Michelle Wolf’s WHCD Speech Sparks War of Words Between Celebs and the Press

Netflix's The Break with Michelle Wolf hosts celebration after the White House Correspondents' Dinner
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Netflix

Debate continues to rage over Michelle Wolf’s “comedy” act delivered at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual dinner with many in the media embarrassed over the profane address even as many celebrities rejoiced at the speech.

On Sunday morning, White House Correspondents Association president Margaret Talev was somewhat apologetic over the comedienne’s outrageous April 28 routine that contained attacks on White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sander’s physical appearance and other cringe-worthy bits.

On CNN, Talev noted that Wolf’s purported comedy segment has unfairly come to define the entire night. Instead of a “really wonderful, unifying night,” Talev says she regrets that the hateful and inappropriate routine is all anyone wants to talk about.

“Comedy is meant to be provocative,” Talev said before adding, “My interest overwhelmingly was in unifying the country, and I understand that we may have fallen a little bit short on that goal.”

Indeed, many members of the media agreed that the obscene comedy segment did not in the least bit help journalism beat back the impression that journalists hate everyday, average Americans, and that as a profession it is sold out to the far, far left.

Leading the contingent of journalists who felt that Wolf’s segment was less than helpful is New York Times correspondent Peter Baker who Tweeted that he didn’t think the dinner “advanced the cause of journalism”:

CNN’s Jeff Zeleny agreed with Baker saying Wolf’s speech took the focus off what the night was supposed to be about:

Politico’s Kyle Cheney retweeted Zeleny’s thought that the cause of journalism was marred by the dinner and then added his own tweet to denounce Wolf’s “cruelty.”

CNBC’s John Harwood hinted that he thinks the dinner should just be canceled and left as an historical relic of the past:

CNN reporter Kate Bennett said that the whole thing was tremendously uncomfortable:

Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard felt that Wolf’s keynote segment was a set back for the relationship between the press and the American people:

Kinnard was also none too happy with the attacks on Sanders’ looks:

Fox Business Network star Maria Bartiromo wants the association to issue an apology:


MSNBC reporter and long-time Washington correspondent Andrea Mitchell is also seeking an apology:

For his part, Jon Ward of Yahoo News was aghast that Wolf’s obscene address would help Trump, not hurt him:

Even New York Times writer and Trump hater Maggie Haberman was chagrinned by Wolf’s standup at the dinner. Haberman even praised Sanders for bravely withstanding the personal assaults without standing up and walking out:

Amusingly, Haberman spent several hours Sunday morning defending her tweet against liberals who were outraged over her pique at Wolf. In fact, Haberman’s post sent members of the Hollywood elite into Twitter broadsides against the Times writer.

Bitter, out-of-work TV host Rosie O’Donnell was furious at Haberman for having sympathy for Sarah Huckabee Sanders:

Bit actor Kumail Nanjiani also prosaically slammed Republicans as racists in his response to Haberman’s sympathetic tweet:

Other members of the Hollywood elite were jubilant over the disgusting comedy set Wolf delivered on Saturday.

Rob Reiner of “Meathead” fame, was typical in his response to the night’s festivities:

Virulently anti-Trump foodie Anthony Bourdain also piled on:

Comic actor Jon Lovett went on the attack against former White House press secretary Sean Spicer for his Tweet calling the event a disgrace:

Replies like these tend to show that the purported comedienne’s routine substantiates the opinion of center-right Americans who say journalism is driven not by truth but by hate for anything not to the far left.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.