Letter to the Editor: Crying Wolf


Identifying with the aggressor is a psychological process. It describes a person who adopts the perspective or the behavior patterns of someone who has been significantly abusing them in one way or another. It’s how captives often begin behaving like their captors.

Those who heard or read Michelle Wolf’s comments at the recent White House Correspondents Dinner may have reacted as I did. Except for one insightful comment, Wolf’s roast had none of the subtlety and ironic touches of the skilled satirist or the witty comedian. It was the blind rage of a liberal hack, and as a liberal, I found it offensive.

I see in her performance a clear diagnostic indicator of what ails America today. In the Guardian, recently, this headline appeared.

“At the White House correspondents dinner, the buzz was reduced to snore, until Michelle Wolf showed up.” In short, we’re asleep but wake up for the salacious stuff.

Today’s national discourse has been so conditioned as to be aroused only by outrageous behavior, salacious accusations, crude commentary and character assassination. Policy issues have grown boring. Trump once dismissed his National Policy Advisor as “boring.” Was his job to entertain? And as we remain titillated and enthralled by burlesque theatrics, the pockets of America’s national policies get systematically picked

Wolf made this sobering statement to the correspondents. I think she was right.

“You guys are obsessed with Trump . . . you pretend like you hate him, but I think you love

him . . . what no one in this room wants to admit is that Trump has helped all of you . . .  sell all your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster and now you’re profiting off him.”

The media, regularly abused by its aggressor has now identified with him.

George Merrill
St. Michaels



Letters to Editor

  1. Matt Daley says:

    Well said!

  2. James Nick says:

    Michelle Wolf…..? Who’s Michelle Wolf? Well after the WHCD and the subsequent wall-to-wall, 24/7 hyperventilating over her COMEDY routine in every nook and cranny of the media and cyberspace we all know who Michelle Wolf is now don’t we? She knew precisely what she was doing. She will now go from an obscure behind-the-scenes comedy writer to headliner. From Ms Wolf’s standpoint, it was mission accomplished.

    As for the “blind rage of a liberal hack”, you can draw a straight line through the reactions to anti-establishment comedians starting with court jesters then to the Marx Brothers to Lenny Bruce to Richard Pryor to George Carlin to Chris Rock to Howard Stern and easily predict that the sort of reaction like Mr Merrill’s to Michelle Wolf was forthcoming and to be expected. I remember seeing George Carlin do his “Seven Words You Can Never Say on TV” monologue at Villanova University. Talk about pushing boundaries back in the day… and in that venue! These days George Carlin is considered to be among the most legendary of American comedians.

    Sorry, definitely not blind rage nor a liberal hack. Just a comedian doing her job. Holding up a mirror to the people running this country and their enablers that are such sad caricatures of rational and compassionate human beings that they are likely now immune to seeing themselves the way others see them. Michelle Wolf’s monologue was a dope slap upside their heads.

  3. Gren Whitman says:

    Michelle Wolf didn’t do anything “questionable” or go “too far.”
    Inviting a satirist to address your gathering means—duh—you can expect to be on the receiving end of satire, often biting, often personal, often afflicting the comfortable.
    Here’s the real problem: The Toxic Nitwit in the Oval Office has gone so far beyond satire that any satirist is required to roast him indirectly by skewering his associates and toadies.
    Which Ms. Wolf mostly did.
    As the New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg observed, “When a brave comedian, Michelle Wolf, jeered at the administration’s indecency at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, the Washington establishment had a fainting fit at the violation of its safe space.”

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