Michelle Wolf: In her own words

My first take on seeing the live broadcast of Michelle Wolf's comic speech at this year's White House Correspondents' Association dinner at the Washington Hilton last Saturday was revulsion and disgust.  Like many conservatives, I felt as though this was the intolerable last straw of an elitist left-wing mainstream media gone bonkers.

Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

Over the next two days, Wolf's speech – clearly the most famous or infamous one in the entire history of the annual event that began in 1921 – was reviewed and debated endlessly on the cable news channels.  On Monday night, Laura Ingraham's Fox News show had a particularly interesting discussion of what Wolf said, featuring Jeffrey Lord, Ari Fleischer, and Lee Habeeb.  Video of the program is currently online, with the discussion starting here.

I noticed that – other than the unedited live broadcast of the dinner – subsequent news reports used clips of what Wolf said that were all edited, censored, or bleeped, making a serious evaluation impossible.

I located a transcript online of her presentation, but it was flawed.  I laboriously compared the transcript to an unedited recording of what Wolf said, corrected it, and added in parentheses where the audience responded.

One reason I was initially repulsed by Wolf was her delivery: her voice has that quality of fingernails on a blackboard.  (She referenced and made fun of that during her speech.)  It's the same reason I have a hard time actually watching Rachel Maddow: her off-putting affect.  Reading the Wolf transcript as I listened to her again, I got a different impression.  Yes, her routine was raw and crude.  But working with the transcript, I saw parts that were funny and original.  Disclosure: I am not a fan of 99% of modern comedy and never watch Comedy Central or the late-night shows on broadcast television.  My touchstones of comedy are classic comedians like George Burns and Gracie Allen, Jack Benny, and most recently Seinfeld.

Wolf did make fun of CNN, MSNBC, Megyn Kelly, and others on the left – although probably two thirds of her jokes were aimed at the right.  And the latter were more cutting.

Even so, I am thinking now that we may be making too much of this episode.  Speech is supposed to be free, after all, and if we can't take a joke – even a questionable, bad joke – well, what then?

I'm interested to know if people who read the transcript think I might have a point here or agree with my cats that I've lost my mind.

[Editor's note: Be warned that the following transcript contains uncensored profanity and other crude language.]

Michelle Wolf's presentation at the 2018 White House Correspondents' Association annual charity dinner, April 28, 2018, The Washington, D.C. Hilton

All right, this is long. This has been long. Yeah. (Laughter.) Good evening. Good evening.

Here we are the White House Correspondents Dinner. Like a porn star says when she's about to have sex with a Trump, "Let's get this over with." (Laughter.) Yep, kiddos this is who you're getting tonight.

I'm going to skip a lot of the normal pleasantries. We're at a Hilton, it's not nice. (Laughter.) This is on C-SPAN, no one watches that. (Laughter.) Trump is president, it's not ideal. (Laughter.) White House Correspondents Association, thank you for having me, the monkfish was fine. (Laughter, applause.) And 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. (Laughter, applause.)

Michelle Wolf.

Now, before we get too far, a little bit about me. A lot of you might not know who I am. I am 32 years old, which is an odd age – 10 years too young to host this event, and 20 years too old for Roy Moore. (Laughter.) I know, he almost got elected, yeah. It was fun. It was fun. (Laughter.)

Honestly, I never really thought I'd be a comedian, but I did take an aptitude test in 7th grade, and this is 100% true. I took an aptitude test in 7th grade and it said my best profession was a clown or a mime. (Laughter.) Well, at first it said clown, and then it heard my voice and was like, "Or maybe mime." (Laughter.) "Think about mime."

And I know as much as some of you might want me to, it's 2018 and I am a woman, so you cannot shut me up – unless you have Michael Cohen wire me $130,000. (Laughter.) Michael, you can find me on Venmo under my porn star name, Reince Priebus. (Laughter, applause.) Reince just gave a thumbs up. [Audience cam show Preibus with thumb and and laughing.]

Audience at 2018 White House Correspondents' Association dinner.

Okay. Now, people are saying America is more divided than ever, but I think no matter what you support politically, we can all agree this is a great time for craft stores. (Laughter.) Because of all the protests, poster board has been flying off the shelves faster than Robert Mueller can say, "You've been subpoenaed." (Laughter.)

Thanks to Trump, pink yarn sales are through the roof. (Laughter.) After Trump got elected, women started knitting those pussy hats. (Laughter.) When I first saw them I was like, "That's a pussy?" I guess mine just has a lot more yarn on it. (Laughter.) Yeah. You should have done more research before you got me to do this. (Laughter.)

Now, there is a lot to cover tonight, there's a lot to go over. I can't get to everything. 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. (Laughter.) Except for you Jake Tapper. (Laughter.) I bet it's something like this. [Wolf makes stone face.] Okay, that's all the time we have.  (Laughter, applause.)

It is kind of crazy that the Trump campaign was in contact with Russia when the Hillary campaign wasn't even in contact with Michigan. (Laughter.) It's a direct flight; it's so close.

Of course, Trump isn't here, if you haven't noticed, he's not here. And I know, I know, I would drag him here myself, but it turns out the president of the United States is the one pussy you're not allowed to grab. (Laughter.) He said it first, yeah, he did. You remember? Good.

Now, I know people really want me to go after Trump tonight, but I think we should give the president credit when he deserves it. Like, he pulled out of the Paris agreement, and I think he should get credit for that because he said he was going to pull out and then he did, and that's a refreshing quality in a man. (Laughter.) Most men are like, "I forgot." (Laughter.) "I'll get you next time." Oh, there's going to be a next time? (Laughter.) And people say romance is dead. (Laughter.)

People call Trump names all the time, and look, I could call Trump a racist, or a misogynist, or xenophobic, or unstable, or incompetent, or impotent, but he's heard all of those and he doesn't care. So tonight, I'm going to try to make fun of the president in a new way, in a way I think will really get him.

Mr. President, I don't think you're very rich. (Laughter.) Like I think you might be rich in Idaho but in New York you're doing fine. (Laughter.) Trump is the only person that still watches Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and thinks, "Me!" (Laughter.) Although I'm not sure you'd get very far. He'd get to like the third question and be like, "I have to phone a Fox & Friend." (Laughter.)

I'm going to try a fun new thing, okay? I'm going to say, "Trump is so broke," and you guys go, "How broke is he?" All right?

Trump is so broke. . .

Audience: How broke is he?

Wolf: He has to fly failed business class. (Laughter.)

Trump is so broke. . .

Audience: How broke is he?

Wolf: He looked for foreign oil in Don, Jr.'s hair. (Minor Laughter.)

Trump is so broke. . .

Audience: How broke is he?

Wolf: Southwest used him as one of their engines. (Minor laughter.) I know, it's so soon. It's so soon for that joke. Why did she tell it? It's so soon.

Trump is so broke. . .

Audience: How broke is he?

Wolf: He had to borrow money from the Russians and now he's compromised and susceptible to blackmail and possibly responsible for the collapse of the Republic. Yay, it's a fun game! (Minor laughter.)

Trump is a racist, though. (Minor laughter.) He loves white nationalists, which is a weird term for a Nazi. Calling a Nazi a white nationalist is like calling a pedophile a kid friend (Laughter), or Harvey Weinstein a ladies' man (Laughter) – which isn't really fair; he also likes plants. (Laughter.)

Trump's also an ideas guy, he's got loads of ideas, you've got to love him for that. He wants to give teachers guns, and I support that because then they can sell them for things they need, like supplies. (Laughter, applause.) That's a lot of protractors. (Laughter.)

A lot of people want Trump to be impeached. I do not, because just when you think Trump is awful, you remember – Mike Pence. (Laughter.) Mike Pence is what happens when Anderson Cooper isn't gay. (Laughter.) Mike Pence is the kind of guy that brushes his teeth and then drinks orange juice and thinks, "Mmm." (Laughter.)

Mike Pence is also very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder, which, first of all, don't knock it until you try it. (Laughter.) And when you do try it, really knock it. You know, you've got to get that baby out of there. (Minor laughter.)

And yeah, sure, you can groan all you want. I know a lot of you are very anti-abortion, you know, unless it's the one you got from [sic] your secret mistress. (Laughter, minor applause.) It's fun how values can waver, but good for you.

Mike Pence is a weirdo though, he's a weird little guy. He won't meet with other women without his wife present. When people first heard that, they were like, "That's crazy." But now in this current climate they're like, "That's a good witness."

Which, of course, brings me to the #MeToo movement. It's probably the reason I'm here. They were like, "A woman's probably not going to jerk off in front of anyone, right?" (Minor laughter.) And to that I say, "Don't count your chickens. [Unintelligible] you want to party." (Laughter.)

Now, I worked in a lot of male-dominated fields. Before comedy, I worked at a tech company, and before that, I worked on Wall Street, and honestly, I've never been sexually harassed. That being said, I did work at Bear Stearns in 2008, so although I haven't been sexually harassed, I've definitely been fucked. (Laughter.) Yeah, that whole company went down on me without my consent. (Laughter.) And no men got in trouble for that one, either. (Laughter.)

Now, things are changing; men are being held accountable. You know, Al Franken was ousted, that one really hurt liberals. I believe it was the great Ted Kennedy who said, "Wow, that's crazy, I murdered a woman." (Laughter.) Chappaquiddick, in theaters now. (Minor laughter.)

I did have a lot of jokes – had a lot of jokes about Cabinet members, but I had to scrap all of those because everyone has been fired. (Laughter.) You guys are going through Cabinet members quicker than Starbucks throws out black people. (Laughter.) Now, don't worry they're having an afternoon, that'll solve it. (Minor laughter.) We just needed an afternoon. (Laughter.)

Mitch McConnell isn't here tonight, he had a prior engagement, he's finally getting his neck circumcised. (Laughter.) Mazel. (Laughter.)

Paul Ryan also couldn't make it. Of course, he's already been circumcised. Unfortunately, while they were down there, they also took his balls. (Laughter.) Yeah, 'bye Paul. Great acting, though, in that video.

Republicans are easy to make fun of, you know, it's like shooting fish in a Chris Christie. (Laughter.) But I also want to make fun of Democrats. Democrats are harder to make fun of because you guys don't do – anything. (Laughter.) [Audience cam of Chris Christie smiling.] People think you might flip the House and Senate this November, but you guys always find a way to mess it up. You're somehow going to lose by 12 points to a guy named Jeff Pedophile Nazi Doctor. (Laughter.) Oh, he's a doctor? (Laughter.)

We should definitely talk about the women in the Trump administration.

There's Kellyanne Conway. Man, she has the perfect last name for what she does. Conway. It's like if my name was Michelle Jokes Frizzy Hair Small Tits. (Laughter.) You guys have got to stop putting Kellyanne on your shows. All she does is lie. If you don't give her a platform, she has nowhere to lie.

It's like that old saying, "If a tree falls in the woods, how do we get Kellyanne under that tree?" (Laughter.) I'm not suggesting she gets hurt. Just stuck. (Laughter.) Stuck under a tree. (Laughter.) Incidentally, a tree falls in the woods is Scott Pruitt's definition of porn. [Audience cam Kellyanne Conway unsmiling.] We all have our kinks. (Laughter.)

There's also, of course, Ivanka. She was supposed to be an advocate for women, but it turns out she's about as helpful to women as an empty box of tampons. (Laughter, minor applause.) She's done nothing to satisfy women, so I guess, like father, like daughter. (Laughter.) Oh, you don't think he's good in bed, come on. (Laughter.)

She does clean up nice, though. Ivanka cleans up nice. She's the Diaper Genie of the administration: on the outside, she looks sleek, but the inside, it's still full of shit. (Laughter.)

And of course, we have Sarah Huckabee Sanders. [Motions to Sanders sitting 5-6 feet away from her on the dais.] We are graced with Sarah's presence tonight. I have to say I'm a little star-struck. I love you as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale. [Dais cam: Sarah Huckabee Sanders looking bemused.] (Laughter.) Mike Pence, if you haven't seen it, you would love it. (Laughter.)

Michelle Wolf at the dinner.  Huckabee Sanders is hidden behind the podium, just to the left of ABC's Jonathann Karl (with glasses).

Every time Sarah steps up to the podium I get excited, because I'm not really sure what we're going to get – you know, a press briefing, a bunch of lies or divided into softball teams. (Laughter.) "It's shirts and skins, and this time don't be such a little bitch, Jim Acosta!" (Laughter.)

I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful. She burns facts, and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. (Laughter.) Like maybe she's born with it, maybe it's lies. It's probably lies. (Laughter.)

And I'm never really sure what to call Sarah Huckabee Sanders, you know? Is it Sarah Sanders, is it Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is it Cousin Huckabee, is it Auntie Huckabee Sanders? Like, what's Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women? [Dais cam Sarah Huckabee looking uncomfortable.] (Laughter.) Oh, I know. Ann Coulter. (Laughter.)

Sarah Huckabee Sanders listens as Michelle Wolf focuses on her.

We've got our friends at CNN here. Welcome, guys, it's great to have you. You guys love breaking news, and you did it, you broke it. (Laughter.) Good work. (Laughter.) The most useful information on CNN is when Anthony Bourdain tells me where to eat noodles. (Laughter.)

Fox News is here. So, you know what that means, ladies? Cover your drinks. (Laughter.) Seriously.

People want me to make fun of Sean Hannity tonight, but I cannot do that, this dinner's for journalists. (Laughter, minor applause.)

We've got MSNBC here. MSNBC's new slogan is, "This is who we are." Guys, it's not a good slogan. (Laughter.) This is Who We Are is what your mom thinks the sad show on NBC is called. (Laughter.) Did you watch This is Who We Are this week? Someone left on a crockpot, and everyone died. (Laughter.)

I watch Morning Joe every morning. We now know Mika and Joe are engaged. Congratulations, you guys. It's like when a #MeToo works out. (Laughter.)

We also have Rachel Maddow. We cannot forget about Rachel Maddow. She's the Peter Pan of MSNBC, but instead of never growing up, she never gets to the point. (Laughter.) Watching Rachel Maddow is like going to Target – you went in for milk but left with shampoo, candles, and the entire history of the Byzantine Empire. (Laughter.) I didn't need this.

And of course, Megyn Kelly. What would I do without Megyn Kelly? Probably be more proud of women. (Laughter.) Megyn Kelly got paid $23 million by NBC, then NBC didn't let her go to the Winter Olympics. She's so white, cold, and expensive, she might as well be the Winter Olympics. (Laughter.)

And by the way, Megyn, Santa's black. The weird old guy going through your chimney was Bill O'Reilly. (Laughter.) Might want to put a flue on it or something.

There's a lot of print media here, there's a ton of you guys, but I'm not going to go after print media tonight because it's illegal to attack an endangered species. (Laughter.) Buy newspapers.

There's a ton of news right now, a lot is going on, and we have all these 24-hour news networks, and we could be covering everything. Instead, we're covering three topics. Every hour is Trump, Russia, Hillary, and a panel full of people that remind you why you don't go home for Thanksgiving. (Laughter.) "Milk comes from nuts now all because of the gays." (Laughter.)

You guys are obsessed with Trump. Did you used to date him? Because you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love him. (Laughter.) 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, (Laughter) 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. If you're going to profit off of Trump, you should at least give him some money, because he doesn't have any. (Laughter.)

Trump is so broke. . .

Audience: How broke is he?

Wolf: He grabs pussies 'cause he thinks there might be loose change in them. (Laughter.) Alright, like an immigrant who was brought here by his parents and didn't do anything wrong, I gotta get the fuck out of here. Good night!

Flint still doesn't have clean water. (Applause.)

Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran reporter and analyst of news on national politics, media, and popular culture.  He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  Follow Peter on Twitter at @pchowka.

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