The political website Wonkette is well known for stretching the limits of good taste and common decency in the rough-and-tumble blogosphere. So when freelancer Jack Stuef made a vicious, sarcasm-laden, hideously illustrated post Wednesday to wish Trig Palin a happy birthday, few people were surprised. Outraged, sure, but not surprised.
The poem Stuef referenced at a pro-Palin site waxed about Trig’s dreams, with the following refrain: "Oh little boy, what are you dreaming about?" In response, Stuef wrote, "What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He's retarded."
That post appears to have stretched the limits beyond the breaking point, judging by the actions of many of its advertisers. Shortly after the original post, a group of committed Sarah Palin supporters started bombarding Wonkette's advertisers with negative feedback and threats of boycott in Trig's defense.
After some advertisers, like Papa John's and Huggies, began pulling ads from the outlet, Wonkette added an update to the post apologizing for using the word "retarded" there and expressing delineated regret. Nine advertisers, according to POLITICO, have so far pulled out of the site and that number may grow.
The word "retarded" was hyperlinked to a piece about Levi Johnston's claim that Sarah Palin had referred to her son as a retard. That assertion by Johnston did much to discredit him with Alaskans who may have previously been sympathetic to his estrangement from the Palin clan.
The post also featured a photo montage of Trig which included an animated, hip-thrusting female pole dancer. Wonkette's editor has since removed the post after much back-and-forth with a columnist for another site. It's worth a read.
In the short time since the post was published, someone has purchased the domain name jackstuef.com. Click on it. You'll be surprised.
An email from Wonkette's editor to AdAge expressed more facetious regret and reiterated at length the publication's call for Sarah Palin to no longer "use her special-needs child as a crass political prop." Read more from AdAge, here; that post also features a link to an early report of the groundswell of outrage and resulting advertising impact.
Wonkette has removed the entire post and replaced it with an apology for its "poor judgment" in publishing the "very badly done" (italics in original) satire.