In a disgusting display of inhuman heartlessness, this past Monday on Trig Palin’s birthday, the political blog Wonkette published a post titled “Greatest Living American: A Children’s Treasury of Trig Crap On His Birthday”.The post was full of disdain for the Palin Family and their love for their youngest member Trig who has Down Syndrome. At one point the blogger asks What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s retarded. At another point he suggests that Trig’s birth was the product of an incestuous relationship between his father and sister.
The story quickly spread across political lines as folks of all political persuasions said the Wonkette post was beyond tasteless and into the realm of totally disgusting.
For example liberal Mediaite writer Tommy Christopher said:
Hey, that’s really funny, calling Trig a gentleman scholar because he has Down Syndrome. And the speculation that Todd Palin may have raped his daughter? Pure comedy gold. You know what will be even funnier? The first time Jack Stuef runs into Todd Palin. That one practically writes its own punchline.
When I first heard about this, I was, of course, outraged. Who wouldn’t be? I’ve read a lot of offensive things in my career (and even been fired over them), but I am hard-pressed to think of anything that comes close to this. If there is any expression of disgust that I have failed to convey, consider this my signature on it.
That is not to say that edginess, and even poor taste, have no place in political writing. One of the most famous pieces of political satire ever was basically one long dead baby joke. George Carlin set out to prove that cancer is funny, and succeeded. Those examples, though, had redeeming value beyond their shock value.
Tommy got into an incredible back and forth with Wonkette Chief Editor Ken Layne and made him look like the ass he is. The exchange is a must read and can be found here.
Advertisers have chimed in with their disgust. Papa John’s Pizza tweeted:
According to US for Palin, securities firm Vanguard also pulled their ads.
Not that Wonkette cares about the loss of revenue they struck back at Papa Johns:
Wonkette crossed a major line on Monday, picking on a child who at age three cannot fend for himself. Trig Palin’s struggle with Down Syndrome is something that we all can learn from and admire, it is not something to be ridiculed, nor are slanderous jokes about incestuous rape the slightest bit funny.
As Tommy Christopher implied, I sure that Todd Palin wouldn’t find it very funny either.
The fact that Wonkette continues to defend the piece shows the level to which the website has sunk.
As for Papa John’s, as soon as Passover is done, I will be going there for some Pizza, to thank them for the moral stand.