It was the SRQPATS intention to post the two articles below, one NY Times and one WS Journal for comparison. A week after the event, Peggy Noonan in another WSJ OpEd said it best which is our lead story here. We've taken the liberty to highlight key points.

A Dog’s Breakfast of a Dinner


The Correspondents’ Association fête isn’t just bad, it’s bad for America. Let this one be the last.


By Peggy Noonan


It’s over, the conversation has turned and won’t bubble up again till early next year but a final thing should be said about the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. It’s been persuasively argued that the dinner hurt journalism (true) and politics in general (yes). But I think it hurt America.


Here, with apologies but to make a point (the TV clips don’t capture it) is a sample of the comic stylings of Michelle Wolf, in the centerpiece speech of the evening. To put things in historical context, the tampon joke is very much like what Walter Lippmann said of Mamie Eisenhower. Oh wait, that’s wrong. But the banging bimbos reference is reminiscent of what Bobby Kennedy said about Scotty Reston. Oh dear, that’s wrong too. Anyway here’s what Michelle Wolf said.


On Mike Pence : “He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don’t knock it till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it—you know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there.” Paul Ryan has been circumcised. “Unfortunately, while they were down there they also took his balls.” Ivanka Trump is “about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons.” “She’s the Diaper Genie of the administration: on the outside, she looks sleek, but the inside, it’s full of sh—.” “Like a porn star when she’s about to have sex with Donald Trump, ‘Let’s get this over with.’ ” “Oh, you don’t think he’s good in bed.” Of Sarah Sanders: “Like, what’s Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? Oh I know, Aunt Coulter. ” Also, she’d like to make fun of Democrats but they’re “harder to make fun of because you guys don’t do anything.” Lucky them. [Video below]


The above is an abridged version of Ms. Wolf’s quotes, because most of them didn’t make it past my editors. These are the tamer ones.


What’s wrong with those remarks? You’re thinking of words like vulgar, grubby and immature, and you’re right, and you’re detecting an embarrassing fixation on sexual organs and bodily functions, and you’re right there too.


But you also think—you want to think: This is below us. It used to be. Can’t it be below us again?


The dinner is decadent. It is the Capitol elite in “The Hunger Games.” It takes place in the great political capital of the world, with its most powerful figures in journalism and politics, and they giggle at dirty jokes.


It is weird. They are, almost all of them, better than that. But they invited the comedian and acted out mirth. Everyone who laughed was lowered.


Each year the WHCA dinner gets grubbier and more partisan. Each year there is a heavier insistence on hitting the audience’s sweet spot, center-left sanctimony. Instead of admitting and correcting all this, participants take refuge in their own form of disapproval porn: You raise one eyebrow, briefly give one shake of the head, stare at the cutlery and then, when you think the camera is off you in the reaction shot, deftly lean in and say something encouraging to the victim of a joke. In this way you think you’re preserving your dignity. You are not.


Comedians have defended the routine: “Michelle Wolf killed.” Fine, it’s their job to hate censorship and burst boundaries. They feel tribal loyalty. It’s not their job to have good judgment and uphold what remains of public dignity. It’s not their job not to embarrass the nation. That’s more the responsibility of the journalists and politicians, who failed.


The dinner hurts America in two ways. The first and more obvious is that it is, functionally, elite journalists telling half of America: We hate you. It’s as if they break out of their “This just in” face and say, “You know how you think we don’t share your values and respect your views? You know how you think we’re biased, self-infatuated twerps who think we’re better than you? It’s true! We do! Ha ha!” Mainstream media’s disdain for half the country is not news to them—they know exactly what their betters think. But how does it make our country better to grind your heel into the wound? How does that enhance the position of the press?


Second, the world is watching. It is odd journalists forget this, but they do. Every foreign capital gets the full, instantaneous report; every ambassador shares his observations in his lame weekly letter home. This week they reported on the American leadership class—its great journalists and CEOs and politicians—chortling over jokes that were primitive, squalid and deeply stupid. This just might lead the absorbers of this information to conclude the American leadership class itself is those things.


“It is,” you say.


But America in its ego often puts itself forward as a moral exemplar, the greatest nation. Maybe our friends in foreign capitals look and think, again: “They’re not just slobs, they’re liars. They’re hollow.” When you see a hollow tree you just want to push it over.


People attend the dinner for the reasons of vanity we all share—wanting to be on the inside, wanting a public affirmation of your importance. For Republicans and conservatives there’s an additional reason: to show what good sports they are. But they should never go again. There is no need for them to cooperate in their humiliation, and no gain in it. The people back home are not impressed. The people in the room are not touched. You look like a fool.


No great newspaper, no serious organ of journalism, should ever attend again. Why hurt your profession by showing so much of your ugly side?


The dinner is an anachronism representing a world of Washington journalism that began disappearing, culturally and technologically, two generations ago. Times pass, things change. What was once an event of stature—a sign to journalists that they’d arrived or were arriving, a way for money men to get a personal bounce out of ad money spent, a way to make a good impression on a potential source, and for everyone to feel part of something meaningful and important, American journalism—is over.


It is a lost world. When you’ve got a lost world start a new one. Make it better.


The dinner’s organizers can’t reform themselves. If they could they’d already have done it. No one wants to be the censor, no one wants to be the joke Nazi, no one wants their first dinner to be called staid.


Scrap it and start again. The reason for the dinner is to give scholarships and recognition to aspiring journalists, and reward some current ones. So throw a banquet to honor the winners. The scholarship winners will be delighted to meet those they think real stars—reporters, anchors, editors. Offer witty, heartening, inspiring speeches. Impart a sense of how to be in the world, how to act, which doesn’t involve roaring over tampon jokes and the inherent comedy of abortion.


The White House Correspondents’ Association dinner is a blind, sick, stumbling horse desperate to be put down. Put it out of its misery.


“Michelle Wolf killed.” Let’s hope so.



The Wolf Who Came as a Wolf


By The Editorial Board - WSJ


The anti-Trump comic gave the media what she thought they wanted.


The Beltway media brigades held their annual night of industry awards and partying on Saturday, but this year’s event is notable for triggering some buyer’s remorse.


The White House Correspondents’ Association typically hires a comedian as entertainment. This year it was Michelle Wolf, formerly of Comedy Central. Ms. Wolf unleashed such a torrent of nasty gibes and vulgar jokes about Republicans and Donald Trump that even the anti-Republican, anti-Trump crowd had second thoughts.


Peter Funt describes below some of the unfunny bits, and Ms. Wolf was especially vicious to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who was seated on the dais. In an act of remarkable discipline, Ms. Sanders listened in stoic silence without walking out.


The performance had media elites professing shock at Ms. Wolf’s excesses. “Media hands Trump big, embarrassing win,” wrote Mike Allen, whose morning newsletter broadcasts the conventional Washington wisdom. There were many similar sentiments on Twitter.


Yet what did they expect? Michelle Wolf merely gave them what she no doubt assumed, with ample reason, the correspondents wanted. She comes from a network and recent style of comedy that specialize in attacking the politics and values of half the country.


Much—not all—of the press corps has responded to Donald Trump’s surprising victory not by trying to understand it, much less report on it with any balance. Instead they have treated it like an alien invasion that must be repelled, and anyone associated with it as deserving disdain, ridicule or worse. Any reporter who doesn’t follow this herd of contempt is expelled from polite media company. Ms. Wolf was merely putting a cruder face on what she reads every day.


All of which plays into the hands of Mr. Trump, who didn’t attend the event but did indulge in some Twitter gloating afterward. On a trip to Michigan on Saturday night, Mr. Trump also rolled out his typical and nasty attack lines about the press. If reporters want to know why millions of Americans believe him, look in the mirror of Saturday night.


____________________________________


A Vicious Wolf Gives Trump the Last Laugh


By Peter Funt for WSJ


‘She had some great one-liners,’ Douglas Brinkley said on CNN. He changed his mind.


No matter how you feel about Donald Trump or the Washington-based journalists who cover him, you should be angered by what was offered Saturday as entertainment at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.


Michelle Wolf, recently of Comedy Central and soon to have her own series on Netflix, was foul-mouthed about Mr. Trump and downright cruel about members of his administration, several of whom were in the room. Worse, though it proved to be beside the point, she wasn’t funny.


“Trump is so broke,” she quipped, that “Southwest used him as one of their engines.”


She called Vice President Mike Pence a “weirdo”: “He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don’t knock it till you try it. And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you got to get that baby out of there.”


Ms. Wolf’s material—most of which was laced with too much profanity to print here—wasn’t about the First Amendment, as some suggested. Nor was it about the #MeToo movement, which she attempted at one point to hide behind. It was simply a Saturday Night Massacre of dignity and common sense.


It helped prove two unfortunate truths: First, the notion of having working journalists dress up for “nerd prom,” as they call it, and fawn over celebrity guests while listening to a hired comic roast the officials they cover each day was never a good idea. Now, in the freewheeling age of social media, it’s completely bankrupt.


Second, Mr. Trump was right to skip the event. No reasonable person, even among his harshest critics, would have expected him to sit through this.


On Twitter the next morning, Mr. Trump called it a “big, boring bust.” He was too kind. The event has given Mr. Trump’s supporters more ammunition to use in what is essentially an unreasonable attack on “fake news” and “mainstream media.”


Many pundits were as conflicted about Ms. Wolf’s act as they are about how to cover the Trump administration, as CNN’s instant analysis following the event proved. Historian Douglas Brinkley immediately said, “She had some great one-liners.”


About 20 minutes later, he retreated to: “She has the right to say what she did.” After an hour’s reflection, Mr. Brinkley concluded: “The dinner is broken. I think it needs to be reimagined next year.”


Through this misguided event, the Correspondents’ Association has given Donald Trump what he wants most: the last laugh.


Mr. Funt is a writer and host of “Candid Camera.”




 

Michelle Wolf’s Routine Sets Off a Furor at an Annual Washington Dinner


By Michael M. Grynbaum - NYT


The panna cotta had been served and the First Amendment duly celebrated by the time the comedian Michelle Wolf took the stage on Saturday at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.


What followed was a roast that took unflinching aim at some of the notables in the room — and quickly opened a divide, largely but not entirely along partisan lines, over the limits of comedy and comity under a president who rarely hesitates to attack the press.


Ms. Wolf described Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, as “an Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women” and took a shot at her “smokey eye” makeup, saying that it was made from the ashes of “burnt facts.” She called Ivanka Trump “as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons.” She labeled Kellyanne Conway, the president’s counselor, an inveterate liar, and asked: “If a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree?”


“I’m not suggesting she get hurt, just stuck,” Ms. Wolf added, puckishly, as an icy silence — and a few scattered chortles — fell over the black-tie crowd here. Ms. Conway sat expressionlessly. Ms. Sanders, granted a seat of honor on the dais, limited her reaction to an arched eyebrow and pursed lips.


It was an earthy performance by Correspondents’ dinner standards, if nothing out of place in an average comedy club. But feedback from the political left and right quickly leapt to extremes.

“It was personally offensive,” Brian Kilmeade, a co-host of “Fox & Friends,” said in the ballroom, minutes after Ms. Wolf ended her set.


“To me, that was an attack to impress Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert,” Mr. Kilmeade added, previewing a line of criticism that would be dominant on Fox News by Sunday morning. “Congratulations, when the three of you go out to dinner, I’m sure you’ll be laughing a lot. But in terms of the people here and the people at home — totally offensive, horrible choice. In fact, it’s the reason why the president didn’t want to go.”


Critics of President Trump — who is no stranger to lobbing insult-comic punch lines at his opponents and is the first president to outright skip the Correspondents’ gala since Jimmy Carter — wondered what the fuss was about.


“Before we criticize Michelle Wolf, let’s remember that Donald Trump has done and said some of the crudest things that any president in history has ever done,” said Howard Fineman, a left-leaning analyst at NBC News and MSNBC. “Just have a little perspective.”


By Sunday, Ms. Wolf, a contributor to “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” whose Netflix talk show starts in May, had seemingly scandalized Washington’s intersecting political and media tribes.


In one Twitter exchange, Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary described the dinner as “a disgrace.”


“Thank you!” Ms. Wolf replied.


Prominent Washington journalists, meanwhile, took pains to defend Ms. Sanders — earning their own opprobrium from some liberals who asked why reporters were sticking up for an administration that routinely impugns their work.


Andrea Mitchell, the NBC News correspondent, tweeted that an “apology is owed” to the press secretary. Her network colleague Mika Brzezinski wrote that “watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable.”


Several reporters who cover the White House approached Ms. Sanders in the Hilton ballroom to express sympathy in the immediate aftermath of Ms. Wolf’s monologue. Later, at a windswept after party hosted by NBC News, Ms. Sanders appeared in good spirits as reporters swarmed her. (She even took time to chastise one journalist for asking a question at a news conference that she disliked.)


Late on Sunday, Margaret Talev, president of the Correspondents’ Association, issued a statement acknowledging “dismay” from members about Ms. Wolf’s performance.


“Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press,” Ms. Talev wrote. “Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”


Ms. Talev said her organization would consider new ideas about the future format of the dinner — a sentiment echoed by Mr. Trump in a tweet about a half-hour later.


“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner was a failure last year, but this year was an embarrassment to everyone associated with it,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, adding: “Put Dinner to rest, or start over!”


Going back to Stephen Colbert’s blistering monologue in 2006 — delivered as President George W. Bush sat unsmiling a few feet away — the comic portion of the Correspondents’ dinner has courted controversy. Roast-style humor is an odd fit for protocol-oriented Washington, and some comedians praised Ms. Wolf for discomfiting the audience of elite journalists and administration officials.


“If you want to focus on the journalism do a boring award show,” tweeted Kathy Griffin, the comedian whose own brush with crude presidential humor — posting a photo of herself holding what appeared to be Mr. Trump’s decapitated head — led to her losing a CNN job. “Journalism is all about the 1st amendment. If you don’t see the import of what @michelleisawolf did tonight then you don’t get it.”


The doyens of Washington did not agree. Mike Allen, a prime voice of the city’s establishment, declared in his newsletter on Sunday: “Media hands Trump embarrassing win.” There were even whispers about a revolt against the Correspondents’ Association by news organizations displeased by the night’s events. (The New York Times stopped attending the dinner in 2008.)


Ms. Talev, speaking on CNN on Sunday, noted that the dinner had praised Mr. Trump for meeting with aspiring journalists at the White House and featured the story of an Egyptian social activist who was freed from prison with the help of the Trump administration.


She said she regretted that Ms. Wolf’s monologue had overshadowed the rest of the evening, but added: “When the entertainer is a comedian — as has been the case for the last 30 years or so — they are often controversial, they are often to some extent polarizing, or provocative, and it’s a night about free speech.”


Ms. Wolf’s 19-minute set also took on Democrats and the news media itself. She quipped that “it’s kind of crazy that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russia when the Hillary campaign wasn’t even in contact with Michigan,” and joked about CNN’s hyperactive approach to coverage.


“You guys love breaking news, and you did it, you broke it!” Ms. Wolf said. “Good work! The most useful information on CNN is when Anthony Bourdain tells me where to eat noodles.”

Her most cutting joke came at the end, when the 32-year-old comic took direct aim at the journalists in the room. Mr. Trump, she said, “has helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster and now you are profiting from him.”


Kyle Pope, the editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, posted a message on Twitter suggesting that even journalists had had enough of the annual ritual. “The #WHCD debacle was inevitable, destined to be either sycophantic, on one extreme, or mean spirited, on the other. Neither is a good look at a time when trust in media is tenuous. Can we finally all agree to put an end to this thing?”


Speaking with The Times in February, after her selection as the evening’s entertainer was announced, Ms. Wolf said that comedians at the Correspondents’ dinner “are not necessarily performing for the room.”

“You’re performing for everyone that’s watching it,” Ms. Wolf said, adding: “If you’re willing to say something when someone’s not there, you should definitely be willing to say it to their face.”