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Washington Journalists Defend Sanders Against Sexist Insult That Nobody Uttered

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com.

Reporters who cover the Trump administration were instead defending it — and specifically press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — Saturday night. But their efforts resulted in justified backlash.

At the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, comedian Michelle Wolf delivered a wide-ranging roast that included 90 seconds of material on Sanders.

The bit drew harsh criticism from ostensibly objective journalists, particularly a joke about Sanders’ penchant for dishonesty.

“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful,” Wolf said. “Like, she burns facts, and then she uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like, maybe she’s born with it; maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”

Wolf went on to muse about what to call Sanders. “Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women?” Wolf asked. “Oh, I know: Aunt Coulter.”

The jokes were relatively mild, but they still drew condemnation from a number of journalists.

Maggie Haberman of The New York Times praised Sanders for not walking out on the dinner. She accused Wolf of attacking Sanders’ physical appearance, when the joke was actually skewering her propensity for dishonesty. When asked on Twitter to quote the lines to which she was referring, Haberman didn’t answer and unfollowed the questioner.

Other prominent reporters and media figures joined Haberman in defending Sanders, which resulted in a blizzard of backlash, including from Wolf herself.

Michelle Wolf

@michelleisawolf

Hey mags! All these jokes were about her despicable behavior. Sounds like you have some thoughts about her looks though? 😘 https://twitter.com/maggienyt/status/990428993542414336 

Michelle Wolf

@michelleisawolf

Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials. https://twitter.com/morningmika/status/990585968825597954 

On Sunday morning’s “AM Joy,” panelist Tiffany Cross called out the media for this behavior.

“It’s a lot of unfairness to the American people when Sarah Huckabee Sanders stands at that podium every day and spits out lies,” Cross noted. And she made it quite clear where the disgust should be directed.

“If you were made to feel uncomfortable by Michelle Wolf making fun of the actual words that the president had said, and actual things that people in this administration have done but you weren’t uncomfortable by the president calling Nazis good people, you weren’t uncomfortable by the president talking about grabbing women by their private parts, you weren’t uncomfortable by the president putting our very democracy in danger, then you need to check your hypocrisy and your privilege.”

Sanders lies to the press with stunning regularity, and viciously attacks those reporters who do their jobs by calling her out and standing up to Trump.

Even as members of the media were defending her lies, Trump was a few hundred miles away accusing them of hating Americans.

Taking sides with this administration against a few harmless jokes is a very odd choice for reporters in the Trump era.

At WHCA Dinner, Michelle Wolf Infuriates Thin-Skinned Trumpists

“Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with Donald Trump: ‘Let’s get this over with.’”

As Michelle Wolf’s opening joke at the White House Correspondents Dinner, that line drew laughs and gasps. Funny or not, it captured the feelings of many of the snowflakes in the audience long before the ceremonies concluded. Several angry Trumpists walked out while Wolf was still speaking.

The defenders of a president best known for his coarse, mean, and mocking style were offended by the comedian’s relentless stream of harsh humor directed not only at him but his retinue. The female Trump enablers came in for especially tough treatment, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, communications aide Kellyanne Conway, and daughter/hustler/presidential assistant Ivanka Trump.

While Conway and Sanders were both present, Trump skipped the festivities for the second year in a row. Notoriously unable to take the kind of treatment he regularly dishes out, the president has yet to recover from the jokes at his expense delivered with verve at a previous correspondents’ dinner by Barack Obama himself.

Opinions among the journalists in the room were divided. Maggie Haberman, celebrated White House reporter for The New York Times, posted a tweet expressing offense at the treatment of Sanders, claiming that she had endured “intense criticism of her physical appearance.” But David Corn of Mother Jones noted that the Trumpists whining about Wolf’s pointed humor “live in a very thin glass house.”

Wolf went after Sanders, sitting nearby on the dais, with strong feminist gusto.

“I have to say I’m a little star-struck,” she said. “I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid’s Tale,” the cable series based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of a totalitarian and misogynist America. “Mike Pence, if you haven’t seen it, you would love it.”

She went on (and on and on): “I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies….And I’m never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know? Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? What’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh, I know. Aunt Coulter.”

Turning to the first daughter, she said, “There’s also, of course, Ivanka. She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out she’s about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons. She’s done nothing to satisfy women. So, I guess like father, like daughter.”

As for Conway, Wolf quipped: “She has the perfect last name for what she does, Conway … You guys have got to stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. All she does is lie. If you don’t give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie. It’s like that old saying, if a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree? I’m not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck. Stuck under a tree.”

To offended audience members, the 32 year-old comic mockingly suggested that they “should have done more research” before inviting her to host. But by last night it was far too late: “It’s 2018 and I’m a woman so you cannot shut me up. Unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000. Michael, you can find me on Venmo under my porn star name — Reince Priebus.”

Complete video of the dinner proceedings can be found on Youtube, with Wolf’s standup beginning at about 38:00.. Below is a clip reel of selected snarks from the Washington Post.

Samantha Bee, Will Ferrell, Allison Janney Kill In Press Dinner Parody [VIDEO]

When Samantha Bee threatened to stage an alternative to the White House Correspondents Dinner, who knew that she would pull off her celebration of the First Amendment with such style? At Constitutional Hall last night, the Full Frontal host put on a remarkable live show for 2500 guests — and sitting at the front table, appropriately enough, were the directors and staff of the Committee to Protect Journalists, the sterling organization that received a $200,000 donation from the dinner’s proceeds.

The Full Frontal Not The White House Correspondents Dinner is indeed a comedic feast: The roaring cold open brings back The West Wing’s beloved C.J. Cregg (Allison Janney), who takes over the White House press podium to blast the motley online corps of misogynists, racists, wackos, and Kremlin stooges that now deface American media.

There’s an amusing interview with CNN anchor Jake Tapper, an even more amusing roast of CNN boss Jeff Zucker — and a surprise guest appearance by “George W. Bush,” with Will Ferrell reprising the impression that was so good he took it to Broadway.

Ferrell killed with the first line: “How do you like me now?” Looking back, the 43rd president complains about his press coverage, musing, “I just wish somebody had told me all you had to say was fake news, over and over again.”

Perhaps the show’s highlight is Bee’s own segment, a counter-historical fantasy styled after Man In The High Castle that imagines what might have happened if last year’s election had gone the other way. It concludes with the speech Bee imagines delivering at the real correspondents dinner, 100 days into the Clinton presidency (when Hillary is already facing her impeachment trial).

Endorse This: An Obama Blooper Reel, From The White House Correspondents’ Association

This Saturday’s White House Correspondents Dinner was everything I’d hoped for, obvious journalistic conflicts of interest aside.

The president left on a mic-dropping flourish after eviscerating the D.C. press corps for elevating Donald Trump to near apocalyptic levels (“The guy wanted to give his hotel business a boost and now we’re praying that Cleveland makes it through July”), Larry Wilmore made the media executives in attendance feel as uncomfortable as their business decisions made viewers (“MSNBC got rid of so many black people, I thought Boko Haram was running that network”), and Bernie Sanders showed up in a suit and tie, an overstated nosed thumb at the DC cocktail circuit.

But one moment from Saturday night has flown so far under the radar that we’ve decided to feature it here today: the blooper reel.

President Obama has earned his reputation as a smooth operator, but an eight year compilation of every exception to that rule makes for an extremely persuasive argument: our president can be a bit of a klutz.

Photo and Video: YouTube User “Relfect”/ CSPAN.