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If you thought people were divided over previous White House Correspondents’ Dinners, you probably didn’t see the performance of comedian Michelle Wolf on Saturday—or read the online reaction to it.
It’s safe to say that after Wolf’s performance, which scorched everybody in the political spectrum, set a new high (or low) for political vulgarities. And that’s just the way Wolf wanted it.
Wolf started it off with this joke, “Here we are at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Like a porn star says when about to have sex with [Donald] Trump: Let’s get this over with,” and from there, the barbs flew. Wolf didn’t hold back, blasting Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders directly to her face, saying Trump is the “one pussy you’re not allowed to grab,” and recreating Jake Tapper’s face when he orgasms.
She also targeted the media, saying that Trump “has helped you sell your papers, and books, and TV. You helped create this monster and now you’re profiting off of him.”
And the internet was mixed in her performance and the content of her jokes (remember: Wolf is a comedian telling jokes).
There is tremendous irony to the fact that Michelle Wolf, in making the media look nasty and Democrats spitefully awful, will be hailed as a hero by precisely those groups.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 29, 2018
If the #WHCD dinner did anything tonight, it made the chasm between journalists and those who don't trust us, even wider. And those of us based in the red states who work hard every day to prove our objectivity will have to deal with it.— Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) April 29, 2018
So, a comedian tells a joke, the subjects of the joke get their feelings hurt, and yet no one can find the lie.— Darin Gantt (@daringantt) April 29, 2018
The hell you say.
Amazing how all the stuff about easily triggered snowflakes, lolling at safe spaces, etc goes away when the audience is the people who literally run the government rather than college students.— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) April 29, 2018
Unfortunately, I don't think we advanced the cause of journalism tonight.— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) April 29, 2018
White House media debating comedy is my favorite comedy— Jason Gay (@jasongay) April 29, 2018
That @PressSec sat and absorbed intense criticism of her physical appearance, her job performance, and so forth, instead of walking out, on national television, was impressive.— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) April 29, 2018
Thoughts and prayers to the GOP victims of cruel @michelleisawolf. I only hope they can pull together the pieces of their shattered lives and get back to the good work of cutting taxes for the rich.— Miles Kahn (@mileskahn) April 29, 2018
Hateful and unfunny.— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) April 29, 2018
Mocking a woman for her appearance? I guess that counts as woke now—just as long as she isn’t progeessive. Or thin. https://t.co/FjgeIcc79J
Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a bad person, and should be reminded that others think she’s a bad person.— audible gasp (@morninggloria) April 29, 2018
If some in the press were as hemmed up by this @WhiteHouse’s open embrace of white supremacy, misogyny, mass incarceration, environmental pollution, corporate corruption, and defecation on the First Amendment as they are about what a comedian said, we might be getting somewhere.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) April 29, 2018
My wife @mercedesschlapp and I walked out early from the wh correspondents dinner. Enough of elites mocking all of us— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) April 29, 2018
This guy used to be the chief lobbyist for Koch Industries https://t.co/jnaV6OjRLw— Robert Wheel LLC (@BobbyBigWheel) April 29, 2018
For the second straight year, Trump didn’t attend the dinner, opting instead for a rally in Michigan. But he weighed in on Wolf’s performance.
While Washington, Michigan, was a big success, Washington, D.C., just didn’t work. Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust...the so-called comedian really “bombed.” @greggutfeld should host next year! @PeteHegseth— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2018
Watch Wolf’s entire performance below.
And as Wolf quipped, “I’m here to make jokes. I have no agenda. I’m not trying to get anything accomplished. So, everyone who’s here from Congress: You should feel right at home.”
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.