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Wonkette Post Calls Trig Palin Retarded, Huggies and Papa John's Pull Ads

By carolyncastiglia |

trig palin, sarah palin

The mosaic of Trig photos used in the Wonkette post.

I have heard some horrible things uttered in the name of comedy, but one rule of thumb any comedian worth his or her salt understands is that if you are going to mock someone mercilessly, they better deserve it.  (One of the reasons why you can say almost anything about Sarah Palin, for example, is because she’s purposely provocative, escalating the culture war by pushing birther buttons and claiming the media manufactured a blood libel against her.)  What you can’t do, however, is throw all sense of propriety and decency out the window and write a very lengthy blog post filled with video and images that make fun of her 3-year-old son with Down Syndrome.

Some might say the heartless mockery Wonkette’s Jack Steuf displayed in his recent post “honoring” Trig on his birthday came as a direct result of refound interest in Trig’s parentage.  (Proof that karma is real: those fed up with the incessant proliferation of the idea that Obama was not born in the US are once again wondering if Sarah Palin lied about being pregnant with Trig to cover up a Bristol Palin pregnancy.)  Regardless, the things Steuf wrote are shocking and unbelievable and certainly have nothing to do with the political discourse.  Steuf makes fun of Trig’s Down Syndrome by calling him “the great gentleman scholar” and “the magic intellectually disabled baby prop.”  Then he made the biggest mistake of his life: he called Trig “the r word.”

There’s been lots of discussion in the last few months about whether or not it’s okay to use the word retarded.  Though some of us feel that the word has taken on new meaning in its slang use (an idea I defended for the comedy blog Splitsider), everyone here at Babble is in certain agreement that it’s never okay to use that word as a slur against a disabled person.  Steuf tried to apologize for his error in judgement, saying, “I regret this post and using the word retarded in a reference to Sarah Palin’s child.  It’s not nice, and is not necessary, but I take responsibility for writing it.  For those who came and are offended by this post: I’m sorry, of course.  But I stand by my criticism of Sarah Palin using her child as a political prop.”

It’s perhaps that last qualifier that made advertisers decide their dollars could be better spent elsewhere.  Ad Age announced yesterday that Papa John’s and Huggies have pulled their ads from Wonkette.  Wonkette responded to Papa John’s on Twitter, saying, “We beat up on Sarah Palin’s craven use of her son as a POLITICAL PROP.  Child protective services should take Trig away.”  And you should walk away from the keyboard, guys, before this gets worse.

Sources: Wonkette, Ad Age

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About carolyncastiglia



Carolyn Castiglia is a New York-based comedian/writer wowing audiences with her stand-up and freestyle rap. She’s appeared in TONY, The NY Post, The Idiot’s Guide to Jokes and Life & Style. You can find Carolyn’s writing elsewhere online at and The Huffington Post. Read bio and latest posts → Read Carolyn's latest posts →

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7 thoughts on “Wonkette Post Calls Trig Palin Retarded, Huggies and Papa John's Pull Ads

  1. Gagagolly says:

    wow…that is just about a thousand shades of ugly…

  2. sodakhic says:

    Yeah, these wonkette idiots are ticked the Sarah is still around and people are questioning their messiah, Obama, As Sarah said in liberalville Wisconsin, “We’re here , We’re clear, so get used to it”.

  3. carolyncastiglia says:

    Bummer. You just totally missed the point, sodakhic.

  4. Amanda says:

    Politicians “use” their children all the time (if you even want to call it that), but I don’t think it’s a big deal. It’s nice to see the Palins, Obamas, Bushes, etc. and any other political family with their children at events. I think it humanizes them. I also don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing when politicians use there own struggles as parents as examples in speeches. It’s what they know. What this man posted at Wonkette is sickening, and his attempt to justify it is pathetic.

  5. MsFortune says:

    The word “retarded” is not a slur when used correctly.

    Definition of RETARDED
    : slow or limited in intellectual or emotional development or academic progress

    Trig is in fact, retarded. It’s a slur to use it as an insult, but as a description, it is perfectly acceptable when the person is in fact retarded.

  6. Tiffany says:

    This is soooo sad and horrible. What type of nonhuman purson would do that to a poor child and Sarah Palin?

  7. Jennifer says:

    I am not a Palin fan by any means, but leave her child alone! The things he wrote about Trig make me sick. Making fun of a child with Down’s? That’s supposed to be funny?

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