Former WHCA Pres. Ed Henry Condemns Vile Comedy at Media Dinner

In the wake of the vile “comedy” performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, we’ve seen a future president of the association denounce the act and the current president refusing to say the act “crossed a line.” And while the current White House Correspondents’ Association president was refusing to say what so many journalists were, former WHCA President Ed Henry was on Fox News Channel’s Media Buzz on Sunday condemning the act and calling on the association to issue a formal apology.

Last night's White House Correspondents’ Dinner turned into a travesty when comedian Michelle Wolf turned in a crude and cursing performance and not only trashing the President, but such aides as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who’s sitting right there on the dais, and Kellyanne Conway,” announced host Howard Kurtz as he began the segment.

After playing a clip from the night, Kurtz brought on Henry, who’s also Fox News’ Chief National correspondent, to discuss comedian Michelle Wolf’s profanity-laden screed. “Even worse, she was joking about abortion. I won’t even repeat the jokes they were so vile,” Henry declared.

Henry noted that the First Amendment, obviously, protected Wolf’s right to say those things but said they go against the mission of the association. “However, I think it's long past time—here we are, hours later-- for the association to put out a simple one statement sentence say[ing], ‘We do not agree with this,’” he argued. “The association should apologize, period, stop.” He even brought up the double standard that would exist if it was Hillary Clinton on the stage.

 

 

But as the Media Research Center previously reported, the current president of the association, Margaret Talev had no intention of apologizing, arguing her chat with Pres Secretary Sanders after the act was sufficient enough.

Kurtz noted that NBC’s resident Clinton fangirl Andrea Mitchell agreed with Henry that the association needed to issue an apology. “Apology is owed to @PressSec and others grossly insulted [by] Michelle Wolf at White House Correspondents Assoc dinner which started with uplifting heartfelt speech by @margarettalev - comedian was worst since Imus insulted Clinton’s,she wrote in a tweet.

Both Kurtz and Henry lamented that the vile routine stole the show and took away from the meaning of the night. “And it cast a stain on the whole event. Whatever nice things happened there,” Kurtz said. “They talked about the First Amendment and valuable things,” Henry added.

And after explaining how he didn’t agree with President Trump’s claim that “the press are the enemy of the American people,” Henry went on to talk about how they needed to show respect for the president and his aides:

But we should show respect to the president. We should show respect to the press secretary. I shouldn't even have some to say that, that's elementary. And people right now are not doing that. And she is the press secretary, she’s a professional woman, she puts herself out there. Attack her for what she says about Syria, attack her on substance. Do not attack her personally.

But here’s my bottom line point: The White House Correspondents’ Association can be, could be, and should be better than a gutter comedian,” Henry declared before they moved onto another topic.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read: 

 

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Fox News Channel
Media Buzz
April 29, 2018
11:33:13 PM Eastern

HOWARD KURTZ: Last night's White House Correspondents’ Dinner turned into a travesty when comedian Michelle Wolf turned in a crude and cursing performance and not only trashing the President, but such aids as Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who’s sitting right there on the dais, and Kellyanne Conway.

(…)

KURTZ: Joining us now, Ed Henry Fox’s Chief National correspondent and a past president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. We were both there at the dinner. I’ve never seen a performance like that. She was not only nasty but she was dropping live f-bombs on live television carried by CNN and MSNBC. What’s your take as someone who has gone through this process?

ED HENRY: Even worse, she was joking about abortion. I won’t even repeat the jokes they were so vile. Bottom line is, I understand Margaret Talev as president, I respect her. It's a tough job. You’re up there, you pick the comedian, and there is a First Amendment in this country whether you like it or not. Sometimes they’re going to say—First Amendment protects stupid and vile things as well.

However, I think it's long past time—here we are, hours later-- for the association to put out a simple one statement sentence say[ing], “We do not agree with this.” These personal vile attacks on Sarah Huckabee Sanders who is a good person. Dare I say, if Hillary Clinton had been elected and Jennifer Palmieri were up there and got all these personal attacks about your appearance—I won’t even add and dignify-- It's ridiculous. The association should apologize, period, stop.

KURTZ: Ok, I agree with you on that. You know who else agrees with you? Is Andrea Mitchell who just tweeted: “Apology is owed to Press Sec (Sarah Sanders) and others—

HENRY: We invited here!

KURTZ: -- grossly insulted by Michelle Wolf. Comedian was worst since Imus insulted Clinton’s.”

HENRY: We invited her to dinner, we should have treated her with respect. I don’t need to say anything beyond that. Treat her with respect.

KURTZ: And it cast a stain on the whole event. Whatever nice things happened there.

HENRY: They talked about the First Amendment and valuable things. By the way, and I'm hearing this on social media. I am not letting the President off the hook. When he said “the press is the enemy of the American people” months and months ago that was not right. He shouldn’t have said that. You might disagree with individual stories. To tar the entire media, including me including you. That we’re “the enemy of the American people.” I'm not letting him the hook about that.

But we should show respect to the president. We should show respect to the press secretary. I shouldn't even have some to say that, that's elementary. And people right now are not doing that. And she is the press secretary, she’s a professional woman, she puts herself out there. Attack her for what she says about Syria, attack her on substance. Do not attack her personally.

KURTZ: I give comedians a wide berth, but this was so far beyond the pale.

(…)

HENRY: But here’s my bottom line point: The White House Correspondents’ Association can be, could be, and should be better than a gutter comedian.

(…)

NB Daily Events Media Bias Debate Double Standards Cable Television Fox News Channel Other FNC Video White House Correspondents Dinner Ed Henry Howard Kurtz Michelle Wolf

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