The White House Correspondents dinner carried on this year again without the presence of President Trump, but with some of the key people in his administration — spokesperson Kellyanne Conway and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders — in attendance.
Comedian Michelle Wolf was the headliner and made a lot of jokes at the expense of the president and those who work for him.
That is perfectly fine. A good comedian is supposed to go after those in power.
The issue, of course, is that this only runs one way.
One of Michelle Wolf’s jokes was about Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ makeup, a clear dig at the Press Secretary’s appearance.
Now, again, that is not a big deal. But let’s just imagine for a second that a right-leaning entertainer made a dig like that at Michelle Obama. He or she would have been called a racist and a sexist in a second.
And of course there is the issue of where this type of vitriol directed at the president was for eight years under President Obama.
Those obvious issues aside, though, to her credit, Huckabee-Sanders sat there and took it, the same way George W Bush did during Steven Colbert’s groundbreaking routine at the 2006 WHCD.
People have been arguing for days over whether or not Wolf’s performance was offensive or inappropriate, but the better question is why does this dinner exist in the first place?
They call it “nerd prom,” but really, it is just a way for members of the press to honor themselves for a night. They dress up, eat free food, drink, and allow themselves to feel important throughout the event.
Honestly, though, the whole concept is ridiculous.
The entire point of the press is to be adversarial. That does not mean biased, but it does mean holding the powerful accountable.
That being the case, there is ZERO reason for this dinner to happen.
The press and the president do not necessarily need to be enemies, but they certainly have opposing goals and should act like it.
The White House has and agenda to push. The media — if it is doing its job — should be accurately reporting on what that agenda is, both good and bad.
But in no way should this result in some sort of joint party for the media and political types to sit there patting themselves on the back all night as if they are all such important heroes.
The White House has a job to do. The media does, as well.
I’d prefer if everybody involved just did those jobs and dropped the silly pretenses.
President Trump was right when he said the WHCD is a waste of time. So Michelle Wolf was never the problem here, regardless of how you felt about her jokes. The dinner itself is the problem.
If journalists and politicos have any shame or self-awareness, this year will be the last time we even have this discussion.
Just end the charade. Cancel the dinner.