Comedian Michelle Wolf has been hounded for her set at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, in which she called bullshit on a whole host of the Trump team’s most insidious characters.
In particular, commentators have criticised her take on White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, with some claiming the host mocked the Trump mouthpiece for her appearance (Trump did not attend, for the second year in a row).
A few minutes in to her routine at the annual Washington D.C. event, Wolf zeroed in on Sanders’ make-up – and her propensity for conveying the Trump cabinet’s most controversial policy positions to the masses.
“I actually really like Sarah, I think she’s really resourceful,” Wolf said, standing only metres from Sanders herself. “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. Probably lies.”
That segment in particular has been criticised by a gaggle of White House figures and media-adjacent folks, who claim Wolf gunned too hard for the spokesperson.
Former press secretary Sean Spicer had a simple take:
Tonight’s #WHCD was a disgrace— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) April 29, 2018
Short-lived communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Sanders handled herself with poise during the set:
.@PressSec Sarah is all class and the definition of strength compassion confidence and competence. She is a role model for handling nonsense and snark.— Anthony Scaramucci (@Scaramucci) April 29, 2018
Meanwhile, Wolf herself has asked critics to listen to what she actually said:
Why are you guys making this about Sarah’s looks? I said she burns facts and uses the ash to create a *perfect* smoky eye. I complimented her eye makeup and her ingenuity of materials. https://t.co/slII9TYdYx— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018
Hey mags! All these jokes were about her despicable behavior. Sounds like you have some thoughts about her looks though? ???? https://t.co/JRzzvhBuey— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) April 29, 2018
And others have backed her:
The more I think about it, the more impressed I am that Michelle Wolf did such a harsh act WITHOUT insulting any woman's looks. She aimed straight at the white female enforcers & never once suggested that anyone was a bimbo or a dog—like the man they work for surely would have.— Emily Nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) April 29, 2018
The reaction to Michelle Wolf just shows that media who claim to want comedy to punch up and speak truth to power etc actually loathe to see that done properly, because it reminds everybody that they don’t do any of that stuff themselves.— Frankie Boyle (@frankieboyle) April 29, 2018
If you’re keen to have a listen to the entire routine – which included full-on jabs at Trump’s finances, Vice President Mike Pence, and the media elite itself – catch the entire thing below:
One more thing: let’s not forget Trump’s track record of actually targeting the appearance of women.