Jon Karl Denounces ‘Mean-Spirited’ Jokes About Press Sec at Correspondents’ Dinner

Saturday night was the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner and the take away from the event was that comedian Michelle Wolf was a vile person. She targeted White House staff for ridicule that went beyond friendly jabs, such as when she ‘joked’ about putting adviser Kellyanne Conway under a falling tree or the ‘joke’ about murdering babies. The event drew great condemnation from average Americans and praise from the media elites. But during Sunday’s Good Morning America, ABC Chief White House correspondent Jon Karl denounced Wolf.

Karl, who’s actually a board member of the White House Correspondents Association and its future president, ripped into Wolf’s performance when he was asked to weigh in on the deeply personal attacks she launched at Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

We mentioned at the top of the show, that we saw you at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last night sitting right next to Sarah Huckabee Sanders who endured some scathing criticism by the comedian Michelle Wolf about her looks, her job performance,” prefaced co-anchor, Dan Harris. “How uncomfortable was it being in the room? Is there a way in which this whole situation could ultimately redound greatly to Sanders' benefit?

Karl began by defending the rest of the event by noting it’s held to promote the First Amendment, give out journalism awards, and to hand out scholarships. But he had strong words for Wolf’s terrible act, saying: “I think that the comedian crossed the line. And this went from -- poking fun to being mean-spirited. It was very uncomfortable.

 

 

I think that Sarah Sanders handled herself very well, considering what was coming her way,” Karl praised. “And I think that most people in the room -- were uncomfortable.” “Were uncomfortable with the direction of the jokes. No question at all,” he added. He went on to predict that the jokes would help Sanders build goodwill with the rest of the White House press pool.

In sharp contrast, during NBC’s Sunday Today, they barely spent any time on the vile performance. In fact, White House correspondent Kelly O’Donnell appeared to be making excuses for Wolf’s personal attacks:

The dinner comedy is always supposed to be a roast, and as you’d expect there's divided reaction about how it played. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was there representing the President, just a couple things from the comedian whose jokes included punchlines about her appearance and repeated jabs calling her a liar.

NBC anchor Willie Geist didn’t sound pleased with the jokes but seemed more perturbed that it helped President Trump prove his point about the motives of the press. “Yeah, the personal stuff on Sarah too much, and plays right into the president's argument on stage in Michigan last night,” he bemoaned.

Since the White House Correspondents’ Association selects the comedian for the annual dinner, hopefully, next year (when Karl’s tenure as the president begins) they learn something from the night and select a comedian not as vile.

The transcripts are below, click "expand" to read: 

 

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ABC
Good Morning America
April 29, 2018
8:09:00 AM Eastern

DAN HARRIS: Jon, let's come back home for a second. We mentioned at the top of the show, that we saw you at the White House Correspondents' Dinner last night sitting right next to Sarah Huckabee Sanders who endured some scathing criticism by the comedian Michelle Wolf about her looks, her job performance. How uncomfortable was it being in the room? Is there a way in which this whole situation could ultimately redound greatly to Sanders' benefit?

JON KARL: Well, I've been to a lot of these. I know you have, too, Dan. There was a lot that was good at the dinner. A celebration of the First Amendment, some journalism awards, scholarships. I think that the comedian crossed the line. And this went from -- poking fun to being mean-spirited. It was very uncomfortable. I think that Sarah Sanders handled herself very well, considering what was coming her way and I think that most people in the room -- were uncomfortable. Were uncomfortable with the direction of the jokes. No question at all. And certainly -- the only thing it will do is you know -- result probably in more goodwill for Sarah Sanders. Because nobody should have to sit through that.

PAULA FARIS: Yeah, a lot of people are giving her credit this morning for not getting up and walking out.

 

NBC
Sunday Today
April 29, 2018
8:06:33 AM Eastern

(…)

KELLY O’DONNELL: The dinner comedy is always supposed to be a roast, and as you’d expect there's divided reaction about how it played. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was there representing the President, just a couple things from the comedian whose jokes included punchlines about her appearance and repeated jabs calling her a liar. Willie?

WILLIE GEIST: Yeah, the personal stuff on Sarah too much, and plays right into the president's argument on stage in Michigan last night. Kelly O’Donnell at the White House. Thanks so much, Kelly.

(…)

NBDaily Events Broadcast Television ABC Good Morning America NBC Today Video White House Correspondents Dinner Jonathan Karl Kelly O'Donnell Willie Geist Sarah Huckabee Sanders Michelle Wolf

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