“The @whca are cowards. The media is complicit. And I couldn't be prouder."
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Ms. Foundation For Women
Michelle Wolf broke the White House Correspondents Dinner. At least that what it feels like.
Following the comedian’s controversial performance at the annual fundraiser this April, White House Correspondents Association president Oliver Knox received a slew of suggestions. “It will not surprise you to hear that my email inbox is overflowing with advice on how to improve the dinner,” said Knox. “No entertainer. No comic. A serious speaker. Maybe a musician. Maybe don’t televise it.”
Ask and ye shall receive because, for the first time in 16 years, the White House Correspondents Dinner will not feature a comedian. Instead, the author and historian Ron Chernow will be the keynote speaker for the 2019 White House Correspondents Dinner.
Wolf fired back after the decision was announced, Tweeting, "The @whca are cowards. The media is complicit. And I couldn't be prouder."
Chernow authored the Alexander Hamilton biography that served as inspiration for Lin Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical Hamilton.
Chernow also served as a historical consultant for the play. Whether or not we’ll be surprised by a rapping Alexander Hamilton goes unmentioned. However, Chernow insists, “While I have never been mistaken for a stand-up comedian, I promise that my history lesson won't be dry."
Said Chernow in a statement: “The White House Correspondents' Association has asked me to make the case for the First Amendment and I am happy to oblige. 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.”
"As we celebrate the importance of a free and independent news media to the health of the republic, I look forward to hearing Ron place this unusual moment in the context of American history," Knox added in a statement.
At the last White House Correspondent’s Dinner, Michelle Wolf tore into President Trump and members of his administration, specifically Sarah Huckabee Sanders who, unlike President Trump, attended the dinner. “She burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye,” said Wolf of Sanders. Wolf also called Sanders an “Uncle Tom, but for white women who disappoint other white women.”
Her speech, which was not approved by the WHC in advance, drew applause from the crowd and flack on Twitter. President Trump tweeted, "The so-called comedian really ‘bombed,’” and said the dinner was “DEAD as we know it.”
But Wolf stands by her words. In an interview with NPR’s “Fresh Air” in May, Wolf said she, “wouldn’t change a word” of her roast. Said Wolf, "I'm very happy with what I said, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns.”
The 2019 White House Correspondent’s Dinner will take place on April 27, 2019.