Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lesson for this week: Don't mess with Trig

Yesterday I mentioned, in the midst of a rant about haters hating, a post at a site called Wonkette (no link this time) about Trig Palin.  The past 24-or-so hours since attention was focused on this post has shown me several things.

Before I get into that, I will clarify, without being asked, that I posted the picture of the author, Jack Stuef, not to make fun of how he looks (though others have done just that in the past 24 hours, and while I don't rate that as being as bad as making fun of a defenseless 3-year-old Down Syndrome child, it's still not a good thing to insult how someone looks) but to highlight that this was the picture he himself chose for his Twitter account.  This is just my perception filter talking here, I suppose, but he looked angry in that picture.  I don't know if he is an angry person in general, but his picture looks that way to me.  And that angry look, to me, seems to fit in with the hate-filled writing he inflicted upon the world this week.  (Per Legal Insurrection, this is not the first time he has gone after Trig Palin using a form of the word "retarded".)

Okay, with that done, let's get back to what I've seen in the past day.

I saw things start on Twitter with just a few comments.  The first person I saw really calling attention to Wonkette's scummy post was Big Hollywood's John Nolte, whose Twitter handle is confusing at first glance.  After he pointed to the post, Wonkette got the unintended benefit of the most traffic it's seen in two months (which is one reason why I'm not linking them again), but it also got a lot more people riled up.  Very quickly, some people started tweeting the advertisers, and also very quickly, several advertisers pulled their advertising from Wonkette.

This was when I saw the other phenomenon of yesterday.  On seeing the first advertiser, Papa John's, pulling its ads, Wonkette tweeted the following:

(Yes, the editing is mine.  I'm sure you can guess what the word was, but that doesn't mean I feel the need to print it on my blog.  You want to print it?  Start your own blog.)

It should be noted that there were several other tweets directed at Papa John's trying to explain that Wonkette was satirizing Sarah Palin's use of Trig as a "prop" (again per Legal Insurrection, that seems to be a common theme at Wonkette).  Because, you know, that completely excuses insinuating that Trig was the product of incest and saying he doesn't dream because he's "retarded".

So, as can be seen, the powers that be at Wonkette apparently do not feel any need for things like personal growth or responsibility.  All that could be managed was throwing the author, Jack Stuef, under the bus, as seen in this Daily Caller piece:

However, later on in the day, Layne told Adweek, “Jack [Stuef] has been admonished and put on night probation until further notice. Anything involving Palin, I want to make it extra clear that *Palin* is the problem with America. Not her kids. Not her little kid, anyway.”

Layne also sarcastically noted that giving Stuef comment deletion duties was fair punishment because “he gets to read all the Palin fans’ insane unmoderated comments calling him an a*****e [editing mine] and threatening to kill him.”

Well, that makes everything okay, doesn't it?  Um, no.  Wonkette is still way off base here.  And apparently they realize the midst of the multiple companies pulling ads from their site, Wonkette pulled the piece off their website.  Can you say "too little, too late"?  Caches exist of the post, y'all, as well as all the incredibly hateful comments that you deleted last night before you took the whole thing offline.  This won't go away that easily.

But I won't end with the sorry half of the story.  People from both sides of the political aisle have denounced Wonkette's sorry excuse for a post in the past day, renewing a little of my faith in humanity.  (Matt Lewis even compiled a list of "principled liberals" slamming Wonkette for going after Trig.)

But the two best responses that I've seen today have come in the form of two open letters.  The first, by K.J. Adan, is entitled "An Open Letter to Jack Stuef" and relates a touching family history of her having a brother with Down Syndrome, in the hopes that Mr. Stuef will "be remembered as the guy who bothered to learn about Down Syndrome and redeemed himself by helping others to do the same."  Since I can't really summarize it or take one paragraph by itself, the whole letter should be read by everyone.

The second was Lisa Graas's "Letter to Sarah Palin", which is best summarized by the following:  "What I offer to you today is the consolation of Christ, that when the serpents bite, that you gaze upon the Cross. Look to Him, not at them."

(Picture of someone viciously attacked on a left-wing website this week, along with his mother.  Picture courtesy, used under "fair use" clause.)

Given what I've seen today, I hope this is the last I ever mention Wonkette, but I hope to have much more to say about people standing up for what they believe to be right.