A Review of Michelle Wolf’s Correspondent’s Dinner Monologue Finds Her Funny and Serious, Justly So.

Reaction to Michelle Wolf is telling, but not nearly as important as her performance.

Wolf underscored the Trump administration’s criminality, venality, lying, and cruelty. She told the assembled dignitaries and media people they were watching history — the wrong side of history, evil history. Others have said as much, but not to the faces of the people who manage political Washington. It was a moment of truth for them, something they deny daily as they putter through life as normal.

Of course those who present Washington to the rest of us, both behind and on camera, were outraged. These are high status folk, who don’t take criticism lightly. Everything Wolf said was legitimate, for a political comedian. I’ll rate her jokes on a purely subjective 5 point scale, 1 unfunny, 5 hilarious.

She mocked Roy Moore for his child romancing. (3) She said Michael Cohen could shut her up for 130K. (4)

She said she didn’t want to talk about collusion, because she didn’t want to see what liberal media types look like when they orgasm. (4) Oh oh. Women aren’t supposed to joke like this.

She said it’s crazy that Trump campaign could contact Russia, while Hillary missed Michigan.(3) Then she noted Trump’s absence, and said she’d grab and drag him there, but he’s the one pussy you can’t. (5)

Did that hurt? Or were people trying to forget it?

She gave Trump credit, because he said he’d pull out of Paris and did. A refreshing quality in a man. (5) Of course, like talking about pussies and orgasms, hearing a woman joke about sex didn’t sit well with many.

Wolf’s best strategy came next. She could call Trump a host of names, but he wouldn’t care. So she decided to hit where it hurt: she said he wasn’t rich. The assembled media dropped that ball on that investigation, haven’t they?

Trump is so broke he has to fly failed business class. (4) He’s so broke he looked for foreign oil in Don Jr.’s hair. (2) Ow, someone felt hurt. He’s so broke Southwest used him as one of their engines. (4) That was too clever for the crowd, but was a great joke.

But then came the big line: “He had to borrow money from the Russians, and now he’s compromised and susceptible to blackmail and possibly responsible for the collapse of the republic.” Wolf figured this was her 15 minutes in front of power brokers, and she had to deliver this to them. There’s a chance, more than 10%, less than 90%, that it’s true. Given so, what does the news media have to say? If it’s true, and Fox tells right-wingers to take their guns and go into the streets, will Wolf be condemned still?

Wolf called out Pence for his abortion views. When the audience objected, she said she knew they were antiabortion, unless it’s the one they get for a secret mistress.(3) Which a few have, of course.

She said she’d worked at Bear Stearns in 2008, so though never sexually harassed, was f — -ed. “Yeah, that whole company went down on me without my consent. And no men got in trouble for that one either.” (5) But not a joke permitted for a woman.

She mocked McConnell and Ryan, for having no neck and no balls. (3) Which they deserved, unless you believe giving everything to the rich is normal politics. If you do, then you’re the problem.

She mocked K. Conway for lying. (2) Well, she does. She mocked Priutt for hating trees. (3) Well, he’s anti-environment, and running the EPA.

She mocked Ivanka, who deserves it. Said she does nothing for women, like her father. (3) Guess what. Trump’s a playboy, and deserves it.

The most troubling thing for many in the audience were Wolf’s jokes about Huckabee Sanders. She compared her to a female character in Handmaid’s Tales who forces women into slavery under men. A tool. Most in the audience didn’t even get the reference (I didn’t). Wolf said you never know to get with a Sanders briefing: a briefing, lies, or PE instructor. (2)

“She burns facts and uses the ash to create a perfect smoky eye.” (4) Guess what, women can make jokes about other women like this. It’s their prerogative. The audience didn’t realize it. Neither have pundits.

Wolf made fun of CNN, Fox, MSNBC. Makes fun of Morning Joe and Rachel Maddow. Gave Megyn Kelly a roast. Why not?

She said she wouldn’t go after print media because they’re endangered.

Of course, the audience didn’t like it when she pointed out that Trump has helped them sell more advertising, as they focus on him. “If you’re gonna profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money because he doesn’t have any.” (3) A little tired, but a good way to wind down.

Trump is so broke, “he graps pussies ’cause he thinks there might be loose change in them.” (5) Maybe the audience didn’t get this classic African-American comedy style. Their bad, not hers.

So, in review, Wolf was funny about a very serious problem — the state of our democracy, brought to you by the interplay between Trump and the media. How offensive to their tender ears. She took a woman’s view, did it a woman’s way, and that offended people too.

All in all a rousing performance.

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Brian Coyle

Brian Coyle

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