Boycotting Wonkette [UPDATE: Probation]

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 20 2011 3:37 PM

Boycotting Wonkette [UPDATE: Probation]

UPDATE: Wonkette editor Ken Layne looped me in on an e-mail to AdWeek, in which he wrote that Steuf has been admonished.

I have four kids myself and I wouldn't want them mocked on the Internet by a bunch of cretins on the Internet. And that's just one reason why I wouldn't parade my children around in the media. What kind of mother does that?

In any case, Jack 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. The older ones seem to be on their own path and you can't really blame Sarah for it, although she certainly encourages the sleaziest possible behavior from her grown children, which is hardly a very "family values" thing to do. But as far as Jack's future, a few months on the night shift  cleaning up the furious, ALLCAPS unmoderated Wonkette comments, without pay, should teach him a thing or two about writing stuff that confuses the target. Trig is cool with us. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is a grave danger to America.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.

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Behold the new media. On Monday evening, Wonkette's Jack Steuf posted a "children's treasury of Trig [Palin] crap" to mark* the birthday of Sarah Palin's youngest son. The post consisted of a standard Wonkette visual nonsense image with the legend "Happy Birthday Reagan II" and several jokes about the kid's Downs Syndrome. (After a poem to Trig, which refers to him "dreaming": "What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s retarded.)

The post took a while to get noticed by conservative blogs, led by Dana Loesch at Big Journalism. The blog posts were amplified by "Big" editors on Twitter. Then, this afternoon, there was this exchange between a reader and the account of Wonkette advertiser Papa John's.

The original Wonkette post was gross, and I've never understood why anyone would make fun of Trig Palin's disability. Criticize Palin for how she uses her child in political arguments? That's one thing. Make fun of a kid who was born with a mental impairment? How is that funny?

*I wouldn't say "commemorate."

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.