[Update #3, below this post, shows Wonkette removed the offensive post and is now apologizing. (After defending it previously and after losing quite a few big named advertisers)
Major blogosphere firestorm going on at the moment over a tasteless offensive piece of work published by Jack Stuef over at Wonkette who thought it was humorous to joke about incest and child rape in regards to Sarah and Todd Palin's son Trig Palin who was born with Down Syndrome.
Since the first moment Sarah Palin was introduced as John McCain's vice presidential running mate, liberal bloggers have not only attacked her political stances (which in politics is fair game) but have attacked her personally and went after her children like dogs go after a bone with meat still on it.
From Wonkette, just a portion:
Today is the day we come together to celebrate the snowbilly grifter’s magical journey from Texas to Alaska to deliver to the America the great gentleman scholar Trig Palin. Is Palin his true mother? Or was Bristol? (And why is it that nobody questions who the father is? Because, either way, Todd definitely did it.)
Before going into the back and forth emails from concerned parties with the publisher of Wonkette and advertisers pulling their ads from Wonkette over the offensive piece, it bears noting and reminding folks that conservatives who are offended now over this issue were just as offended when it was the children of a liberal politician who were being used in such a vile manner.
(Update below post shows many many more advertisers pulling their ads from Wonkette as this story grows)
Flashback to a piece in June of 2008 where a so-called artist thought it was appropriate to create a piece using Barack Obama's children and headlined that "art" with the words "NAPPY HEADED HOS".
That piece was found offensive by those of all political affiliations and the artist's stated intent wasn't even to attack Obama but was supposedly highlighting the media and their character assassination of Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Doesn't matter. It was offensive and conservatives like myself had no problem saying so.
YOU DO NOT USE CHILDREN LIKE THAT.
When I read about the dust up going on now about Wonkette's "snark" and the vile garbage written about Trig Palin, then the excuses used by Wonkette publisher in emails to and from MediaIte to them, the post concerning Obama, his children and the Nappy Headed Hos titled "art" came to mind immediately.
As I believed then I still believe now. You do not attack children just because you dislike the parents, or disagree with them. You do not try to justify those attacks by claiming the parents brought them into the limelight. Not unless you seriously believe that only politicians that do not have children should run for political office.
Back to the idiocy from Wonkette....
You can read the full email exchanges for yourself at the MediaIte link above but what got me was this line of thinking from Wonkette's Ken Layne:
Well, you should obviously write your opinion about it. I don’t care for Jack’s reaching here, because whatever the meta-satire it’s going to be lost with Palin fans riled up about Trig. I have, in fact, admonished Jack about this. Write about Sarah Palin, yes. And we should always — it is a *moral duty* — show how reprehensible it is to be using *any baby* and especially a special needs baby as a political prop. That is gross, and sane people know it’s gross......
Are they sure they want to go there?
Ok, let us go there shall we?
So, is it Wonkette's point of view that because Barack Obama had his children photographed with him during his campaigning that his children can now be attacked because he first "used them as political props"?
Politician's families are always part of them. Families are in large part a basis for the decisions we make and the stances politicians have on issues confronting them. They are part of the package and used time and time again in expressions such as I want this or I want that "for my child's future".
That is not using them as props, politicians don't go out and buy families according to size, looks, color, religions. Families are part of the package a voter looks at when looking at a politician.
The same goes for Sarah Palin. Her son has Down Syndrome, she knew it and chose not to abort her baby, chose to keep him, raise him, love him. She walked the walk in her political belief against abortion.
That is not a political prop. That is a fact. Sarah didn't go out and purchase a child with Down Syndrome so that she could "use him", she bore that child and showed clearly why he reinforces her stance on that particular issue.
Life experience rather than rhetoric.
H/T Weasel Zippers for showing us that Huggies and Papa Johns have both stated on Twitter that they were pulling their advertising from Wonkette's site because of the offensive piece Stuef wrote and Wonkette responds with blather about Papa Johns being homophobic and again attacks Sarah Palin for using her son as a political prop.
Back to the post discussing the artist who called Barack Obama's children "nappy headed hos", I said this then about him and it stands for Wonkette:
While the first amendment allows Arboleda to express himself in any way he wants to, rightly so, it also allows citizenry to refuse to attend any gallery that will host this type of offensive material.
Galleries considering displaying this particular exhibit should be aware of the backlash they could receive for doing so.
Rights work both ways.
Wonkette can piss and moan all they want about the backlash they are receiving, they can continue to delete comments right and left from people that found that post so offensive, they can remove the writer's byline, and they can attempt to blame Sarah Palin for their own actions all they want.
Readers, advertisers, other writers, media and bloggers can also choose to criticize them for it.
[Update] Advertisers are using their "right to choose" what type of content they do not want to be associated with.
Recent reports show that not only have Papa Johns and Huggies stated they will pull their ads, but Vanguard Group tweets- "we are looking into how to prevent our ads from appearing next to such content in the future."
Holland America Cruises tweets- "Thanks for letting us know, we have blocked that page from running our ads..."
Nordstrom’s tweets in response to three people separately- "The ad has been removed"
Bob Evans Farms tweets- "Our ad is not supposed to be running on that site. Agency has been alerted to pull it immediately."
Reliant Energy tweets- "Thank you for alerting us.We did not choose this site and are working to have it removed immediately."
DealSwarm tweets, again, to three separate individuals (wording a little different in each but the content is the same- "We've pulled our ads from the site. "Not good" sums it up"
Coldwell Banker tweets- "We r pulling our ads from Wonkette"
J. Jill tweets- "All: Please know we do not condone the Wonkette story. Thank you for bringing it to our attention. We have taken action to remove our ads"
[Update #2] Looks like there is a variety of pissed off people wanting Wonkette's head, figuratively of course. Following links from articles and comments, here is more on this fast paced on-the fly-boycott effort:
From Hillbuzz, commenter redbrightandtrue links to Jersey-Texan Mich-Mash who lists more advertisers and a link to TrigsCrew with phone numbers to advertisers at Wonkette.
Do you do business or use these companies? Join me in sharing your thoughts and feelings ... with your inside voice and best Sunday behavior ... to the following companies (in no particular order) that had advertisements on this offensive website:
* Celebrity X Cruises
* Fed Ex
* Jack in the Box (say it isn't so, Jack)
* Constant Contact
* Betty Crocker
* Dunkin Donuts
* Coca Cola
* Ann Taylor
* Choice Hotels
* Dish Network
* Progressive Insurance
* Pottery Barn
* Lennar CA Coastal
* JosA Bank
* Sheraton Hotels
* Zip Cars
Need phone numbers? Here you go! (ht @17seventy6 aka Thomas Jefferson for sharing this with the crew!)
- Express Life: 1-888-397-1980
- Yoplait: 1-800-248-7310
- REI: 1-800-426-4840
- Sheraton Hotels: 1-800-325-3535
- Team Hyundai Mall of Georgia: 1-678-804-2010
- Deal Swarm(part of Cox Media Group): 1-678-645-8900
- Starwood Hotels: 1-914-640-8100
- Amway: 1-800-253-6500
- Kaiser Permanente: 1-510-271-5953
- Avis Car Rental: 1-800-352-7900
- Finish Line: 1-888-777-3949
- LifeLock: 1-800-543-3562
- Dish Network: 1-800-823-4929
- Choice Hotels: 1-877-424-6423
- Coldwell Banker: 1-888-308-6558
- Toyota: 1-800-331-4331
- Adobe: 1-800-833-6687
- J.Jill: 1-800-498-9960
- Ann Taylor: 1-800-342-5266
- Coca Cola: 1-800-438-2653
- Dunkin Donuts: 1-800-859-5339
- Gymboree: 1-877-449-6932
- Betty Crocker: 1-800-446-1898
- Constant Contact: 1-866-876-8464
- AT&T: 1-800-288-2020
- Jack in the Box: 1-858-571-2121
- FedEx: 1-800-463-3339
- Celebrity Cruises: 1-866-347-3036
- Hewlett Packard: 1-800-752-0900
I have never seen something, anything, move this quickly in response to any one blog post.
Well done Wonkette, I hope the loss of income was worth it to you. Just because one has the right to say something because of free speech, doesn't mean they should.
[Update #3] Wonkette pulls the post down and replaces it with an apology (after defending it and after losing advertiser upon advertiser):
Rude Post Deleted By Editor; Author Apologizes
A post on this page satirizing Sarah Palin using her baby as a political prop was very badly done and sounded like the author was mocking the child and not just Sarah Palin/Sarah Palin’s followers.
The writer, Jack Stuef, has apologized for it. And we have decided to remove the post as requested by some people who have nothing to do with Sarah Palin, but who do have an interest in the cause of special needs children. We apologize for the poor comedic judgment.
Commenting over there on the apology post has been disabled.
Guess it wasn't worth it after all.
[Update#4] Add Betty Crocker to the list:
"Hi everyone! We really appreciate your feedback and we wanted to let you know we have removed all ads from Wonkette.com."
(Changes have been made to this post to reflect Layne is the publisher of Wonkette and not just an editor)