The issue isn’t whether Michelle Wolf went too far with her monologue at the White House Correspondents Dinner, but whether we should continue to have these kinds of gatherings that mix journalists with politicians and humour with alcohol.
In Ottawa, the Parliamentary Press Gallery dinner is a much-anticipated annual event. I don’t want to deny anyone a bit of fun, but there’s always something awkward and uncomfortable about the whole exercise. Nobody benefits when politicians are too chummy with journalists, especially when alcohol is flowing. And humour is a tricky business, best left to the professionals, especially when alcohol is flowing. There’s too much of a chance that a joke can cross the line. The press gallery dinner has become a bit of formula now anyway, with all of the politicians hiring comedians to write their material.
It might be a fun night for a few people, but it creates no benefit for the rest of us. And there’s always a risk it could all go horribly wrong. I’d prefer if everyone just stuck to their jobs and kept a safe distance from each other, from comedy, from alcohol and especially the combination of all three.