Below this video of Michelle Wolf’s performance last night at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a write up that lays bare the duplicitous indignation that has been on full display by the mainstream pundit in opposition to Michelle’s most deserved roast of the entire media-politico complex.
I write this article at the risk of being a hypocrite. After all, I vowed yesterday that I was going to invest more time writing about the journeys we all have in common and spend less time writing about the fatuity of our politics. However, after watching the White House Correspondents’ Dinner last night—motivated by the mainstream punditry’s wrath over host Michelle Wolf’s performance—I was coaxed by a deep sense of schadenfreude to write this observation.
I initially refused to watch the conclave of sycophants, propagandists and consummate narcissists that is the annual gathering of corporate yellow journalists popularly called the nerd prom. During my days as a Democrat toady, I used to revel in these shindigs of overpaid hacks who dishonor the essence of a “free press” as they bravely read teleprompters and courageously break news behind the comforts of their multi-million dollar studios. Now that the scales of political tribalism have been removed from my eyes, I’d rather go moose hunting with Sarah Palin before I join in to celebrate the corporate-state PR firm that is sold to us as the “fourth estate”.
It took one tweet by Sean Spicer to change my mind. The former press secretary took to social media to note his repulsion at Michelle’s act; at that precise moment, I was sufficiently prodded to tune in. When a professional con artist—who made it his purpose to lie to the American people on a daily basis behind the White House press room dais—insults someone’s character, it means that person must have exposed the farce of the Potemkin society he got paid to perpetuate. Sure enough, Michelle was taking a sledgehammer not only to Donald Trump but to the media-politico complex as a whole without bias to ideology or partisan identity.
Michelle dispensed with the niceties and laid bare the moral failings of the entire establishment. Sure, some of her jokes were crude, but let’s not pretend that the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a gathering of Scouts and Cadettes. The media and political industry in DC makes Sodom and Gomorrah look like a monastery by comparison. Behind Michelle Wolf's jokes were the truths of a media landscape that is dotted with corporate shills, military-industrial complex mouthpieces and lackeys who monetize human suffering in order to stuff their pockets with cash. Click To Tweet
Although there were many memorable moments from last night, a couple of lines stood out in what was a devastating critique of the corporate media industry. The first was when Michelle noted the left leaning media’s obsession with the counterfactual Russian narrative.
“I know there’s a lot of people that want me to talk about Russia and Putin and collusion, but I’m not going to do that because there’s also a lot of liberal media here. And I’ve never really wanted to know what any of you look like when you orgasm.” ~ Michelle Wolf
She then went on to expose the moral bankruptcy of a president who deploys bankruptcy as a business model. “[Trump] wants to give teachers guns,” deadpanned Michelle, “and I support that, ’cause then they can sell them for things they need, like supplies.” It was a joy to watch people who lecture us behind their ivory towers get their comeuppance as Michelle obliterated both sides of the aisle and chided the incestuous intersection of media and politics. This was the sin that Michelle committed, instead of being partisan and cracking jokes at only one side, she shellacked media professionals on all sides who regularly prostitute themselves to gain access to power and make it a practice to prostate themselves before their corporate masters.
The reaction from the media class was fast and furious. Blowhards from the left and the right—Mika Brzezinski, Andrea Mitchell, Eric Bolling to Laura Ingraham and beyond—formed a weird alliance to throw rhetorical missiles at Michelle. You know you did something right when both Fox News and MSNBC join forces to attack you. I danced between amusement, incredulity and exasperation when Mika Brzezinski and Andrea Mitchell tried to use the plight of women as a human shield to discredit Michelle Wolf for daring to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders what she is—a liar. I wish Mika and Andrea showed this much concern for Syrian women who are dying to this day instead of wearing pompoms for these never ending neocon and neoliberal wars of aggression.
The reason why mainstream media pundits and personalities are so offended by Michelle’s utterances is because she had the audacity to shove their high minded lectures and their counterfeit indignation right back in their collective faces. The same charlatans who pushed Donald Trump down our throats and gave wind to his aspirations by presenting him as the alternative to Obama’s Wall Street first doctrine now sit back and pretend to be shocked at the petulance of a president who has the virtues of a sociopath and the rectitude of a pineapple.
“I think what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you. He couldn’t sell steaks or vodka or water or college or ties or Eric, but he has helped you. He’s helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster, and now you’re profiting off of him.” ~ Michelle Wolf
As William Shakespeare once noted, the media doth protest a bit too much. What Michelle threw at the feet of the punditry and political class were staffs that turned into cobras; the howls you hear are the reactions of neo-pharaohs who were snake-bitten by the truths spoken at an event that was supposed to be a vaudeville of lies. Anger is the second stage before corporate journalists and political operatives accept the verdict of who they really are.
I want to personally thank Michelle Wolf. For once someone walked into the halls of power, put aside decorum and called a corporate spade a corporate spade. Maybe mainstream “journalists” should take note and learn to have an adversarial relationship with people in position of power instead of being their bedmates. What we need are more muckrakers and less muck spreaders; instead of lashing out defensively and trying to demonize Michelle, perhaps they should look in the mirror. Michelle’s closing line was a reminder of how far mainstream media have strayed from their ethics.
“Flint still doesn’t have clean water.”
Remember when the story of Flint garnered wall-to-wall coverage? Michelle was shinning a light on the ways media personalities capitalize on disasters and use injustice to enhance their corporate masters’ P/E ratios. I humbly suggest that journalists cover the ongoing criminality in Flint, the fleecing of our nation and the bleeding of our planet instead of being outraged by the jokes of a comedian. #HoorayMichelleWolf
“But jokes from presidents about drone murdering civilians and wars based on WMD lies are perfectly fine. You are parodies of yourselves.” ~ Jeremy Scahill in response to Andrea Mitchell‘s faux outrage.
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.