Question Donald Trump’s decision-making ability all you want, but his skipping out on the White House Correspondents’ Dinner and, instead, sending press secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders to the Wolf was perhaps a good idea.
For him, anyway.
The gathering, a tradition that goes back decades, lumbered on Saturday night without much to get excited about. Then Michelle Wolf happened.
While Trump was business hurling insults at the opposition, complaining about the Russia investigation and threatening a government shutdown in front of an adoring crowd in Michigan, it was Wolf who broke the internet.
Just to give you an idea of what people were still chatting about Sunday:
Here’s her full speech:
Trump’s take on her performance? Well, he thought Wolf dazzled and acknowledged that political figures are fair game when it comes to comedy.
Just kidding. Here’s his tweet:
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)
Trump wasn’t the only one who took issue with Wolf’s routine. There was plenty of backlash — some of it bipartisan — over her slams directed at Sanders, who sat nearby at the head table as Wolf, according to critics, crossed the line:
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)
The WHCD was supposed to celebrate the 1st Amendment. Instead they celebrated bullying, vulgarity, and hate. They got all dressed up so they would look nicer when they had a hired gun savagely attack their guests. Do they really wonder why America has no respect for them? Sad!— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee)
Apology is owed to @PressSec and others grossly insulted ny Michelle Wolf at White House Correspondents Assoc dinner which started with uplifting heartfelt speech by @margarettalev - comedian was worst since Imus insulted Clinton’s— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports)
Michelle Wolf is what happens when the Left loses its capacity for comedy. They have nothing but hackneyed insults and late night tears because the President is much funnier than they are! #WHCD— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles)
Of course, Wolf had plenty of supporters, as well:
— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain)
They call you liars. They call Mexicans rapists. They call Muslims murderers. They support white supremacists. But someone calls them out on what they do, & suddenly they’re heroes for not walking out. https://t.co/B9aT7moy2C— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn)
Also, how self-regarding do you have to be to invite a comedian & then get upset that she makes jokes about the rich, famous, powerful people in the room? And how irrational do you have to be to think a comedian at a DC event is supposed to be reverent & sober in *the Trump era*?— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)
Comedian ends comedy dinner by saying that Flint still doesn’t have clean water, an attempt to point out Washington’s continued neglect of people who need help.
Washington responds with a rigorous debate about the tone and civility of the comedian’s jokes.
Perfect.— Jon Favreau (@jonfavs)
Really, both sides got something out of Saturday’s fireworks. The buzz surrounding Wolf gives her a publicity boost ahead of her Netflix NFLX, -0.71% show, and Trump has more ammo for his crusade against out-of-touch elites.
Everybody wins... right?