The White House Correspondents’ Dinner guests were privy to some rather crass jokes that resulted in jaws dropping and probably a few stomachs turning in the audience. This became apparent as Hasan Minhaj attempted to woo the room with comedy. For the first time in 36 years, this annual dinner for the media was without a president in the room. Today, many back Trump on his decision not to attend the event after getting wind of the entertainment, as much of it was at the expense of the president and his administration.
Variety describes the Washington, D.C. affair last night as: “Nearly every minute of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was laced with desperation.”
When Minhaj took to the stage with a cutting series of jokes, the camera periodically panned the audience. Folks at home got a good idea how these jokes landed with the crowd by the faces of those in attendance and the collective gasp heard a few times around the room.
You could see the faces of the people at this annual dinner go from astonishment to embarrassment over what Minhaj was saying, with a few even looking a bit angry. President Ronald Reagan missed this dinner decades ago because he was recovering from a bullet wound from the assassination attempt made by John Hinkley Jr., but he called in to offer a few laughs. Donald Trump missed this dinner 36 years later because he was tired of dodging the bullet of fake news. The video below offers the complete segment of Minja’s attempt at landing jokes last night. Listen to the crowd as he spews out the zingers.
The dinner that is held to honor the press turned into something different this year. It looked more like the press gathered to defend themselves. Just like that old adage, “toot you own horn if you never sell a fish,” members of the media did just that. At one point they gave themselves the biggest round of applause.
The co-hosts on Fox & Friends Weekend live Sunday morning were quick to point out that having Hasan Minhaj, who is a senior correspondent for The Daily Show, on the stage was an odd choice. With the unofficial theme of the night being the journalists defending themselves against Trump’s “fake news” claims, why would they feature a “fake journalist”?
Headlining a “fake journalist” seemed in contrast to White House Correspondents’ Association president Jeff Mason’s words, who made a serious declaration with a bit of a reprimand in his tone when speaking to the crowd.
“We are not fake news. We are not failing news organizations. And we are not the enemy of the American people.”
Variety also pointed out that “intriguingly, ‘fake journalist’ Hasan Minja,” was one of the “consistent highlights.” Some of the jokes that Minja attempted got gasps instead of laughs. To top off the night of defending the media Minja said the following.
“I’m proud that all of us are out here to defend that right… even when the man in the White House never would.”
At the same time the White House Correspondents’ Dinner was going on, Donald Trump was in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, offering up his thoughts on the “fake news.” He got to miss the jokes that put him in with Putin and Russia, as Fox & Friends mentioned on their Sunday morning show. The co-hosts on the curvy couch also pointed out that these Russian jokes are getting old.
Bustle suggests that Trump’s rally ended early enough for him to catch Minja’s speech on TV and if he did, he probably would feel he made the right decision staying away from the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Bustle also suggests that if Trump had been there, “it’s hard to imagine he’d have gotten such an easy ride.”
According to the Washington Post, the dinner not only had the media in attendance, but some Hollywood celebrities were there as well. With the president nowhere near this dinner, the press “refocused on the values of a free press.”
One of the more rather disgusting jokes that Minja tried to land was about Mike Pence and his wife. Minja told the crowd that Mike Pence wasn’t there because some of the women in attendance were ovulating and his wife found out and he couldn’t attend. He then said, “Good job ladies, because of you, we couldn’t hang out with Mike Pence.” This was embarrassing to watch and the look on many of the faces in the audience appeared to be that of disgust. There was also a low gasp heard when he blurted this out.
Another less than stellar joke he passed along really got that collective gasp and dropped some jaws. Minja told the crowd that Jeff Sessions wasn’t there and how his RSVP just said, “‘no,’ which is his second-favorite ‘n’ word.”
Michelle Malkin was a guest on Fox & Friends Weekend and after listening to a clip of Minja spewing out the two jokes above at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, she called what she heard, “vile” and “not funny.” She thought it was the best thing Trump could have done was to not go to that dinner, and she applauds him for taking a stand against the “fake news” by staying away.
One very interesting note that was made in the midst of all this Trump and his administration bashing is something that the Association President Jeff Mason said about the president. He gave praise for the media’s access under President Trump, saying that this president has been “has been very good… the press is still in the White House Briefing Room, and we are still on Air Force One,” reports EW News. According to Fox & Friends Weekend, Trump will invite the press to ask him any question they want to.
This is unlike previous administrations where the press was told the president wouldn’t talk about this topic or that topic. You would never know how easy it is for the media to work with Trump by the way they bashed him and his administration last night.
[Featured Image by Cliff Owen/AP Images]