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“Now That King Joffrey Is President”: Hasan Minhaj’s Speech at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

“Welcome to the series finale of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.”

Last night was both the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner – which Trump, in characteristically childish fashion, decided to skip. The Daily Show‘s Hasan Minhaj served as host, a relatively thankless task this year, given Trump’s absence and the event’s diminished star power.

“No one wanted to do this,” Minhaj joked, “so of course, it lands in the hands of an immigrant. That’s how it always goes down.”

Minhaj chose to roast both the press and members of Trump’s administration, despite being “explicitly told not to go after the administration.”

“A lot of people told me: Hasan, if you go after the administration, it would be petty, unfair, and childish,” he said, “In other words, presidential. So here we go.”

The entire speech runs about 25 minutes, but below are a few of his quotes:

On Trump’s Excessive Golf Trips:

“Why do you care? Do you want to know what he’s not doing when he’s golfing? Being president. Let the man putt-putt. Keep him distracted. Teach him how to play badminton! Tell him he has a great body for bobsledding! Play him tic-tac-toe! The longer you keep him distracted, the longer we’re not at war with North Korea. Every time Donald Trump goes golfing, the headline should read, ‘Trump golfing. Apocalypse delayed. Take the W.'”

On Ivanka Trump:

“If she was here, I would ask her the question that we’re all thinking: ‘Why? Why do you support this man?’ ‘Cuz I get it. We all love our parents. But we wouldn’t endorse them for president. If someone was like, ‘Hey Hasan, should your dad be president of the United States?’, I’d be like, ‘My dad? Najmi Minhaj? The guy who tries to return used underwear to Costco? No!'”

On MSNBC Coverage: 

“MSNBC is here tonight. And I’m glad you guys are here tonight. That way if I’m bombing, Brian Williams will describe it as stunning.”

On CNN Coverage: 

“Every time I watch CNN, it feels like you’re assigning me homework. ‘Is Trump a Russian spy? I don’t know, you tell me! Tweet us @AC360.’ No, you tell me! I’m watching the news! But it feels like I’m watching CNN watch the news. Please, just take an hour. Figure out what you want to say, then go on the air.”

On Trust and Trump’s War on Journalists:

“We’re living in this strange time where trust is more important than truth. And supporters of President Trump trust him. And I know, journalists, you guys are definitely trying to do good work. I just think that a lot of people don’t trust you right now. And can you blame them? Unlike Anderson Cooper’s bone structure, you guys have been far from perfect…It was all fun and games with Obama, right? You were covering an adult who could speak English. And now you’re covering President Trump, so you gotta take your game to a whole new level…”

“I don’t have a solution on how to win back trust. I don’t. But in the age of Trump, I know that you guys have to be more perfect now, more than ever. Because you are how the president gets his news. Not from advisers, not from experts, not from intelligence agencies – you guys. So that’s why you gotta be on your A game. You gotta be twice as good. You can’t make any mistakes. Because when one of you messes up, he blames your entire group. And now you know what it feels like to be a minority…(By the way, you guys aren’t really minorities. You guys are super white!)”

On Free Speech:

“Free speech is the foundation of an open and liberal democracy, from college campuses to the White House. Only in America can a first-generation, Indian-American, Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president…It’s this amazing tradition that shows the entire world that even the president is not beyond the reach of the First Amendment. But the president didn’t show up. Because Donald Trump doesn’t care about free speech. The man who tweets everything that enters his head refuses to acknowledge the Amendment that allows him to do it…In four hours, Donald Trump will be tweeting about how bad Nicki Minaj bombed at this dinner, and he’ll be doing it completely sober. And that’s his right! And I’m proud that all of us are here tonight to defend that right, even if the man in the White House never would.”

(Via Pajiba and Vanity Fair; image via screengrab of Global News’ video)

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