Why is Fox News attacking Michelle Wolf's new Netflix show?

·Critic-at-Large, Yahoo Entertainment
Michelle Wolf on her new Netflix show (Photo: Netflix)
Michelle Wolf on her new Netflix show (Photo: Netflix)

Michelle Wolf’s new Netflix show, The Break With Michelle Wolf, premiered over Memorial Day weekend. It wasn’t a very auspicious debut; Wolf’s standup comedy was OK but not hilarious, and her taped segments demonstrated a tendency to repeat the same joke over and over. You’d think that all the folks who got so upset with Wolf for her performance at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner would be happy, eager to leave Wolf where she is, tucked away where only curious Netflix subscribers will find her.

But no. The snowflakes on Fox & Friends spent a segment on Tuesday morning decrying Wolf as “vile” and “cruel.” Why? Because she made a few more jokes about Correspondents’ Dinner target Sarah Sanders, and added a few new ones about Gina Haspel, President Trump’s recently approved head of the CIA. Haspel, you’ll recall, faced resistance from some in Congress over her involvement with the CIA’s use of torture. Among Wolf’s jokes: “I didn’t watch the swearing-in, but I hear it was torture” and “the first woman head of the CIA — that’s great! Who knew you could waterboard a glass ceiling until it broke?” As for Sanders, Wolf called the White House press secretary a “hypocrite,” and then said, “That was not a looks-based joke — it was about her ugly personality.”

Not exactly shocking material, right? Wrong, if you’re a Fox News personality. Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt appeared upset, asking, “Who’s going to watch this show — it’s so negative!” Guest talking-head Kayleigh McEnany, whom I had hoped had been put on ice after her nonstop cable-news appearances during Donald Trump’s election campaign, was defrosted just enough so that she could ask, rhetorically and nonsensically, “Where do liberals celebrate their women?” She characterized Wolf’s material as evidence of “a very angry, militant type of feminism,” and said Wolf vilifies people in “a malicious, angry, vile way.” McEnany called upon Wolf to “put the vile, comedic jokes aside.” In other words, stop being a comedian.

As usual, Fox News roots under every nook and cranny to find some bit of pop culture to be offended about. The “fair and balanced” network didn’t bother to mention that Wolf, in that same segment, also ridiculed an MSNBC host, Stephanie Ruhle. And Fox & Friends wrapped up this segment by having co-host Earhardt say with tremulous earnestness, “She does have the right to have a show, and we have the right not to watch it.” So don’t watch it already, and stop obsessing over it.

The Break With Michelle Wolf is streaming now on Netflix. Fox & Friends airs weekdays at 6 a.m. on Fox News.

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