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I've thought about the event and this article for a couple days and I've just been bothered. The desperate attempt to defend such low-brow jokes should really be beneath TE. This is just a child-like attempt to get back at DJT and those that voted for him. Even though journalism has lost its integrity years ago, this is still beneath the industry.
I used to savour the servings of the Economist when I began my career in consulting in the early 2000s; licking up all its sauces with relish. The more experienced I became, the less I appreciated its worldview, yet still loved its literary style. By the Obama years I took a break. Occasional glances at its headlines in the wake of Trump justified my break. But it's recent adverts sweetened with a gift stoked my feelings of nostalgia and I re-subscribed. Two articles on, and I regretted the decision. Thankfully it was not an annual subscription.
Opinion is good and appreciated when declared. But please don't let your bias blind you so much you can no longer tell when your bias is hurting even you.
Bias? More like telling it like it is. The Economist is, very unfortunately, one of the few remaining sources of Conservative viewpoint with the word Conservative meaning its dictionary definition.
I would suggest that The Economist print a transcript of the so called comedian's schtick to judge for themselves who is vulgar and who is not. I have never heard the President utter a four letter word in public but the comedian repeatedly dropped the F bomb. Only then your readership can judge for themselves. The gist of the Correspondents Dinner is not to be vulgar and to degrade those sitting on the podium, it is to raise money to help the financially challenged young to seek a career in journalism to seek the truth. Sadly the last part is not there today.
Right, because comedians never swear.
I think we just proved who the real snowflakes are. I guess only Trump is allow to make fun of how people look. I guess only Trump is allowed to lie even though he does it almost every time he opens his mouth. Those who are most vocal in defending Trump's lies were the most vocal about any lies told by the last administration.
I'm not sure TE is being consistent with itself - check across to the latest ruminations of Bagehot on the resignation of Amber Rudd and you'll find him suggesting that personalised media attacks on politicians (in truth considerably milder than anything said at White House Press dinners) are a factor discouraging talented people from entering politics, at least in the UK. On the surface there is a bit of a contradiction here......
The nitwits who think that it's fine if a president offends any person on earth get angry if a comedian makes insinuating jokes - that IS really funny ... and, in the words of an incredibly great president, also sad, very sad.
Never knew the Economist cared so much about leaders lying.
After all, the Economist blindly parrots the lies of European leaders without blushing.
Example when EU foreign minister smugly lied "We don't build walls..." How is that Calais wall by the way?
Example when French president Macron lied that the EU has kept the peace in Europe for 70 years. The EU has not even existed for 70 years.
Since the Economist is an European magazine, It is high time they took a look at all the lies in their own backyard which is much worse.
European leaders also lie, therefore we should not mind our President lying to us. Makes sense.
"French president Macron lied that the EU has kept the peace in Europe for 70 years. The EU has not even existed for 70 years"...and generally parroting EU propaganda..
Yes, despite the Editorial written by a South African immigrant Ms Beddoes paying homage to the founders' guiding principles for this publication, insisting that it is non-partisan and free enterprise-driven, it has been trotting out the political Brussels line ever since it opened a sub-office in Berlin next door to "der Spiegel".
Result? The journal should consider a new title. It is as you say : it is (or had become) an "eu-ropean magazine"..... for the moment...
It makes sense to you perhaps.
Why not put all the bad blood to good use and just kill this so-called "tradition" of a gala dinner mingling journalists and the government?
TE is right. All this talk of "civility" and working side by side is cringe-inducing. The good rapport between the press and the powerful is something like this: a healthy suspicion and distance (the journalists); fearful respect (the powerful).
To complicate things a little, the press — its corporations and tycoons, not lowly individual journalists — is a section of the powerful, of course. But that is part of the fun.
And by the way, "the powerful" means not only governments. Big business is still more powerful and deserves the same suspicion and distance.
It was not a problem until Trump was President. Another institution he's breaking down, satire.
Again (and again and again) the media gets the message wrong. Off with the jester’s head who speaks truth to power. And then we need to defend the jester’s rights. Never (no never, no never) will we say ... the jester’s right we need to stop the king, we need to stop the faux outraged reporting on both sides, we need to stop ourselves from sycophantic adherence to either side. The hand in glove of the government- media complex ( similar to the military industrial complex) must stop. You can, at the same time be fair minded enough to praise Trump for a potentially successful stand against North Korea while still advocating that evidence of criminal activities be made public and used against a sitting president.
I think jokes against Trump’s “grab them…”, rapists, etc. are fair game. But to compare his daughter to a box of tampons is another matter.
Imagine if a similar “joke” has been made about Obama’s daughter. Imagine for a sec if a “joke” among these lines was made during Obama’s reign: “the WH has increased its banana supply to feed the monkey family in it”…OMG!
Calling conservatives snowflakes and thinned skin is just another false equivalence. Its quite different to call a snowflake someone who needs a “cry closet” because is offended for a Halloween costume, to comparing someone’s daughter with a box of tampons because she happens to be the daughter of your despised guy.
As for me, these Post-DailyShow-Stewart generation, are no longer comedians dressed up as politicians, but politicians dressed up as comedians. Stewart, and even Colbert while in Comedy central, were masters of subtle, elegant, classy sarcasm. But the kids emanating from that show (Oliver, Bee, now this wolf, and the others) are not comedians but a feast of vitriol and hatred.
I think Trump was right to skip it and go talk to his crowd in Michigan. But…Whatever
The false equivalence is comparing Obama's daughter, who was A MINOR when her father was president, to Ivanka, whose actions are misogynist (since she defends her father) and leechy, since she uses public money to sell her clothing line, and corrupt, because of the CLEAR and PRESENT nepotism. Ivanka is an ADULT PROSTI --- POLITICIAN who abuses her position. Not a minor who has no choice of where to live.
Also, Obama's daughter run the high risk of getting shot by cops for driving in a fancy car and overdressing.
Ivanka can become a mass shooter and then STILL be escorted by the TAX FUNDED cops to get fast food. Like Dylan Roof
Senior advisor to the President Ivanka Trump was compared to an empty box in Michelle Wolf's joke. If you think this joke was "similar" to making a monkey reference about one of the Obama children, then I would suggest you need to re-evaluate.
Obvious you believe the lies in the press about police hunting black persons in the USA. Since the USA has approx. 800,000 police officers would not the death toll be higher? I think you should review statistics and become knowledgeable before speaking.
Also, I work look up the definition of the slang term for "box" as used in the USA.
Do YOU have a DAY job ASIDE from TROLLING?
There is a marked contrast between White House Correspondents dinners for Democratic presidents (love fests) and Republican presidents (hatchet jobs). The toadying at Democratic dinners makes the press look servile and complacent. The character assassination at Republican dinners strengthens Republican arguments that the press is (with notable exceptions) a branch of the Democratic party. It's a shameful event that supposedly celebrates press freedom while actually celebrating celebrity, and it brings closer the day when a populist president like Trump is going to claim bias in the press as an excuse for a crackdown on press freedoms.
As for the excuse that Trump dishes it out far worse, a) that's a childish excuse, and b) different standards apply to politicians and the press. Politicians do not have a professional obligation to objectivity; the press does. So yes, call Trump out on each and every one of his lies, campaign promises he fails to keep, and foreign and domestic policy blunders. But when you catch him telling 100 lies, you spell out each one of those lies but you don't call him a liar, because that is making a pre-judgment on his future utterances about which there are no supporting facts, and because it is a character judgment best left to the (hopefully fully informed) readers and voters.
A press that attacks Trump for who he is rather than what he does and says is easily dismissed as biased and in the bag for the Democrats. That helps the Trump re-election campaign The press only wins this game by refusing to get into the mud with Trump. So no, don't hire a comedienne who makes a living out of making fun of Trump to represent the Washington press corp. That is not the face that the press should present to the public. This event is once again a big win for Trump, a big boost for the comedienne in question, and a loss for the press and the republic.
That's because Republicans are corrupt criminals and Demmocrats are not. #NotRocketScience
There is, you see, a marked contrast between Democratic presidents and Republican presidents. The latter are basically criminals who steal from the poor and give to the poor (Bush, Reagan, Trump) and traitors (Trump). One could argue that Bush and Reagan are also traitors, for Willie Horton and for the Iran-Contra deal which was Grand Lies and Untruth in front of Congress. Democratic presidents don't do any of that. They GIVE the people: Obama gave the poor health care, Lyndon Johnson gave us the Voting Rights Act, Clinton gave us the best economy everrrrr and a surplus instead of a deficit.
But I don't expect you to understand. It's a moral decency AND an intelligence thing. KKKonservatives lack both.
"That's because Republicans are corrupt criminals and Demmocrats are not."
That's fine for you to believe, or for Michelle Wolf to believe when she's not speaking for the press corp, but the press can only call someone a criminal if they have evidence to back that up. Certainly they can't brand a whole party that way. The press gets special constitutional protections; the flip side of that deal is that they have to show objectivity and back up what they say with evidence.
I'm not saying the press isn't mostly objective. I'm saying that having a comic who is in no way objective perform for the world on their behalf makes the press look biased.
Really? Are you sure. Do you have transcripts of those events from when Clinton, Carter or Johnson were President? Do you think the press should treat everyone the same? If so Trump should have gotten as much coverage as Bernie Sanders. Is it a surprise the press would not be sympathetic to someone who tries to undermine them on a daily basis by claiming they lie almost as much as he does? Should the press just disregard that the current Republican is under investigation for treason?
I, like the rest of the public, only know these events from this century where the video clip of the comic's performance is available on various news sites and on Youtube. The ones from the Obama years (I remember Key and Peele fawning over Obama as one example) mostly criticized the president's opponents. Bush and Trump were attacked directly. The comics were fans of the Democrats; by giving a stage to the comic, the press corp sends the message that they are also fans of the Democrats.
The press shouldn't be a fan of either party. They should investigate both parties with equal zeal, and all contending candidates in a primary. Because Trump has done so many contentious and dubious things, he deserves the negative attention he gets, including the non-stop coverage of the Mueller investigation. This article wasn't about news coverage per se. It was about whether the press' hired comic doing a (likely deserved) hatchet job on the president presents the press in a way which is good for the press, and good for the nation that needs to believe its press is unbiased.
No he is not under investigation for TREASON, he is under investigation for collusion, which is not a crime.
Alright, I give up.
Who is Michelle Wolf and what is she famous for?
"Who is Michelle Wolf"
Dont feel bad. I just learned that she was some kind of 3rd level reporter in the ComCnt Daily Show. Her face looked familiar to me and is because she was one of the crying liberals lampooned in one of those YouTube videos after Trump won.
" and what is she famous for?"
For this WHCD episode.
In her own words at the dinner: "It’s like if my name was Michelle Jokes Frizzy Hair Small Tits"
This is really grand standing from Economist for nothing! so now the comedian created a perfect platform for her own fame, advantage, and dare I say, selling more of her own brand (exactly what she criticized the press for)
And ultimately, what has this accomplished? we laughed and she'll make more money! Nothing in Trump administration is going to change. Very low standards for free press. How about free press discussing free higher education? Universal healthcare?... Imagine if they spend half the time they spent on porn star stories on realities that impact people. But of course they won't get the same ratings, and this is ultimately what is at stake for the press, not freedom of speech, but the bottom line.
They should at least admit this before they pretend to be concerned about freedom of expression
The White House and by extension the right can evidently dish it but not take it.
I didn't think it was possible to agree MORE with the Economist. I was wrong. This is an excellent piece, hits the nail right on cheeto head.
Only quip: I didn't hear Wolff make fun of Sanders Huckabee APPEARANCE. She made jokes about her CONSTANT LYING and deflection and agresssion towards the press.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
please welcome Tonight's guest Emperor Nero Donal Trump!
"In open societies, self-censorship—in the name of civility, careerism or access preservation—is a much greater threat to the media than outright repression." Indeed. In true dictatorship, minds have been dictated, built to be all exactly the same, self-censorship is not even an option anymore.
“In the age of Trump, calls for civility are calls for servility.” Well, we recently had eight years of servility. Now we have nothing but arrogance by insufferable people. The press seems unaware that it is destroying itself. Everyone knows they are all on the left and that they despise half the people in the country. After that display at the WHCD, no sentient person could now be in doubt about it. The media completely destroying its own credibility is not a good idea. Commenters here applaud this because it makes them feel superior, but the price being paid is very high. No one should want a media class that has become corrupt and just as ugly as the worst of Trump.
With all his faults, Trump has certainly shaken things up and the establishment is not happy to be shown up. With the tax cuts improving the economy, with what is happening on the Korean Peninsula, and with Iran, Trump’s crazy ways are winning. The experts are being proven wrong, and they are not pleased.
Care to elaborate on what he's done so well in Korea and Iran?
We had nearly 30 years of so-called diplomacy by experts dealing with North Korea with the claim being made that their brilliance has prevented NK from getting nuclear weapons. What was the result? We have had one year of the abrasive, aggressive Trump ignoring all the experts and what do we have? The president of South Korea recommending Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize, the award Obama got for bringing us Libya, Syria, Yemen and an Iran trying to take over the Middle East. Which brings us to Iran. At the very least, Trump has forced Europe to reconsider important concessions that Obama gave to Iran, including the ok to get nuclear weapons in seven years, the real not fake ability to verify what Iran is doing, and billions of dollars to continue their jihad. Trump is a vulgar narcissist, but he understands human nature far better than the intelluals and trained seals who run Western governments and look upon the peasants they rule with contempt.
Of course you must realize that the President of S. Korea recommending him for the prize is not the same as him receiving it. And even if he was a recipient of it, it's just a prize. Being awarded a prize does not mean that you've actually accomplished what needs to be done (Obama being a great example of this).
He may have gotten Europe to reconsider, but considering the fact that they have all concluded that they will remain in the deal, I'm not sure what "progress" he has actually made on this file? All I see is a failed attempt at convincing these so-called intellectual seals at following his campaign promise that sounded more like a good talking point than any actual policy.
Well, you asked what he’s done and the fact remains, however unpleasant it may be to contemplate, that he has done more in one year than Obama did in eight. Getting the two Koreas to sit down together is already an advance, as even the left wing president of South Korea admits. Of course, it’s no guarantee that this will bring peace, but at least there’s a chance for something better than the catastrophe that developed there over the last 30 years, especially during the Obama years.
As for Iran, if Trump withdraws from the Iran deal, Europe will have to contemplate whether to do business with Iran or with the US. As much as their cynical governments and corporations want to make money in Iran, they will undoubtedly choose the US. If the US does not withdraw, that would indicate that Europe has given in and will try to renegotiate the deal. That being said, it is unlikely that Iran will oblige. They have stated their desire to rule the Middle East and to commit genocide by destroying Israel. Since this is a fanatical theological commitment, it won’t change. My guess is that Trump will try to help those liberals in Iran who want to overthrow the mullahs. Just a guess. To repeat: Obama’s mission was to empower Iran. We see where that has led with their support for the butchers Assad and Hezbollah, the deaths of 500,000 people and the displacement of millions more, and the re-entrance of Russia into the Middle East. Trump couldn’t possibly do worse than that.
I'll give you the point that the two Koreas meeting is progress, and of course it is welcomed. But don't be naive, the N Koreans have reneged on promises before, and there's nothing to say they won't again (admittedly, those happened under different leaders). There is no way that the Kims will retain their power if there is peace, so I'm skeptical of any "progress", it simply isn't in their regime's interests. But hell, maybe it will work -- and I pray it will.
As for Iran, the US remaining in the deal does not mean that Europe is willing to renegotiate. It's a possibility, but there is by no means a causal connection between the two -- at least for now.
You're equating the future with the present, and that just doesn't work in international relations. A lot can change in the coming months, and it is wrong to decide that possibilities for progress are, in fact, progress. Until Trump can actually show some real results, we are still living with the status quo. And for that reason, I can't congratulate this administration for any major foreign policy advances (not to say they may not happen in the future). Regardless, I hope for the sake of all our best interests that he is the master negotiator that he claims to be; we will see if he is in the coming months.
But I will give credit where it's due: Trump's made it a very interesting time for me to be studying political science.
Eight years of servility? Oh, you mean sabotaging Obama at every turn, based on BIG FAT LIES? Sabotaging Merrick Garland? That kind of servility?
The essential difference between left and right isn't ideology, but FACTS. We operate on facts, and you dont. Just look at the whole global warming debate. right wingers whined for YEARS and argued about the FACTS. It was a glorious, continual retreat from "It's not getting warmer" to "Its getting warmer, but not so much" to "Its getting warmer but that is not caused by man" to "it IS getting warmer but that is just a natural occurence we are powerless to stop" (Meaning: Florida just GFY when you get FLOODED)
From health care to everything else, rightwing ideology is based on big fat lies. It wins elections, it does, but only for so long.
You don’t even know how to read. The question of servility related to the media. They sucked up to Obama for eight years. They were his slave, willingly doing his bidding, never questioning anything he did or said. That is, as you say, the fact.
And this is why well-meaning people on either side of the political divide can't discuss anything like adults anymore. We're expecting to be berated the second anyone offers a differing opinion.
The past has happened and it can't be changed. Sure, Obama dealt with lots of BS, but we can't change that, can we? What we can try to change, however, is how the future plays out. And if the West is the bastion of intellectualism that it claims to be, let's start acting like it.
A good starting point would be to stay on topic and not try and turn a civil conversation in to an argument on whether all of the right refuses to use facts. It'll just take one right winger to claim the left doesn't use facts and then we're only a step away from becoming a CNN panel. I personally come here for informative conversation/debate, not broad subjective arguments which can never be proven -- I suspect I'm not alone in that feeling.
In terms of Korea it’s too early to tell. The change of South Korean President after the previous one was overthrown and jailed for public corruption also has something to do with it, and a meeting of North and South Korean Presidents and an announcement filled with hope for the future has happened 3 times previously in the previous 20 years in the end relations improved and then broke down.
The words denuclearisation mean different things to different people, from a US perspective it means the US changes nothing but N Korea dismantles any existing nuclear weapons and any facilities that helped make them and any long range missiles which could deliver them. From a N Korean perspective they have previously said yes IF, the US removes all troops from Korean Peninsula, often asked for all bases in Japan to be closed, and removal of all US nuclear weapons capable of reaching the Korean Peninsula (which would mean all of them).
In term of Iran and secondary sanctions if the Europeans do not do what they are told, we are on the verge of a trade war regardless over steel tariffs, when Reagan tried to get the Europeans to reject the offer of Russian oil and gas in the 1980’s at the threat of sanctions, the Europeans passed laws forcing European companies to ignore the US sanctions. The EU was comfortable with with US threatening third countries with secondary sanctions when it wanted the Iranian nuclear programme verifiably closed down, it is going to push back hard if it is about campaign promises in Iowa and comments made on Fox News.
I for one loved the routine. I'm still trying to decide if that's because of the jokes or Sanders' and Conway's faces as they heard somebody tell them what I, albeit with different words, have thought about the pair since I first saw them on TV.
But let's not forget that such public faces of the administration are, in the end, people who do just about everything in the public sphere for some sorts of political ends. That's where as much as I know many can't stand Sanders, she is very good at her job.
She wasn't in attendance for some holy purpose of showing that the administration can work with the press -- if that was the case, the President would be there instead of rallying. Perhaps I'm verging on a conspiracy theory, but I can't help that her actually showing up was intended for political ends.
Of course Sanders was going to be insulted by whatever comedian took the stage, it's too easy. So why not sit her on the very same stage as the comedian who will surely take aim at her? She would get insulted, the camera would pan to her, she'd look unimpressed, and the administration could used it as proof as to how the press is so clearly hostile to this administration. Trump being insulted would surely bring much less sympathy than the innocent Press Secretary.
And here we are, discussing whether or not the jokes were too far. So clearly the concept that she deserves sympathy has worked, how many were convinced that this whole issue proves that the press is hellbent on trying to ruin this administration any way they can?
Innocent Press Secretary? She lies on a daily basis for her boss and got called out on it. This administration doesn't need any help with ruination, they are doing fine for themselves.
For a bunch of people who love to dish it out, Republicans sure whine a lot when their opponents hit back.
Also: their irony deficiency has gotta be bordering terminal by now.
POTUS: "Rapists!" "Shithole countries!" "Grab 'em by the pussy!" "Son of a bitch!" "Bleeding from her wherever!"
Comedian: "Pussy" "tampons!" "smoky eye!" "Liars!"
Republicans: "Waah! They said 'pussy'! They're so mean! Waah!"
Didn't they learn back in 3rd grade that sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me? Talk about thin-skinned sensitive types that should probably STFU and engage in some self-reflection...
Maybe the Ivanka tampon joke played on bleeding from her wherever but still, the comedienne's routine was left-wing misogyny against Republican women. Wolf's audience supposedly were professional journalists, at a black-tie dinner, not a Netflix talk show singing to the choir.
Great post, @Heimdall!
Sure, even "thin-skin" is their monopoly and special privilege.
In a crowded supermarket, if the cart you push collides with the cart they push, they'd make a huge fuss and cry "How dare you! You hurt me!".
When the cart they push hits the cart you push, they'd cry "Your cart dent my cart", when they don't even own the cart, the market does.
Any word to remind them they don't make any sense, they'd say, "You are easily roused", or "You are over sensitive."
The very definition of a hooligan.
No wonder anyone who does a wee-bit better is an "elite".
America will be great. If not, all the AR-15's will make sure it does.
I dunno, k.r.,
"Left-wing misogyny" strikes me as more than a wee bit hyperbolic given the filth that spews forth consistently from POTUS' mouth (which the comedian was responding to) . Not to mention his documented braggadocio of sexual assault perpetrated against multiple female victims.
When you compare a bad comedian at a roast riffing at an offensiveness level <10% of the POTUS and conclude that it was the female Comedian that was misogynistic... well, you've lost me.
Unless, of course, you think that both are misogynistic and that POTUS is ~10x more misogynistic than the comedian, in which case I can see your point (if I squint a bit...)
Left wing misogyny??? AKA pointing out that Conway and Sanders are big fat liars. How is that misogyny? Oh wait: Of course!!! Attacking women who defend a pussy grabber like Trump..... THAT IS the real misogyny!! Because all women secretly WANT their pussy grabbed, so hurting Trumps pussy grabbing ability, actually hurts women!
I see that now.
PS They attack women, minorities and LBGT folks (for example by attacking and smearing Planned Parenthood, voting rights and their bathroom insanity.
Yah, yah. You saw my point through a squint. As long as I’m here, though, what’s all this crap about calling people Liars? A lie is intent to deceive. It’s not the 4th Estate’s prerogative to decide executive branch intentions, just to report falsehood or embellishment.
“Calls for press-corps civility are in fact calls for servility” my arse. In this case The Economist sounds just as partisan as CNN, MSNBC and sometimes the NYT.
I suspect that it has something to do with popular unfamiliarity with the fine distinctions between "untruth"/"falsehood" and a subset of the same -- "lies" -- that has the added requirement of intent to deceive.
But isn't it a distinction without a meaningful difference?
After all, if verifiable untruths are continuously pouring out of POTUS' mouth and deceiving some subset of citizens who hear him, does it matter if he's a liar or simply delusional? The damage is real and the damage is done! (NB: "delusional" is perhaps more alarming than "pathological liar")
And who among us is gullible enough to honestly believe that out of 3,000+ verified misleading and outright false statements POTUS has made since taking office, not a single one was uttered with the intent to deceive? The credulousness it would require would be disqualifying for life in modern society.
To paraphrase an old saying: "I may have been born in the morning, but it wasn't *yesterday* morning..."
The point is that is Wolfs act and they invited her, if they wanted a much more staid and “respectful” act they should have invited some one else.
There was lots of clutching of Pearls after Stephen Colbert took a shot at Bush and Colbert is doing just fine.
In the Obama years the comedians did take a shot at Obama on a regular basis but Obama took it and was funny when he hit out at the rest of the room, the controversy was as much as when he went to far. I can remember 2 incidents, threatening to use drone strikes on Malia or Sasha boyfriends when he is creating real civillian casualties round the world, and on the night the raid on Osama was being prepared unknown to most of the people in the room, attacking Trump for his birthed nonsense.