The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) recently announced that for the first time in decades, they will be eschewing the practice of having a Hollywood comedian conduct a roast at the annual dinner journalists have gushingly termed “nerd prom.” Last year’s host, Michelle Wolf, immediately lashed out by calling their choice of Alexander Hamilton biographer, Ron Chernow, cowardly.
— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) November 19, 2018
Wolf’s response that the WHCA are cowards after her awful performance last year is simply ridiculous. The hosting hasn’t been decent in a long time. And, frankly, getting a comedian to tell mostly unfunny jokes — Wolf’s were especially egregious, as was her delivery — when the president isn’t even there, it’s not brave, it’s just pathetic.
The fact that they’re bringing in a biographer to talk about the importance of a free press isn’t cowardly, it’s suitable for the times. Honestly, it would’ve been more applicable during the previous administration.
The Obama administration not only prosecuted more journalists than recent presidents, they probably spied on Fox News’ James Rosen.
The attendees of the WHCA dinner fawned over the presence of Barack Obama in their midst. And even when Obama took a ribbing from the M.C., it was always taken in good fun because, as we all know, the hosts and most in the room were “on his side.” Any lampooning of Trump has an undercurrent of viciousness that simply makes the “jokes,” as true as they may be, uncomfortably distasteful.
And yet, Donald Trump’s taking on the media with words is more objectionable to the press than the guy they adore for his charm, swagger and parroting back their own thoughts who was responsible for a life-changing assault on members of the press during his tenure.
Obama adviser Ben Rhodes even gloated about the fact that they could lie and manipulate the public, and most importantly, the press, who just shrugged.
Based on this pervasive level of unself-awareness in the media, bringing in Ron Chernow to speak about a free and independent press is clearly something the media elites attending the dinner need to hear. Maybe it’s not about Trump, but about them. And maybe, just maybe, the Jim Acostas and April Ryans need to hear a serious speech on what a free press meant to the Founders and not another night of the mockery and snide comments they engage in regularly.