Ed Henry: WHCA Should Not Have Picked Member of Trump 'Resistance' to Perform
Fox News chief national correspondent Ed Henry criticized the White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) - which he used to lead - for choosing Michelle Wolf as the featured comedian at its annual dinner.
Wolf took jabs Saturday night at President Trump during her routine and also mocked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who endured the barbs from the dais.
"I actually really like Sarah. I think she's very resourceful. But she burns facts and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smokey eye," Wolf joked. "Like maybe she's born with it; maybe it's lies. It's probably lies."
Henry said the performance "went off the rails" and that Sanders was treated "crudely and disrespectfully."
"It was vile," he said on "Fox & Friends" Monday, characterizing the former "Daily Show" writer as "basically part of the resistance."
The performance drew mixed reviews, with harsh criticism from conservatives and President Trump. The WHCA released a statement on Sunday criticizing Wolf's routine.
"Last night’s program was meant to offer a unifying message about our common commitment to a vigorous and free press while honoring civility, great reporting and scholarship winners, not to divide people. Unfortunately the entertainer’s monologue was not in the spirit of that mission," said President Margaret Talev, of Bloomberg.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is DEAD as we know it. This was a total disaster and an embarrassment to our great Country and all that it stands for. FAKE NEWS is alive and well and beautifully represented on Saturday night!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2018
Henry called on Wolf to apologize to Sanders for the jokes, recalling when he chose Conan O'Brien as the featured comedian for the 2013 WHCA dinner when he led the organization.
"I knew that given all the tension with President Obama, if I picked a comedian who trashed him, ... I'd pay a price, Fox would pay a price," he explained, adding he knew O'Brien was a "professional" who knew his TV audience consisted of Democrats and Republicans.
Henry said the WHCA is a "wonderful" organization committed to the First Amendment and press freedom and Wolf's performance distracts from that message.
Henry said the dinner ended up playing into Trump's narrative about media bias and "fake news."
"Maybe you pick [a comedian] who you know is going to be more fair, not somebody who is part of the resistance," he argued.
Watch the interview above.