Michelle Wolf took no prisoners at Saturday night's White House Correspondents' Dinner. In fact, her performance was not unlike President Trump's vulgar personal attacks on friend and foe alike.
Press secretary and Trump fabricator Sarah Huckabee Sanders was in Wolf's cross hairs and so was Kellyanne Conway, the "alternative facts" lady. A millennial, Wolf tailored her act not for the graying media insiders gathered in the ballroom but for her young and growing audience who hates everything about Trump and the sycophants around him, or at least the ones the president hasn't fired yet.
There was a lot of tsk-tsking over the weekend from the likes of MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski - whose romantic relationship with her co-host Joe Scarborough Wolf described as "like when a #MeToo works out" - and demands for apologies from a variety of stuffed shirts that only served to bolster Wolf's brand, guaranteeing her an even bigger following among the 18-to-34 crowd when her new Netflix show debuts.
"What a fail," huffed the Washington Post.
The same conservatives who give Trump's vicious tweets and verbal attacks a pass were in a snit over Wolf's bit. "With comedy, the victim should be powerful people. They shouldn't be Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders. And if you're going to mock them, you have fun with it, but you don't make fun of them," lamented Fox's Brian Kilmeade.
Speaking of overinflated media types, Wolf took aim with barbs like this: “I know there’s a lot of people who want me to talk about Russia and Putin and collusion, but I’m not gonna do that because there’s a lot of liberal media here and I’ve never wanted to know what any of you look like when you orgasm. Except for you, Jake Tapper.”
The D.C. political and media establishment better get used to it because this is what Trump has wrought. Sanders and Conway aren't fair game? Please. Their boss has set the example and the tone for Wolf and all the other comics who skewer the president and his people.
For his part, Trump skipped the dinner again before pronouncing it "DEAD." No doubt he was thinking about the humiliation he suffered at the 2011 event when President Obama savaged the alleged billionaire and his silly TV game show as Trump sat stone-faced in the audience.
"The only p----- you aren't allowed to grab is Trump," quipped Wolf.
True that. We know Trump can dish it out, but he runs like a scared little girl when his fragile ego is threatened. Here's a relatively obscure 32-year-old comic telling some funny and occasionally tasteless jokes about his presidency and Trump can't handle it. How revealing.
"Comedy has no rules, per se," wrote comedian Adam Conover in the New York Times Monday. "But in my 15 years of writing and performing, I’ve come up with a few guidelines that I find helpful: 1. Be funny. 2. Tell the truth. 3. Make people in power uncomfortable. By that math, in her performance…Michelle Wolf did exactly what a great comic is supposed to do."
Mean-spirited and personal? That's the Trump Treatment, folks.
Kevin Foley owns KEF Media Associates, Inc., an Atlanta-based producer and distributor of electronic publicity. He can be reached at [email protected]