One of the most controversial and divisive events of the past few months has undoubtedly been Michelle Wolf’s comedy routine at the White House Correspondents dinner. Many people, both Democrats and Republicans, have expressed negative feelings about the performance, criticizing it for being too vulgar and crude.
However, I feel as through those people are failing to put her words into the proper context: a comedy sketch, whose primary purpose is to mock the president and the current establishment per Correspondence dinner tradition.
Although her jokes were vulgar, they were perfectly in keeping with the current administration and the values and morals it professes. Throughout her monologue, Wolf’s theme centered on individuals within the Trump administration and focused on his treatment of women. In fact, her opening line, “Here we are at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Like a porn star says when she’s about to have sex with a Trump, ‘Let’s get this over with,’” immediately evoked President Trump’s highly publicized “alleged” affairs with pornstar Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal.
By bringing this particular scandal to the forefront early in such a crude manner, Wolf set the tone for the rest of the evening, both thematically and tonally. In between taking shots at Trump himself, Wolf took aim at some more controversial faces associated with the president and his administration.
One of her harder hitting jokes came at the expense of Roy Moore, the accused pedophile who Trump supported in his bid for senator of Alabama (It is important to note that President Trump made his endorsement of Moore after accusation that he had sexually assaulted a 14 year old when he was 32 and a 16 year old when he was 31). When introducing herself to the audience, Wolf said, “I am 32 years old, which is an odd age — 10 years too young to host this event, and 20 years too old for Roy Moore. I know, he almost got elected.”
Again, Wolf’s edgy monologue not only addressed the seriously disturbing fact that an accused pedophile was nearly elected to public office, but did so in a way which made the audience even more uncomfortable than if she had just stated a fact. By doing so, she increased the effectiveness of the message which she was attempting to get across.
Keeping with her theme of the Trump administration’s mistreatment of women, Wolf also went after President Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump for her lack of action regarding women’s movements and her father’s comments regarding women. Wolf said of 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.”
While undoubtedly vulgar, Wolf gets her point across with her characteristic shock value, making sure her audience gets the point of each joke, in this case, going after Ivanka Trump’s lack of initiative with any movement advocating for women’s rights and what has been a deafening silence in the wake of her father’s frankly disgusting comments toward and about women.
In conclusion, representatives from the Trump administration have accused Wolf of being too harsh and mean. The hypocrisy in that statement is almost too much to handle. That piece of criticism is coming from the same people who defended the president when he called Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig” and a “dog,” when he called his own daughter a “piece of ass,” when he said that MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski was “bleeding badly from a facelift,” when he called former Miss Universe Alicia Machado “fat” and “ugly” after she gained weight after the pageant and when he blatantly mocked a disabled reporter at a rally in South Carolina.
Michelle Wolf performed a vulgar comedy routine in the appropriate setting. President Trump has made serious vulgar and disgusting comments in inappropriate settings. Therefore the two are incomparable and if those who are angry at Wolf want to be outraged, they must be equally outraged.