The DC media has been absolutely fucking insufferable about Michelle Wolf’s standup set at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday.
Reporters rushed to defend Sanders’ honor after she was “attacked” during the roast, and later, the White House Correspondents’ Association itself put out a statement on Sunday night saying Wolf’s monologue “was not in the spirit” of the WHCA’s mission. That mission appears to be having cool parties which only reinforce the idea that the press is a stenographer for power.
The race to condemn Wolf from mainstream journalists has overshadowed the takes from conservative media, however, which have predictably been even more pathetic. Perhaps the worst response came from The Daily Caller’s Benny Johnson, a serial plagiarist and walking gift card to Brooks Brothers whose current place of employment once speculated that he’d end up making videos for the White House.
In his magnum opus, “I Watched How Sarah Sanders Privately Reacted After Being Attacked – This Is Her Real Character,” Johnson very predictably treats Sarah Huckabee Sanders like she’s fucking Malala:
Sanders sat through the insults unsmiling, often looking uncomfortable. I watched the reaction from the sea of journalists and DC influencers packed like sardines into the room at the Washington Hilton as Wolf began leveling her attacks. There was very little laughter. Even the faces of the most liberal reporters cringed during the comments. There was audible groaning. Wolf carried on, reading from her prepared remarks, which also clumsily attacked Kellyanne Conway and made light of aborting a fetus.
Hmm. I’m shocked that the author of “David Hogg Takes Photo With GOP Candidate Wearing A T-Shirt Featuring Trump Pissing On CNN” is pretending to not understand what a roast is. Johnson continues:
As Wolf closed out her remarks it was clear to all present that the act bombed. Those in the room knew the backlash would be swift and the mood from Correspondents Association members and White House staff was grim at the parties that carried on throughout the evening.
Note here that Wolf also went very hard after the media, saying during one bit: “I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric. But he has helped you. He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off of him.” A fun little game is imagining Benny’s report on what a Slay Queen Michelle Wolf was if she had done this exact same monologue while Barack Obama was in office!
Johnson also reports that the administration wanted Sanders to make a huge deal and walk out “if the attacks got too personal.”
“Sarah, however,” Johnson breathlessly reports, “stayed firm.” One of her “closest confidantes” told Johnson: “I don’t know how she does it. She kills them with kindness—she puts up with it. Good-hearted American people see that—and then [Sarah] wins.” Inspiring.
(Johnson also notes that “members of the White House press corp tell me they had asked for Sanders’ home address after the ordeal in order to send her a large flower basket.” If that’s true—and considering Johnson’s reputation, who knows—we are so screwed.)
Johnson then recounts Sanders performing yet another act of sheer bravery, aka attending a party thrown by MSNBC:
The MSNBC party was set outdoors. It was a cold and rainy night and the event was winding down. Then the unexpected happened. Sarah Sanders walks into the MSNBC party. MSNBC, an openly liberal network that often promotes the vitriol that just attacked her, was the last place you would expect to find Sanders that night. But there she was. And guess what? Sarah Sanders was smiling. She owned it. I asked her about the attack and she shrugged, cracked a smile and simply told me that the attacks didn’t bother her and that she’s praying for the comedian.
That is the kind of woman she is.
Really incredible that the White House press secretary who wakes up in the morning, looks at herself in the mirror, and gins up the strength to go out and lie on behalf of the president every day—a president who has said countless shitty things about women, immigrants, people of color, people with disabilities, and essentially anyone who isn’t a rich white guy—was able to take a couple of minutes of criticism without throwing a Trump-like fit about it. Give her a goddamn Purple Heart.
Johnson closes out his blog with one final fawning episode over a person who could very conceivably be his boss at some point:
Flying into Washington, D.C. as a celebrity to cheap-shot a mother...
A mother!!! You monsters.
...who works in the White House to her face in front of a room of one thousand journalists, simply because you disagree with her politically, is not brave.
It’s the definition of a coward and a bully.
Putting up with it and forgiving that person afterward?
That is real power.
In a country with a functioning free press, Sarah Huckabee Sanders wouldn’t have a job. The fact that both reporters from mainstream outlets and Benny Johnson agree about her treatment should be enough evidence that this thing is and always will be a sham. Trump doesn’t even go to the WHCD, which is helping people finally wise up to the fact that it’s wrong—and always has been—for reporters to throw a big bash to celebrate the sickeningly friendly relationship that power has with those expected to hold it accountable.
The only positive thing that could possibly come out of this whole fiasco is that it’s finally the death knell for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Since we live in a hell where they’re considering bringing on liberal and conservative comedians to the dinner next year, however, it’s more likely that we’re going to get decades of Jib Jab style bits featuring that year’s Liberal Comedian and Dennis Miller. I’m sure right wing media will find absolutely nothing at all to complain about then.