President Donald Trump waves as he boards Air Force One during his departure from Andrews Air Force One Base, Md., Saturday, April 28, 2018. Trump is traveling to Michigan to speak at a rally on the same night as the White House Correspondent’s Dinner, the second straight year Trump as skipped the event with the White House Press Corps. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Trump gives thumbs-down to White House Correspondent’s Dinner comic

For the second straight year Trump skipped the event with the White House Press Corps.

The reviews are in: President Donald Trump gave a thumbs-down Sunday to the comedian who roasted his chief spokeswoman at the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, offending present and past members of his administration, including one who walked out in protest.

The organization’s leader said she regretted that Michelle Wolf’s routine may end up defining an evening that was designed to rally around journalism.

WHCA President Margaret Talev said she has “heard from members expressing dismay with the entertainer’s monologue and concerns about how it reflects on our mission.” She said she will work with the incoming president of the group and take comments from members on their views “on the format of the dinner going forward.”

Trump joined in the criticism.

“Everyone is talking about the fact that the White House Correspondents Dinner was a very big, boring bust…the so-called comedian really ‘bombed,’” Trump tweeted Sunday.

The president, who regularly lobs sharp attacks at the news media, including individual news organizations and reporters, declined to attend the journalism awards dinner for the second consecutive year. He instead held a campaign rally in Michigan.

Wolf is known as a contributor on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.” But some of her jokes, particularly a series of barbs about White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as Sanders sat just feet away, seemed to spark the most outrage.

Sean Spicer, who preceded Sanders at the White House lectern, tweeted after dinner that the night “was a disgrace.”

Others, including Ed Henry, chief national correspondent for Fox News and a former association president, and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski, called on the association to apologize to Sanders. Brzezinski has been the subject of personal attacks by Trump. Henry also called on Wolf to apologize.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, tweeted that he and his wife, Mercedes Schlapp, director of strategic communications at the White House, walked out of the dinner. “Enough of elites mocking all of us,” he said.

Talev, Bloomberg News’ senior White House correspondent, said she didn’t want a dinner celebrating the constitutional right to free speech to be overshadowed by the ensuing uproar over Wolf’s jokes.

“My only regret is that to some extent those 15 minutes are now defining four hours of what was a really wonderful unifying night and I don’t want the cause of unity to be undercut,” Talev said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

Talev said she spoke to Sanders after Wolf’s routine and “I told her that I knew that this was a big decision whether or not to attend the dinner, whether to sit at the head table and that I really appreciated her being there.”

“I thought it sent an important message about the role of government and the press and being able to communicate with one another and work together,” Talev added.

No Trump administration officials attended the dinner last year after Trump decided to skip it. Many were in the audience Saturday night, however, including counsellor Kellyanne Conway, herself a target of Wolf, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Sanders sat at the head table with association board members.

Talev said that, by tradition, the association does not review the comedian’s monologue before it is delivered.

“We don’t censor it. We don’t even see it,” she said.

Wolf tweeted “thank you” to Spicer.

As he did last year, Trump flew to a Republican-friendly district to rally supporters in an attempt to counter the dinner. He assured the audience in Washington Township, Michigan, a state he won in 2016, that he’d rather be there than at “that phoney Washington White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

Wolf’s act, which also included abortion jokes, had some in the audience laughing. Others sat in stony silence.

Related: Political heavyweights hit Washington in hunt for NAFTA deal

Among Wolf’s less off-colour one-liners:

—”Just a reminder to everyone, I’m here to make jokes, I have no agenda, I’m not trying to get anything accomplished, so everyone that’s here from Congress you should feel right at home.”

—”It is kinda crazy that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russia when the Hillary campaign wasn’t even in contact with Michigan.”

—”He wants to give teachers guns, and I support that because then they can sell them for things they need like supplies.”

Wolf closed by saying, “Flint still doesn’t have clean water,” a reference to the Michigan city where lead-tainted tap water flowed into homes for 18 months before a disaster was declared in 2015.

The state recently decided to end distribution of free bottled water in Flint, saying the tap water was now as “good or better” than in many communities.

Related: Issues split Trump and Macron, handshakes and kisses aside

___

Darlene Superville, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Ponoka’s on the CP Holiday Train stop coming in December

The train starts up Nov. 27 featuring performers Terri Clark, Sierra Noble and Kelly Prescott

Ponoka County fire crews handle second baler fire in 12 hours

Fire crews handled a baler fire just west of Gull Lake

Red Deer RCMP ask for assistance to ID suspect in indecent acts

The suspect exposed himself to a woman and made sexual comments to her

WCPS uses cannabis legislation to fully review drug, alcohol and tobacco policies

Cannabis is not permitted in schools; WCPS focused on providing education and support

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Pot sales down by nearly 70% on Day 2 of legalization in B.C.

Several products on BC Cannabis Store are still sold out

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Migrants, police mass in town on Guatemala-Mexico border

Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks.

Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi

Pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday said it had obtained audio recordings of the alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Most Read