Donald Trump railed against comedian Michelle Wolf, whose roast of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has been widely criticized as having gone too far, calling her “filthy” as well as demanding the end of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
In a tweet Sunday night, Trump called Wolf “filthy” and claimed that the annual event has lost all credibility.
“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it. The filthy “comedian” totally bombed (couldn’t even deliver her lines-much like the Seth Meyers weak performance). Put Dinner to rest, or start over!”
And again on Monday morning, Trump again tweeted his disgust at the event.
“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is DEAD as we know it. This was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for. FAKE NEWS is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night!”
As BBC News reports, the dinner, held annually since the turn of the 20th century, has featured comedians delivering stinging barbs toward the president and his administration. While it’s intended as being all in good fun, comedian and former Daily Show writer Michelle Wolf’s blistering takedown of Sanders has been widely criticized as having gone over the top.
Michelle Wolf’s jokes prompted a debate over the limits of comedy under a president who rarely hesitates to attack the news media https://t.co/UbHBqcRPSd
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 30, 2018
Wolf’s more crude jokes won’t be reprinted here. But in summary, she’s drawn the most criticism for her barbs about Sanders’ appearance, at one time comparing her to evil discipline enforcer Aunt Lydia from the Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale.
— Mayday Mindy???? (@maydaymindy9) April 29, 2018
Wolf has said that her barbs at Sanders’ appearance were actually metaphors for her “despicable behavior.”
In an extraordinarily rare move, the association has actually responded to some of the criticism of the event. The group’s president, Margaret Talev, issued a statement. Though falling short of an apology, which some have called for, Talev did seem to indicate that Wolf might have stepped over the line.
“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.”
However, she also noted that comedy is not always pretty.
“Comedy is meant to provoke thought and debate. And it certainly has done that.”