Every year, the White House Correspondents Dinner provides a rare opportunity for the American administration and the journalists who cover it to put aside whatever animosity exists between them for one night of lighthearted glass-clinking and presidential roasting. But, in keeping with our divided times, even one night of non-partisan diplomacy seems to be a bit of a pipe dream. President Trump — who has, in the past, called the media “the enemy of the American people” — refused to attend for the second year in a row. (He did, however, make sure to share a spirited review of the shindig later on via Twitter.)
And, in the vein of a long, impressive line of comedians to take the dais before her (like Stephen Colbert and Cecily Strong), host Michelle Wolf went there, joshing about everything from the Stormy Daniels affair to “pro-life” congressmen (with pregnant mistresses) to a tree falling on Kellyanne Conway. But as Wolf later found out, the celebration of free speech apparently excludes any talk of Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
“I actually really like Sarah,” Wolf said, glancing at Sanders, who sat in Trump’s vacated head-table spot. “I think she’s very resourceful. But 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.”
Interpreting the joke as a dig at Sanders’ looks, rather than her on-off relationship with, well, the truth, many media members took to Twitter to voice their displeasure.
Others were quick to defend Wolf:
…including fellow comedian Kathy Griffin, who was in attendance that night:
Oh, and Wolf herself:
In a similarly divisive statement, the White House Correspondents Association later apologized for Wolf’s monologue, saying it was “not in the spirit of our mission.” But, hey, at least she got a laugh from one Trump: Eric.