Has the Anti-Wonkette Campaign Jumped the Shark?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 22 2011 12:45 PM

Has the Anti-Wonkette Campaign Jumped the Shark?

[UPDATE: I originally titled this post "Has the Trig's Crew Campaign Jumped the Shark?" but a number of people pointed out that this tweet wasn't hashtagged with #trigscrew.]

This morning, as the campaign to scare advertisers away from Wonkette marched on, a Twitter user named (sigh) @J_McStiffy tweeted this at Coca Cola's account.

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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Coca Cola responded:

The problem: While Wonkette and the original post's author Jack Stuef were mentioned in the tweet, Stuef says he did not write the offending quote.

"The quote is completely made up," he told me. "It looks like weren't getting a response from Coke, so they had to make it sound worse. If it was me saying these things, I wouldn't use asterisks, I would just swear."

The original post and its comments have been taken offline as the pounding on Wonkette has continued. I've contacted the tweeter in question to ask where the quote came from, but it definitely did not appear in Stuef's original post. If it appeared in comments -- a nuance hard to explain in 140 characters -- then, well... I guess you can knock Wonkette for allowing stuff like that on the site, but the sad truth of the Internet is that anonymous assholes write lots of offensive things. I've seen horrible jokes about Trig Palin on blog posts that don't mention him. (There was a troll on Matt Yglesias's blog for a while who continually posted an offensive comment about Trig whenever Sarah Palin was mentioned.)

UPDATE: I remember now that the original post included an embedded video of Louis C.K. riffing on Palin and her son and making a tasteless joke that is formulated a similar way: "She held it up and said, 'This is really hard, raising this.' Really? It's a baby. Stick your t** in its mouth. It's not going to start failing IQ tests yet."

I'd asked the original tweeter where the quote came from, and he responded in a series of tweets:

I was searching "stuef" on youtube. it was on someone's channel. seemed to be the same guy. looked like pics ive seen of him.. Normallly I don't respond to threats, but I was search the name on youtube, it appeared to be him being "interviewed"... by a fake journalist. like his post on wonkette.com the video has disappeared from youtube. I've been trying to find it again but it is gone. I've never met the dude but the fake "journalist' called him jack stuef....

So no clarity yet. Ninety-nine percent of the anti-Wonkette campaign has been based on the item actually published on the blog.

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