Cal Thomas: The new low of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, the first day of May. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from member-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. You might have heard about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this past weekend.

MICHELLE WOLF: Mike Pence is also very anti-choice. He thinks abortion is murder. Which, first of all, don’t knock it till you try it.

I’ll spare you the rest.

And this was one of the clean moments. WORLD Radio commentator Cal Thomas used to go to these events and he has some thoughts about about the tradition, which has reached a new low.

CAL THOMAS, COMMENTATOR: To be vulgar once earned societal disapproval, but not today.

Vulgarities went mainstream a very long time ago.

Last week’s White House Correspondents dinner in Washington was just another awful reminder.

AUDIO: Please welcome Michelle Wolf!

In walked a previously obscure comedian, who would spend the next 20 minutes embarrassing not herself, but the news media that invited her.

WOLF: Yeah, shoulda done more research before you got me to do this.

She spewed words and personal insults at President Trump, his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and top aide Kellyanne Conway, obliterating any remaining standard of conduct and decency.

Wolf also described in vulgar terms female genitalia and made grotesque references to abortion.

It’s difficult to pinpoint when the decline began.

As a fairly regular attendee of these events until recent years, I recall the 1995 dinner. The main speaker was shock jock Don Imus. With President and Mrs. Clinton sitting not far away, Imus delivered a series of what he considered to be jokes about the president’s sexual behavior.

I am no fan of the Clintons, but I thought the routine then was in poor taste.

The next day I called press secretary Dee Dee Myers and asked her if she agreed, or was I getting old and becoming out of touch. Myers, who is younger than me, agreed the Imus routine was tasteless.

It’s become de rigueur to insult the president to his face, or in this latest instance in absentia because President Trump wisely avoided the dinner. But I’d like to know, where were the feminist voices when Wolf made fun of Sarah Sanders’ personal appearance?

Even though there was a little bit of backtracking on social media over the weekend, I have to wonder: Do most of these correspondents not care what the public thinks of them?

Do they have no concern for their low approval ratings and a credibility level that seems to be in free fall?

Are they more interested in reinforcing their own political beliefs than projecting a public image of professional integrity?

People watching the dinner on TV, or reading about it, must have had their own views of the “liberal media” confirmed. And I can’t blame them.

If the White House Correspondents Dinner continues to embrace the low and the vulgar it should end this event. It can pretty much count on no one from the White House ever again attending as long as Donald Trump is president.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Cal Thomas.

(AP Photo/J. David Ake) The moon peaks through the clouds above the White House of the drizzly night in Washington, Saturday, April 28, 2018.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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