The Slatest

WHCA President Backs Away From Michelle Wolf, Whom She Refers to Only as “the Entertainer”

Michelle Wolf.
Michelle Wolf.
Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein

White House Correspondents’ Association president Margaret Talev spoke out about Michelle Wolf’s WHCA dinner monologue in a statement to members tweeted from the association’s official account on Sunday night. You’d have to already know about Wolf’s monologue and the outrage that followed it to understand what Talev was talking about, though, because she refused to use Wolf’s name. “I also have heard from members expressing dismay with the entertainers’ monologue and concerns about how it reflects on our mission,” Talev wrote. “… 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. Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”

Seems like Michelle Wolf wasn’t the only comedian in the room! Suggesting that you could demonstrate a commitment to a “vigorous and free press” by inviting Sarah Huckabee Sanders to dinner—never mind actually doing it—is five times as offensive as anything Wolf said. In honor of this robotic cycle of feigned outrage and feigned remorse, here’s a video of a not-very-well-tuned player piano lurching its way through “The Entertainer.”

Here is Talev’s complete statement:

Dear Members:

I want to tell you how much your kind words meant to me following my personal remarks at last night’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner about the roots of my belief in journalism’s essential role.

I also have heard from members expressing dismay with the entertainer’s monologue and concerns about how it reflects on our mission. Olivier Knox, who will take over this summer as our president, and I, recognize these concerns and are committed to hearing from members on your views on the format of the dinner going forward. 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. Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.

Every day we are working hard to advocate for our members and ensure coverage that benefits the public, and the dinner is an important opportunity to highlight and maintain our essential work. The White House Correspondents’ Association remains dedicated to that mission.

Margaret Talev