Sarah’s Grace as White House Correspondents’ Association Tries to Save Face
It sounds like the White House Correspondents’ Association would like a do-over. Fallout continues from Saturday night’s Correspondents’ Dinner, which saw hired gun Michelle Wolf celebrate abortion and take vicious aim at Sarah Sanders. In a statement to members Sunday night, association president Margaret Talev said,
Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people. Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.
This is what, in the news business, they call a retraction.
Even NBC’s Andrea Mitchell is giving the WHCA a whack on the knuckles.
Apology is owed to @PressSec and others grossly insulted ny Michelle Wolf at White House Correspondents Assoc dinner which started with uplifting heartfelt speech by @margarettalev – comedian was worst since Imus insulted Clinton’s
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) April 29, 2018
As could be expected, certain quarters defend Wolf. ABC’s late night host Jimmy Kimmel took the, “Chill out, it’s just comedy” approach, tweeting:
Dear "the media" – @michelleisawolf was FUNNY. Hire a juggler next year.
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 29, 2018
ABC’s Chris Cuomo on Monday called the outrage “obvious hypocrisy” on the part of conservatives. He played the Trump card against CPAC head Matt Schlapp. Schlapp and his wife, White House Deputy Communications Director Mercedes Schlapp, walked out of the dinner. Cuomo said:
If you’re going to mitigate what the most powerful man in the world says — and he’s being dead serious, he’s trying to divide people when he says the things. He’s trying to play the base that Schlapp so desperately covets, and then you’re going to get this upset over a comedian. I mean come on.
But what about the non-conservatives who gave the routine a thumb’s down? And be honest, Chris. Your dad Mario Cuomo knew all about political humor. As this New York Times article from 1995 shows, he was a master. Your dad would have been heartbroken at such a display.
Kathy Griffin thought the performance was “great.” Then again, she thinks the President’s severed head in the age of ISIS is funny. Griffin said Wolf “was hired to do a roast. That was her job.” Apparently, the malice Wolf threw in for free.
“Pushing the Line”
Griffin then argued that a comedian’s job is to “push the line and go over it again.” That’s what a comedian says to justify doing anything for attention — however obnoxious, malicious or vulgar. Notice there’s nothing about being funny in her definition.
But let’s accept Griffin’s premise for a moment. How was Wolf “pushing the line”? She’s in a room full of people, nearly all of whom are liberals. How is it “pushing the line” to trash Sanders? Or speaking gleefully of abortion in a predominately pro-choice arena? She wasn’t pushing the line. She was parroting the party line. Happens all the time. You put a colorful twist on stock liberal positions, add vulgarity and viciousness, then shout “Look at me! I’m edgy!”
The funny thing? Sarah Sanders is the one coming out of this looking like a champ.
Sarah Responds and Owns the Night
Author and newly announced 2020 candidate Brad Thor echoed the thought of many, commending Sanders for her “dignity, guts, and class.” And he’s trying to toss her out of a job.
— Brad Thor (@BradThor) April 29, 2018
The Daily Caller‘s Benny Johnson was at the dinner, and wrote about the experience on Facebook. He reports that members of the White House press corps are “sending Sarah a flower basket today — they felt so bad.”
He ran into White House staffers at the MSNBC after-party. “I don’t know how she does it,” one of staffers told Johnson, “She kills them with kindness — she puts up with it. Good-hearted American people see that — and she wins.”
He reports what happened next.
Then, Sarah Sanders walks into the party. The MSNBC party. A network that lives to savage and promote the godless vitriol that just attacked her. Guess what? Sarah Sanders was smiling. She owned it. I asked her about the attack and she shrugged with a smile and just said the attacks didn’t bother her and that she’s praying for the comedian.
Sarah Sanders is praying for Michelle Wolf.
Love and forgiveness will always get the last laugh.