The biggest flash point came when Wolf made uncomplimentary comments about White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, particularly about her physical appearance. She also made profane references to counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, and others in attendance.
Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci called Wolf's performance an "atrocity."
"I think the hostilities need to be de-escalated on both sides. It's not just the White House," Scaramucci told CNN. "It doesn't help what you're trying to achieve and what, I think, all of us are trying to achieve."
"Congratulations, Michelle Wolf. You're now more unpopular than Hillary Clinton (and that's pretty hard to do)," Scott Presler tweeted.
Wolf wrote on Twitter that “All these jokes were about (Sanders’) despicable behavior," and not her looks.
Still, several journalists were uncomfortable with Wolf’s off-color jokes.
Ed Henry of Fox News, a past president of the association, called for the association to apologize to Sanders.
Peter Baker of The New York Times tweeted,. "Unfortunately, I don't think we advanced the cause of journalism tonight."
Others defended Wolf for lambasting the administration and the press.
"Good lord people, it was a stand-up act. Get over yourselves. Or stop inviting comics and then acting shocked that they said something edgy," MSNBC analyst Matthew Miller tweeted.