Michelle Wolf Was Successful Despite Saturday’s Dearth of Laughter

It’s hard to know for sure whether Comedian Michelle Wolf, whose performance at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner last Saturday is by now widely known, actually got the result she had intended. She did draw some laughter, although much of it was uncomfortable. People from both parties have expressed shock and distaste, but if that is what Michelle Wolf was going for, after all, then her performance was a success.

On the other hand, instead of taking offense, many are praising Michelle Wolf for her equivalent of “telling it like it is” (Let’s remember who this characteristic has most often been attributed to in recent times). Others say that in light of the tasteless comments, insensitive remarks, and cruel opining that Trump and his administration are now known for, Michelle Wolf was just responding in kind. Again, despite the lack of laughs in the room, this indicates that Wolf succeeded, really, at what she set out to do.

If one is trying to make a point to a group one strongly opposes, however, is insulting, rant-heavy monologue the best tack to take? Does stooping to the same level of vindictive, vulgar, offensive commentary really make the intended point?

“We’ve had awkward dinners before, no question. But this is a different time,” says USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page. “…This week, a poll came out by Quinnipiac that showed that the majority of Republicans believe the press is the enemy of the American people, not a defender of democracy. That is an impression that we need to do everything we can to show that that is not true, that that is not the case, and that we’re motivated not by partisanship, but by a search for the truth.”

Perhaps, as some have remarked, the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner has begun to take itself too seriously. Michelle Wolf, says Masha Gessen of The New Yorker, “blasted open the fictions of journalism” with Saturday’s performance. Nevertheless, the White House Correspondents’ Association has supported the work of journalism in several ways, providing, among other things, scholarships for journalism students.

Donald Trump and his ilk have made every effort to discredit and belittle American journalists and the press, in general. Michelle Wolf’s set on Saturday did nothing to elevate the press in the eyes of the GOP.

“I’m someone who has dinged President Trump often for his narcissism,” said Los Angeles Times Columnist Jonah Goldberg. “The institutional narcissism that was on display (last night) at the correspondents’ dinner I think was a gift to Donald Trump. The crudeness toward Sarah Huckabee Sanders was a gift to the White House. It lets them double down on their ‘These elites are persecuting us’ storyline.”

No matter what Michelle Wolf’s intent was with her comedy set on Saturday, and no matter whether she succeeded or failed that night, we can be almost certain of her success as a self-promoter. No publicity is bad publicity. She may not have been well-known this time last week, and she may not be very funny, but the name Michelle Wolf is now trending globally.

Did Michelle Wolf go too far at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner? | Face the Nation [2018-04-29]

Comedy writer: WHCD was vicious, not funny | Fox News [04-29-2018]

What’s the Top Story of 2017?; Should Democrats Be Optimistic About the 2018 Mid-Term Elections?

The news stories of 2017 kept Americans on the edges of their seats, with constant twists, turns, and unexpected developments on the U.S. and world political fronts. One consequence is that Americans are heading into 2018 more politically polarized than ever. The two major American political parties are not only philosophically more distant from each other, but each of the parties is more deeply divided within itself.

Many started 2017 with a wait-and-see, win-some, lose-some attitude. Others felt particularly buoyed by the political wins, while still others saw them as a direct threat to freedoms, and possibly to the U.S. position in the world. As we head into 2018, though, we can all agree that our nation has never seen the likes of the roller coaster ride that was the 2017 political scene.

The Five Reflect on 2017  |  Fox News  [2017-12-31]

Morning Joe Looks to the Year Ahead | Morning Joe MSNBC [2018-01-01]

Should Democrats Be Optimistic about the 2018 Mid-term Elections?

In November of 2018, a total of 468 U.S. Congress seats (33 in the Senate and all 435 seats in the House) will be up for election. Thirty-four U.S. State Governor’s offices will be up for re-election in 2018, as well. This presents a huge opportunity for Democrats to regain ground and take the country in a new direction. Will 2018 see a “blue wave” in the political landscape?

Democrats, not unlike the GOP, are experiencing a divide within their party, though, and this could hurt them in 2018. Unity over what the party currently stands for may be the Democrats’ biggest hurdle in the 2018 elections.

Some see the passage of the GOP Tax Bill as a desperate act, and an indicator that Republicans are losing ground. Democrats, who loudly and unilaterally opposed the bill, could pick up support as a result. Others see the Tax Bill as a demonstration of GOP strength, and remain faithful that middle-class American voters will experience some of the promised tax relief, with renewed support for the Republican party.

Historically, midterm elections have rarely been good news for a sitting president and his party. Current polls indicate that 56 percent of American voters would be more likely to vote for a Democrat in the 2018 mid-term elections, and just 38 percent would rather vote for a Republican.

On the other hand, though President Trump’s approval rating hovers at around 35 percent, the economy is doing well, and the jobs outlook is good. In November, 2018, will Americans vote on the issues that are important to them, or will their vote be a statement for (or against) the President? Will it be more about loss of trust in the current administration, or more about renewed hope for what is possible for the future?

What does the political landscape look like in 2018? |  Face the Nation [2017-12-24]

Will Republicans Lose the House?  |  Fox Business [2017-12-26]