The White House Correspondents Association has named the host of next year’s dinner, and for the first time in a very long time, it won’t be a comedian. Michelle Wolf fired at the WHCA tonight, calling them cowards for the move. Presidential biographer Ron Chernow will preside over the event in April 2019.
Last year, Donald Trump ended a long standing tradition of the President attending the White House Correspondents Dinner, and taking a beating from the comedian who gives opening remarks. Tonight, another tradition came to a crashing end when the White House Correspondents Association announced that they’re not inviting a comedian to headline the event next year. The event has been hosted by a comedian for the last 15 consecutive years, and for the large majority of its history with some pretty impressive names helming the annual event. In recent years Larry Wilmore, Hasan Minhaj, Conan, Kimmel and of course most recently, Michelle Wolf.
The dinners, and the speakers, often generate controversy and this year, the increasingly divided country took a lot of shots at Wolf’s set, particular some jokes she made about eyeliner. Wolf is taking it personally, and rightly so, tweeting, “The @whca are cowards. The media is complicit. And I couldn’t be prouder.”
Wolf took heat for her jokes about White House Press Secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders, saying that she “burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye,” a joke which some took to be appearance shaming. The Association in turn, condemned Wolf’s monologue, calling it “not in the spirit” of the WHCD.
Reaction to Wolf’s tweet has been mixed with many congratulating her for breaking the Association, but some others complaining that she ruined the “fun”.
Chernow released a statement that doesn’t really address the change, but perhaps that was his intention. “Freedom of the press is always a timely subject and this seems like the perfect moment to go back to basics. My major worry these days is that we Americans will forget who we are as a people and historians should serve as our chief custodians in preserving that rich storehouse of memory. While I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise that my history lesson won’t be dry.”
We’ll probably sit this one out.
— Michelle Wolf (@michelleisawolf) November 19, 2018