other pundits were saying all that needed to be said about the train-wreck that was the entertainment. Then several days later comedian Kathy Griffin decided to take back her apology for her offensive photo shoot with a mock severed head of President Donald Trump.
The two instances together made me realize: Maybe the problem is that the Left has no idea what’s funny and what’s offensive.
These comedians and so many others out there these days, use laughter as a way to push the boundaries of decency, and they should be called out for what they are and what they’re doing. They’re antagonists who want to take the sting out of bullying, name-calling, hate speech and yes, even at times outright violence by cloaking it as part of an “act” with a few punchlines thrown in for good measure.
I often hear from pro-choice supporters that pro-choice isn’t pro-abortion. Tell that to Wolf and others like her who make the killing of the innocent unborn a joke, a one-liner in a hate filled rant. You can’t tell me that the labels pro-life and pro-choice are unfair because even though someone supports abortion they don’t support it as a normalized behavior when comedians and candidates alike act like it’s something as flippant as running a quick errand or any other minor life event.
In addition to making offensive “jokes” about killing innocent babies Wolf filled several minutes of her act with hate-filled insults towards White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Calling her an “Uncle Tom” who has betrayed white women for the work she does in the White House.
I don’t speak for every white woman, but I have to say that Sanders is one of the classiest people in Washington D.C. at the moment and certainly one of my favorite people in the Trump administration. Does that mean I stand by every statement that she makes? No. She has an incredibly hard job. Speaking as a communications professional there is no more challenging job than to work for someone who undermines your work constantly. Trump doesn’t understand the importance of staying on message or of using his professional communications team as his mechanism to create the narrative of what’s happening in his administration often going around them or contradicting them.
Few people could do the job Sanders does with such patience, pose and professionalism, but day after day — she does. She is firm when she’s speaking for her boss and when she’s speaking as herself. Unlike Wolf, Sanders is somebody that I can show my daughter and be proud to have her look up to her. She is a mother. She relies on her faith in her decision-making. She makes incredible sacrifices to serve our country by doing her job, and she does it well.
I feel sorry for Wolf. Yes, she’s getting her 15 minutes right now. I frankly never heard her name before this pathetic excuse for a comedy act. And someone who lacks the self-respect and self-awareness to recognize the way she spoke is demeaning to herself and women everywhere deserves our pity. From the jokes she made about masturbation, to abortion, to some of her other comments — clearly she is crying for help in her own life and giving her a stage to speak on was a bad decision . It’s sickening and disheartening.
It is time for the White House Press Association to seriously consider what sort of image they want send to the public. This event has been on my bucket-list for years. I love what it used to be. I love that it was a night for politicos, reporters and even some Hollywood elite to get together and celebrate news and promote journalism.
This year was about hate and divisiveness and that was a shame.
There can be comedy without cruelty. Comedy without such divisiveness. There can be tasteful jokes. But that wasn’t the case this year in many of Michelle Wolf’s jokes. I think that was the goal of the Association and Wolf herself. It’s truly a shame.
In terms of what the next steps should be. I read many suggestions the past few days. Among the best of them was to take a year off and not hold the dinner in order to reevaluate the goal and purpose of the dinner — which is supposed to be to actually raise money for college scholarships for aspiring journalists. To consider the public’s distrust of media in general and understand that a night like the WHCD does nothing to alleviate the fear’s of normal people who just want unbiased news.
As for Kathy Griffin, she saw an opportunity to regain the spotlight and she took it. Her photo was offensive when it first came out and it is just as offensive now. She lost her co-hosting gig for New Years Eve last year and should never be booked by another major news outlet again. It is an affront to the American people to have anyone regardless of party be so incredibly disrespectful and distasteful with the image of the President.
Enough is enough.
Freedom of speech allows these women to spew their hate but the voices of the public need to make clear that we will not continue to stand for it. These two women’s comedy acts were anything but funny.