When “Just Kidding” is Actually Psychological Abuse

You know, like it was with Donald Trump.

Martie Sirois

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“Donald Trump — Caricature” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Sarcasm as communication can be funny when done right. That is, when it’s: a.) under the right circumstances, b.) with appropriate company, and c.) executed well. Perfect example: when President Barack Obama would speak every year at the White House correspondents dinner — a relaxed, fun evening for the president, the press pool, and some of their “big name” celebrity friends.

The annual WH correspondents dinner was, after all, created to celebrate freedom of the press and the First Amendment. Created in 1914, the White House Correspondents Association held its first official “dinner” in 1920. Four years later, Calvin Coolidge became the first president to attend, and since then, every U.S. President has made at least one appearance during his tenure — except Donald Trump.

Specifically because this was a light-hearted celebratory event, over time it became appropriate to inject a little more wit, humor, and even sarcasm into the ceremony. One of the most memorable (and perhaps best) parts is the tradition of the current president delivering a comedy routine-ish speech or monologue, followed by the keynote speaker — generally a prominent or up-and-coming comedian — and for this night, it’s their job to “roast” the president, among others.

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Martie Sirois

Covering the intersection of culture, politics & equality. Featured in Marker, HuffPost, PopSugar, Scary Mommy; heard on NPR, SiriusXM, LTYM, TIFO podcast, etc.