Two thoughts on the current kerfuffle regarding Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Michelle Wolf:
- I think it is wrong to make jokes about anyone based on how they look (or other similarly protected categories) … ANYONE. In terms of doing it in a political venue: If you would be bothered if the “other side” did it to you, don’t do it to them. There’s plenty legitimate things (actions) to poke at and make fun of.
- I think it is wrong to attack the messenger when it is the message that bothers you. If Trump had sent a member of his staff that actually creates policy in some way, go for it on that policy. But SHS is just a mouthpiece attempting to report on that policy; she doesn’t create the policy. You can make fun of over the tops effort to defend the policy, but attack Trump if you disagree with the policy. Again, remember the real source of evil.
In this day and age — the age of #MeToo and worries about cyberbullying — I find that much of what passes for comedy is veiled bullying by those who were likely bullied in school. I’m referring to comedy that makes fun of people for their attributes, looks, size, intelligence, job, etc. Perhaps it is fun in the moment, but it is teasing and bullying none-the-less, and we are better than that. I prefer the gentler humor of folks like Bob Newhart, Red Skelton, George Carlin, Steven Wright, and such. There may be an argument that that aspect of the Correspondent’s Dinner might have outlived its day. I’d disagree with that — the last thing we need to do is censor reporters — but I do believe the comedy that is there needs to poke at the message and the press/newsmakers role with respect to it, and not do attacks on the messengers.