The XX Factor

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Palin Fan Scorned

Update, April 21: Blogger Dana Loesch , who helped spread the word of the Wonkette post on Trig Palin, reports that Wonkette has taken down its post about Trig Palin’s birthday. Blogger Michelle Lancaster is keeping track of which advertisers have pulled their ads or are considering it.)

As David Weigel has noted over at his Slate blog, Wonkette is facing a heap of scorn and the loss of an advertiser after upsetting conservatives with an offensive post on the occasion of Trig Palin’s third birthday . His post nicely details the sequence of events that led to Papa John’s promise to pull any future advertising from the site, so I won’t duplicate his efforts. (Though it looks like the boycott is spreading. Huggies has also said it will pull its ads .)

Mean-spirited sarcasm is Wonkette’s shtick, so I wasn’t entirely surprised by the post, but calling Trig a “magical intellectually disabled baby prop” is cruel, and the joke that he is “the smartest one in that family” is tired. (Wonkette is now defending itself by claiming it was commenting on “Palin’s craven use of her son as a POLITICAL PROP.” That doesn’t explain why the post also mockingly called Trig a “gentleman scholar” or said that regardless of who his mother is, “Todd definitely” is the father, implying that Trig could be the result of incest.)

But what really struck me wass the comments. While most of them are plays on the “smartest one in the family” joke, commenters repeatedly call him a “retard,” complain that  “It’s just a baby. Is it a hero because it is retarded? Is that what we’ve come to?” and, refer to Palin’s “retard-making c—.” Such comments continued uninterrupted by any calls for civility until conservatives, probably alerted by other conservatives on Twitter, discovered the post and then went on the (equally uncivil) attack. And then it just descends into chaos.

Lamenting the fact that the Internet lets us live in an echo chamber where we can congratulate ourselves on being so smart and hilarious (and we know so, because all of our friends say so!) is hardly new. But this illustrates how far we’ve really fallen.

If there are any winners here, though, I suspect it will be Papa John’s and Huggies. Papa John’s is going to sell a ton of pizzas to Sarah Palin’s fans. At least, that’s what everyone in my Twitter feed is saying.