Fr. Rutler and Fr. Z on White House Correspondents dinner @whpresscorps

I’ve had lot of email about the recent annual “Correspondents Dinner” in the nation’s swamp.   Hence, I had to look at a few video clips of “roasting” which proves that “liberal comedian” is a contradiction in terms.

What struck me was that these ass-hat journalists, who accuse Pres. Trump of being coarse, or whatever it is that he is, then laughed at the pure dreck that issued from the microphone at the dinner.  Really?  Do they not have mirrors?

The best comment on that farce of a mutual-masturbatory dinner I have seen so far was framed by Fr. Rutler in his weekly column.  Friends, take a moment.  Read it.  [It seems his page hasn’t been update since 1 April, so here it is in full]

Fr. Rutler’s Weekly Column
May 6, 2018
The exotic concept of spontaneous generation was taken seriously by astute thinkers for a long time before the invention of microbiology. Of course, they knew about the proximate process of birth, but the biological source of life itself exercised such minds as Anaximander six hundred years B.C. and Saint Augustine, Shakespeare, and the philosopher of fishing Izaak Walton, and was at least a puzzle to Darwin.  [For the libs who are tuning in, yes, the English language has words with more than one or two syllables.]

Spontaneous generation was the theory that living organisms could arise from inanimate matter, like fleas born from dust, or mice from salt and bees from animal blood and, in the speculation of Aristotle, scallops coming out of sand. I came across an unintentionally amusing comment from the 1920 proceedings of the American Philological Society published by the Johns Hopkins University Press: “Since insects are so small, it is not surprising that the sex history of some of them totally eluded the observation of the ancients.”

The advent of micro-imagery photography of infants in the womb destroyed eugenic propaganda that this is not a human life. Those who deny that are on the level of those who continued to insist on spontaneous generation after the Catholic genius Louis Pasteur disproved it in 1859.

Cold people who are not only credulous but cruel, admit that the unborn child is human, but say “So what?” At the recent White House Correspondents’ dinner, an astonishingly vulgar comedienne joked about abortion to the laughter of pseudo-sophisticates in evening dress. But even she slipped and used the word “baby.” [!]

Christ used the image of the vine to explain that all life is contingent, not spontaneously generated, but dependent on other lives. “A branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine.” Likewise, those drinking champagne at the fancy dress dinner are related to every fragile life in the womb by a common humanity. To mock that is to de-humanize the self.

On the recent feast of Saint George, there was born in England, whose patron he is, Louis, a prince of the royal house. There were celebratory church bells from Westminster Abbey and a salute of cannons. Rightly so, for the birth of every baby is a cause for rejoicing. That same day another baby, one with a neurological infirmity, was deprived of oxygen support by judicial decree and against the will of his parents, who brought him into the world by pro-creation, as stewards of the Creator and not by spontaneous generation. This was in defiance of an effort by Pope Francis to rescue him by military helicopter. As sons by adoption, little Louis and little Alfie are princes of the Heavenly King, not by spontaneous generation, but by divine will. Pope Leo XIII declared in Rerum Novarum: “The contention that the civil government should at its option intrude into and exercise intimate control over the family and the household is a great and pernicious error.”

I’ve gotta hand it to Rutler.  He tied it together.

And if any of the pseudos in tuxedos read this – I picture them mouthing again and again the polysyllabic vocabulary – get dressed and look in the mirror and contemplate the fact that some day you, like all who were allowed to be born, will breathe your last, your heart will stop and you will go before your judge.

What’s your argument going to be to the Judge then:

“We had a great laugh at a correspondents dinner and really made a name for ourselves!  We had camera time.  You shoulda been there.  We were great.  Yeah… you shoulda been there.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. monstrance says:

    I believe the so called “comic” was using the word “baby” in a type of slang.
    ie: Like a pilot talking about landing an aircraft – “Let’s get this “baby” on the ground.”
    For I doubt she considers the unborn to be worthy of any respect.

  2. frjim4321 says:

    IMHO, being mean, crass and shocking is not funny, but these often masquerade as humor. And not only on the left. That Gilbert Gottfried character on FauxNews (Sundays at 10PM) is rarely funny; he mainly insults people and they run the laugh track.

    I agree with the NYT folk that the dinner is absurd. I respect them for boycotting it, and wish others would do the same. At the same time, I don’t have any sympathy for SHS who got exactly what she deserved, or less.

  3. rdowhower says:

    You will notice it’s not just the liberal journalists who are hypocritical when it comes to the “coarseness” they criticize in Trump. Apparently it’s long been accepted practice to act like teenage boys and engage in routine gutter talk among many conservative pundits. Listen to or read a sample of Jonah Goldberg’s blogs or podcasts and you’ll see what I mean. John Podhoretz is another good example of this talking out of both sides of the mouth. It’s very tedious to hear people like them waxing moral.

  4. benedetta says:

    Father Rutler accurately describes events celebrated and lauded by worldly elites as what they are in truth: shameful.

  5. JustaSinner says:

    Liberalism is a disease needing a non-lethal cure.

  6. LeeGilbert says:

    I read where St. Augustine said “All good Christians should beware the mathematicians,” having in mind, I believe, the Pythagoreans, for whom mathematics was a religious endeavor. Today however, no one from the pulpit trumpets, “Beware the comedians,” but they should.

    Comedy is a very effective rhetorical tool, and in our era is almost always in the hands of the demonically inspired. It is classical rhetorical strategy that if your opponent is deadly serious to skewer him with laughter. If he is comic, then respond with deadly seriousness. But we Catholics are deadly serious in our address to the world, therefore comedy is the obvious weapon of choice in the hands of our opponents.

    It has been used against us to great effect by Clarence Darrow, H.L. Mencken, Lenny Bruce, Bill Maher, John Stewart and many, many others.

    Beware the comedians.

    Someone will bring up Chesterton, and if we were disciples of G. K. Chesterton we could take up our pens and follow him, but there is little laughter in the entire Scripture and none in the mouth of Jesus Christ. Given the light-mindedness of the times, our era’s easy laughter at the unspeakable, deadly seriousness is the way to go, together with intolerance for our comic persecutors.

    Yet, if we should beware the comedians, how much more we should beware the media that carry their ridicule into our homes and into the hearts of our children. Never, never will I understand prelates who do not and have not inveighed against the presence of secular media in the Catholic home. Having been fourteen a mere 61 years ago, I am sure there are many Catholic adolescents who watched whatshername’s routine at the National Press Club, who laughed over it, who were affected by it, secularized by it, and whose exit from the Church was helped along by it.

    Loudmouth comedians and silent bishops . . . What a disaster! O, we have official positions on many controverted topics. What we do not have is effective leadership that will ask of us “the supreme sacrifice,” in other words, that will pry the remote control out of our hands and our hearts away from fascination with “the world” and its opinions, away from our damnable desire to fit in.

  7. Glennonite says:

    Thank you for the straight-talk intro and Fr. Rutler’s column. Well-said on both counts.

  8. Traductora says:

    Monstrance, I think it was slang, but it’s also probably the famous Freudian slip…”baby” came to her mind because she was, well, thinking about killing babies.

    As for the correspondents’ dinner, I think we can all agree that this has just about hit the nadir of our popular culture. Even Peggy Noonan, who hates Trump, had a good column on it today in the WSJ.

    They were expressing utter contempt for anyone outside of that little special circle of communications majors (who’ve replaced poli sci majors as the dumbest grads) who have gotten writing jobs for failing newspapers or that abandoned thing known as TV, and superannuated newscasters who are probably all about to get charged with sexual harassment. And these are, or think they are, our opinion makers? And to them that means that they get to say gross and disgusting things about people who are actually doing something and upon whom decisions about war and peace, prosperity and collapse, and our entire future depend? Time for a reality check.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    This “comedienne” would benefit by reading the Bible. Back in the day when Ahab was suggesting to Elijah that he go pound sand, Jezebel was busily working her way through a diabolical To-Do list: turning Israel against Yahweh; increasing worship of Baal and Asherah along with child-sacrifice; and fabricating charges against landowners so that their property could be seized. Jezebel’s misdeeds and demise are told in 1 Kings. Hopefully, the Toxic Masculinity of that book title will not dissuade that comedienne from learning its lessons.

    Fr. Rutler wrote: “Christ used the image of the vine to explain that all life is contingent, not spontaneously generated, but dependent on other lives. “A branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine.” Likewise, those drinking champagne at the fancy dress dinner are related to every fragile life in the womb by a common humanity. To mock that is to de-humanize the self.”

    Indeed. That de-humanizing helps to explain some of the renewed interest in Gnosticism and Hermeticism where, broadly speaking, the material world and other humans are an obstacle to Inner Divinity.

    Congratulations to the President for skipping the Washington DC dinner and instead yukking it up with his favorite deplorables in Washington MI. Back in the waning days of the Roman Empire as barbarian moods were shifting from surly to rowdy the capital was moved from Rome to the more defensible Ravenna. In 2018 the barbarians are not only inside the gates, they’re apparently giving after-dinner speeches. There is a bit of a parallel here to barbarians gathered around a campfire near the Rhine, cursing all outside their clan and offering chunks of animal flesh to sacred trees.

    Here’s a quote from an NPR interview of this comedienne several days after that dinner:
    “I actually, a friend of mine who helped me write, he gave me a note before I went on which I kept with me which was, “Be true to yourself. Never apologize. Burn it to the ground.””

    Ah yes, there it is.

    Here’s Robert Bork from his 1996 book “Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline”:

    “Where modern liberalism’s radical versions of liberty and
    equality hold sway, there can be no fraternity. From the
    French Revolution to the Sixties rebellions, radicals
    who worship liberty and equality also invariably yearn for frater-
    nity, community, brotherhood. They will never achieve it, because
    the dynamic of radicalism in general and modern liberalism in
    particular is to shatter society. Talk of fraternity refers only to the
    rebels; everybody else is despised and to be coerced.”

    “…Assimilating large numbers of persons from very different cultures is
    difficult but doable, as our experience proves. What may make the
    task impossible is that the powerful agents of modern liberalism—
    primarily the universities, high schools, primary schools—are work-
    ing not only to fracture our culture but to suppress its historic
    sources of strength.This fracturing does not result from immigration
    but from ideology. It is difficult to overstate the importance of the
    cultural unity that is being deliberately destroyed.”

    Well, as usual, the libs, socialists, revolutionaries, and anarchists (who tend to seek a Strong Man/Woman) are gestating another war, perhaps even a civil war. And the Poor and the Environment – which these seriously misguided souls claim to defend from the Knuckle-Dragging Conservatives – will suffer once again.

    A friendly note to liberals and socialists: life is more pleasant, and the grass is greener with only the occasional scorch mark, on the other side of the fence. By the way, champagne was invented by monks- jolly fellows who spent alot of their time with books. Books from different eras in different languages. There is an excellent book about a carpenter from Galilee. This carpenter built something of exquisite beauty to be found nowhere else.

  10. hwriggles4 says:

    For those of you who didn’t see portions of the report, sound bites, or news coverage of the White House correspondence dinner, one thing I noticed was during the comedienne’s monologue, hardly anyone in the room laughed. What I witnessed was regardless of political views, religious views, personal views, and what news agencies are issuing the reporters a check every two weeks, hardly anyone found the words of this comedienne to be funny.

    On another note, had John or Jane Q Public done a “roast” like this at a coworkers retirement party on a Friday or Saturday night, John or Jane would have arrived at the office on Monday morning to find their office boxed up and their badge deactivated.

  11. francophile says:

    It seems that we have a President who lies about nearly everything, [I don’t think that is true.] a comedienne who can make very offensive jokes about abortion [That is true.] and others who attack others in terrible fashion. [That is true.] So, how do I help my students (I am a teacher among other things) see that the world is more than this horrible mess. They see this wretched morass everyday and they speak to me about it. I am finding it more and more difficult to paint a better picture than the one currently presented in the popular culture. I confess I have never seen it this horrible in my short 50+ years on this earth.

    [Teach them HOW TO THINK! Teach them HOW TO LEARN! Teach them how to MAKE DISTINCTIONS!]

  12. LeeGilbert, do you not err too much in the opposite direction? A sense of humor and the ability to laugh are gifts from God, and no less so for the fact that they can be abused, just like all His other gifts can be abused. Yes, the Gospel is serious, but it is not dour and sourpussed. Frowning, plodding seriousness belongs to puritanism and Jansenism, not to the authentic Faith. There may not be a lot of comedy in Scripture, but there is a lot of rejoicing. To be freed from the bonds of the devil, and to have the gate of heaven unlocked for us, is nothing if not cause for rejoicing. John 15:11: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled.”

    Besides, I put it to you that what was on display at the Swamp Correspondence Dinner was not comedy at all but just a tsunami of sewage. It didn’t even have the merit of being clever. We ought not on that account shun real humor and legitimate laughter. We will convert no one with scowls on our faces.

  13. KateD says:

    Commedy has a few pre-requisites: intelligence, and insight being among them.

    Both were lacking at the Correspondent’s Dinner.

    It was just mean. There is nothing humorous about being hurtful.

  14. SKAY says:

    Interestingly the pompous MSM wonders why a large swath of the American people have lost
    all respect for them.
    I am not sorry that I did not waste my time watching that fiasco but of course it was the subject of a lot of news reports so one could not escape what was said. Nothing about it was funny. Jokes about abortion are not funny. I have seen some of the televised WH Correspondents Dinners in the past
    and the jokes were clever and not mean spirited. The media has now become
    quite obvious and overbearing with their bias. No wonder school children a confused with their reporting. I would be too if I did not know when stories are being twisted.

    Sarah Sanders has more class in her little finger than most of them have in their entire bodies as they sat laughing in that room. How small they were–and are.

  15. Malta says:

    Washington DC was a swamp literally, and now metaphorically. I went through the FBI Academy at Quantico down the road–and when I would go into bars in DC prostitutes were everywhere. That’s not my thing: I have 5 kids and a grandson–but they would come onto me; this was in 2008. I personally think we are in for a major chastisement from God. I’m 45 and have my AR-15 and Springfield XDS .45. I hope I’m around when it happens to protect my kids.

  16. Malta says:

    You don’t ever in your life want to see what I have seen: this is one of the characters I’m dealing with: I have an image of a young woman being brutally raped. I’m in contact with a local Detective, two current and one former FBI Agent. I’m telling you there is a real sickness in society right now.

  17. LarryW2LJ says:

    What’s your argument going to be to the Judge then:

    “We had a great laugh at a correspondents dinner and really made a name for ourselves! We had camera time. You shoulda been there. We were great. Yeah… you shoulda been there.”

    And the Judge will answer, “I was there.”

  18. MichaeltDoyle says:

    Father Rutler has written a lot of interesting articles. I also noted his website is not up to date. Does he have a newsletter or mailing list interested folks could subscribe to? Thank you.

  19. robtbrown says:

    francophile says:

    It seems that we have a President who lies about nearly everything, 

    And Obama didn’t?

    Mitterand? In 1991 he assured France that the coup against Gorby could not succeed. A few days later he said, “As I said before, this will be a successful coup.”

    And then there was Woodrow Wilson, who ran for re-election in 1916 on the slogan “He kept us out of war”. After the election the man who kept us out of war took us into war, with the new slogan, “The war to end all wars”

    Or FDR, who assured everyone that he would not send American boys to fight in foreign wars. At the same time he was planning how to get the country into war.

    Or LBJ, who ran as the peace candidate in 1964, while planning to escalate the Vietnam War by sending 150,000 troop–against the advice of General Johnson

  20. robtbrown says:


    Dr Johnson was once accosted by a prostitute on the streets of 18th century London.

    His reply: Can’t you see, Dearie, that I’m way past my prime?

  21. Mary-Kathleen says:


    Subscribe to Fr. Rutler’s Weekly Column, delivered by email, here:

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