A day after comedian Michelle Wolf’s routine at the annual White House Correspondents Awards dinner sparked outrage, WHCA president Margaret Talev said the routine was “not in the spirit” of its mission. However, she stopped short of an apology for a performance that many felt crossed the line.
Talev claimed she was responding to member complaints that Wolf’s performance, filled with anger at the current administration and causing an uproar and soul-searching among both sides of the aisle in the fourth estate, did not reflect well on the organization.
“Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people,” Talev said. “Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”
Talev said she an incoming WHCA president Olivier Knox are open to suggestions on changing the event going forward.
Wolf’s 20-minute performance at the dinner consisted largely of pot shots at the current administration, although the Democrats came in for their share of abuse. Wolf’s comments about press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders were particularly vicious, with some saying they were too focused on her appearance and were very mean-spirited.