The fierce reactions to comedian Michelle Wolf's monologue at the White House Correspondents' Dinner spoofing press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' appearance are more cringe-worthy than what she said. And that goes double for what trump called the comic: “an embarrassment to our country and all that it stands for.” Look who's calling who an embarrassment.


Granted, Wolf's jokes about Sanders' appearance were pointed, but, she's a comedian intent on laughs. When the president mocks women's looks, he's serious. Compare their invective from each.

Wolf said that Sanders “burns facts, and then uses the ash to create a perfect smoke-eye (a reference to her heavy use of eye shadow and the president's 3,000 lies annotated by the Washington Post). Trump's mockeries include calling Arianna Huffington “unattractive both inside and out,” and adding, “I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.” He also trashed Rosie O'Donnell, calling her a “fat, ugly face,” and said of Carly Fiorina, “Look at that face. Would anyone vote for that?”

Fair game

Next to such gut-punches against womens' appearances, the comic's remarks are practically sympathetic. Besides, is there anyone who thinks that Sanders doesn't lie to cover for Trump?

Jesting about her makeup is hardly demeaning next to the president calling Huffington, O'Donnell and Fiorina ugly. The closest that Wolf came to saying something hurtful was when she compared Sanders to the sinister Aunt Lydia in “The Handmaid's Tale.” The press secretary's stiffness and seeming coldness at the podium is the stuff of Hollywood casting.

Maybe that's why the reactions have been so heated (and to this writer, unwarranted). The jab hit too close to home.


Yet there was Matt Schlapp, chair of the American Conservative Union, telling CNN that fact-checking has got to stop, that it's not the job of the press to tell people when Trump isn't telling the truth.

Instead, he said that journalists should just report what the president says and let Americans make conclusions. That way, he said, the media won't be offending the president's supporters: “Journalists shouldn't be the ones to say the president or his spokesperson is lying, because what that does is make 50 percent of the country feel like they aren't credible to listen to anymore.”

True story

Are you getting this? Schlapp would have reporters write down Sanders' defense of Trump's insistence that, say, there was massive voter fraud in the 2016 election even though there's no proof to support the claim. And here's the thing. Outrage over Wolf's send-up is as silly as an outcry against a political cartoon.

She's an artist, after all, not unlike Francisco Goya who lampooned Spanish royalty for what he called “vulgar prejudices,” or Honore Daumier ridiculing the French King Louis Philippe as a monster for swallowing his people whole. Satire is intended to expose truth. No wonder Trump and his minions don't get it.