As you might expect, Chris Cillizza has what is truly the Bikini Atoll of takes regarding Michelle Wolf’s destruction of civil discourse in America:
Most journalists in the room — and I was among them
Really, this went without saying. If they every do the right thing and cancel the event, Cillizza will still show up to the Hinckley Hilton the last Saturday of April in a tux, forlornly hoping someone will show up whose ass he can kiss.
Most comedians who speak at the correspondents’ dinner take a fair number of shots at the attendees in the room. But they also play along with theme of the night, which attempts to be a celebration of the free and independent media as well as a chance to shine a light on some of the best journalists in the country.
“Comedians are supposed to appear to be taking shots at powerful people while the material is actually toothless. That’s the spirit of this event!”
Wolf didn’t do that. She wanted to napalm the room. And she did. Unapologetically.
I’ve had enough of the PC POLICE equating speech with violence! And now, Cillizza serves the narrative:
There are LOTS of way to go after Sanders. I personally think that she is overly antagonistic to the reporters who cover the White House and misleads on the regular. But to make fun of Sanders’ makeup? (“I think she’s very resourceful, like she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies,” said Wolf.) Like, really?
At least Haberman appeared to be reacting in real time. Cillizza actually quotes the language that shows very clearly that Wolf was not making fun of Sanders’s eye makeup, and just proceeds as if the text backs up the script he feel it’s his professional obligation to read. I mean, how can anyone be this dense?
“She burns facts and then uses the ash to create a perfect smokey eye" is a brilliant joke! And if you think it’s offensive you are just holding up a neon sign that you know nothing about makeup. Sit this one out!
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) April 29, 2018
I know lots of liberals will — and already have via Twitter — painted the attacks on Sanders as the press secretary getting what she deserved. I don’t subscribe to that idea. Sanders showed up, sat on the dais and played along. She knew she was likely to get made fun of. But she would have no reasonable expectation that Wolf would go after her looks and refer to her as an “Uncle Tom, but for white women who disappoints other white women.”
The idea that Wolf mocked Sanders’s appearance is a complete fiction and the “Uncle Tom” comment was a perfectly fair and substantive joke to tell about a woman who makes 6 figures to lie on behalf of President Grab ‘Em By the Pussy.
Being funny is one thing. Bullying people because you can is another. And Wolf’s treatment of Sanders was bullying.
And, yes, by the way, Trump is a massive bully. Making fun of a disabled reporter, stereotyping ethnic groups, attacking reporters for how they look — all of that stuff is totally and completely unacceptable. And he knows exactly what he is doing, which makes it worse.
But two wrongs don’t make it right. Because Trump bullied a disabled reporter doesn’t mean Wolf should be able to bully Sarah Sanders. Bullying is bullying. And it’s wrong. Always.
Yes, I’d say Michelle Wolf and Donald Trump are very similarly situated in terms of whether her substantive humor and his racist and ableist insults can be called “bullying.”
But now Cillizza shows that he’s a special form of hack, as Denverite noted in comments:
The abortion stuff was beyond the pale
Here’s Wolf’s joke about Vice President Mike Pence’s opposition to abortion: “He thinks abortion is murder which, first of all, don’t knock it ’til you try it — and when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you’ve got to get that baby out of there.”
Does anyone think this joke is funny? You can hate abortion and think it is murder. You can feel as though it’s not the government’s business what you do with your body and how you handle your own life. But, does anyone celebrate abortion — even jokingly?
Only Cillizza can work a bad-90s-male-pundit take about abortion into a WHCD pearl-clutching take. He’s still stuck in the era where to get their stripes a pundit had to get their finger pricked with a needle and then swear that the only acceptable positions on abortion are “abortion is murder but not so much like murder that my wife/daughter/mistress shouldn’t be able to get a safe one” and “we might very reluctantly allow abortion to be legal if everyone will admit that it’s grossly immoral.” Those days are gone, and good for Wolf for not playing along.
Jesus, Cillizza is the worst and the fact that he’s one of the highest-paid journalists in America really does tell us a great deal about how we got here.