An Open Letter:

Why Michelle Wolf’s Truth-Telling Made Some of You Liberals Squirm... and Attack

May 7, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


“Unnecessarily cruel.” “Mean isn’t funny.” “An “apology is owed” to those “grossly insulted.” “Offensive.” “Deplorable.”

Seriously? This is what some of you—who claim to be journalists who stand for truth and care about humanity—had to say after Michelle Wolf’s blistering, on-target takedown of Trump and his minions (and some of you!) at the annual White House Correspondents Dinner (WHCD)?

Let’s get real! Michelle Wolf did more honest, insightful analysis and truth-telling in 19 minutes than her Trump-conciliating critics have done in 19 months!

Look at how your “renowned” colleagues Andrea Mitchell and Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times all condemned Wolf for her spot-on skewering of Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and jumped to Sanders’ defense. Brzezinski tweeted: “Watching a wife and mother be humiliated on national television for her looks is deplorable ... and the WHCA owes Sarah an apology.” Mitchell tweeted, “Apology is owed to @PressSec and others grossly insulted by Michelle Wolf.”

One would think you “journalists” would have started with the facts—what Wolf actually said about Huckabee:

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. Mike Pence, if you haven’t seen it, you would love it. 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. “It’s shirts and skins, and this time don’t be such a little bitch, Jim Acosta!” 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. Like maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.

First, there’s not a word there denigrating Sanders’ looks, so the charge she mocked Sanders’ physical appearance is bullshit, something, speaking of serious journalism, you’d have known if you’d bothered to read the transcript, or better yet, watched the YouTube. As Wolf said later, she went after Sanders for “her despicable behavior,” not her looks.

Second, Sanders is not playing “wife and mother” on a TV sitcom. She’s the Trump/Pence regime’s press secretary and one of its chief and most dangerous mouthpieces, spinning its lies and justifying its fascist assaults on humanity day after day after day. That’s what’s truly “deplorable”! Calling Sanders a “wife and mother” is like calling Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels a “husband and father.” Is that how you’d have covered Hitler’s regime?

Third, Wolf dared to point to a profound, fact-based, verifiable truth that most of you in the liberal bourgeois media refuse to utter: Sarah Huckabee Sanders is part of a vast, right-wing, Christian fascist movement which actually does want to turn the fictional Handmaid’s Tale into reality! So comparing her to “Aunt Lydia” was spot-on!

Many of you were anxious to pat yourselves on the back for the “amazing journalism” you claim you’ve done over the past year plus, but Wolf was dead-on when she righteously ridiculed the euphemisms many liberal establishment reporters use when covering the fascist-in-chief Trump: “Trump is a racist, though. 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, or Harvey Weinstein a ladies’ man.”

And no—it is NOT cruel to warn people of this extremely dangerous reality. What is truly “cruel” and “mean” is to systematically cover it up—even apologize and generate sympathy for monstrous Christian fascists like Sarah Huckabee Sanders as if they’re the victims!

Journalism Should Be About Truth—Not Balance, and Definitely Not Conciliating with Fascism!

Another thread of your attack on Wolf was that she failed “because she was (spectacularly) one-sided,” and because her comments “made the chasm between journalists and those who don’t trust us, even wider. And those of us based in the red states who work hard every day to prove our objectivity will have to deal with it.” Is it “one-sided” and not “objective” to call Trump a white supremacist Nazi? No! Journalism should be judged by truth, not whether it artfully panders or reports on “both sides,” including a bunch of fascist rednecks in the red states. If you covered the Nuremberg Trials would you have condemned it as “one-sided” for concluding the Nazis were war criminals?

Margaret Talev, the head of the White House Correspondents Association, let the collaborationist cat out of the bag in her apology: “Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message ... while honoring civility. Unfortunately, the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission.”

Thank god it wasn’t! Offering a “unifying message” and promoting “civility” with fascists is the road to accommodation, conciliation, and before long collaboration. It leads you right where you are, to almost literally kissing the ass of a sanctimonious, lying fascist bully like Sarah Sanders.

We understand why you’re doing all this. You’re part of the liberal media, which like the Democratic Party represents a section of the imperialist ruling class that is sharply critical of the Trump regime for various reasons, but concern for the horrors being brought down on the masses every day is definitely not one of them. In fact, white supremacy and mass incarceration, attacks on immigrants with mass deportations, wars of empire, the degradation of women, and the destruction of the environment are woven into and flow from the very workings of capitalism-imperialism and can’t be done away with under this system. They take place no matter what section of the ruling class is in charge, even as they assume monstrous and grotesque proportions under Trump/Pence fascism.

The last thing in the world you in the liberal bourgeoisie and its media want is for massive resistance and upheaval that could wrench the social fabric and shake this society to its foundations. Your mantra: order, even fascist order, is more important than justice. And that was your real problem with Michelle Wolf: she busted a hole in the bubble of normalcy and legitimacy you’ve created around Trump (even as you criticize him), and called out the racist, misogynist horrors this regime (and the system it represents) have in store for humanity.

Your frantic reaction revealed that you, too, understand that the angst, anger, and discontent rippling through this society is so deep that even a comedian’s performance could crack things open—even be part of a mix that could bring thousands, with the potential to grow to millions, into the streets in mass protest against this hated cabal. And you don’t want to let anything loose that risks that, which is why you cover up, euphemize, and obscure the fascist character and existential danger this regime represents for humanity. Barack Obama laid out the terms of your orientation most clearly the day after Trump was elected: “We’re all on the same team,” he said, “we are now all rooting for his success.”

And that’s been your playbook ever since: looking for “common ground,” and insistently framing “the problem with Trump” in terms of “incompetence,” “corruption,” and “failure to stand up to America’s enemies,” and not the way he is moving to rip up any and all basic rights, institute an open terroristic dictatorship, and threaten and destroy the lives of millions, in truth billions.

So shame on those of you who went after Wolf. Her performance was a breath of fresh air in the increasingly suffocating atmosphere of normalization, accommodation, and collaboration with fascism in the U.S. We need more—much more—of the Michelle Wolf spirit, in every sphere of art, culture, politics, academia, and most especially, in the streets. Her performance, and the furor that’s ensued, should be a wake-up call for any of you with a real commitment to truth, a moral conscience, and a beating heart for humanity.


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