Everyone has an opinion on whether Michelle Wolf was “funny” or “appropriate” in her comments at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. My opinion, as a professional in the political humor business, is that it’s the wrong question. In American political arguments, we usually spend the bulk of our precious time arguing over the wrong question. Any question about humor is really a question about context and intent. Let’s talk about those.
So what is the context and intent here? Well, what does Sarah Huckabee Sanders do for a living? Answer: She is assisting President Trump in portraying the American media not just as unreliable but also as actual enemies of America. How do we know this? Someone asked! A recent poll found that most Republicans now think that the American media is the “enemy of the American people.” Okay then. Job well done, Sarah!
My question is why, at a dinner convened to recognize the work of journalists, do they invite anyone from this administration to sit in a place of special honor? Sanders’s job not only requires regular lying but also is part of a Trump administration campaign to demolish the very credibility of independent reporting. So, huh?
Do some members of the media think that maybe by playing nice with members of the Trump administration, they will be grateful to the media, and therefore be more honest and call off their war on journalism?
Now, THAT’S funny!