After the outcry and advertiser backlash resulting from a post marking Trig Palin's birthday, Wonkette writer Jack Stuef updated the post with the following:
UPDATE: 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.
Replying to a request for comment yesterday, site Editor Ken Layne wrote back:
Our freelancer Jack Stuef has been strongly admonished and put on probation. He needs to make it more clear, in the future, that it's reprehensible for Sarah Palin to use her special needs child as a crass political prop. Even when expressing such views in political satire, one must be very careful not to say things that will be misconstrued by random people on the Internet. This is especially a concern when writing any satire that might be found by Sarah Palin's followers online, because as you know, they are very very dedicated to Sarah Palin. Back in 2008, for example, Kathryn Jean Lopez at National Review Online said she would never read Wonkette again, because of Jim Newell's criticism of Trig Palin being dressed in an elephant costume and paraded around at the Republican presidential convention. How do you stop such things? Obviously, by making sure your criticism is clearly aimed at the craven mother and not the innocent child. . . .
At Wonkette, we have made serious public pleas over the years to Sarah Palin to quit using her child as a prop -- this started back in 2008, when she dressed the child as the Republican political mascot, the elephant, and put the child on stage during the presidential election. But she has yet to do this, so we feel it's best to just not mention her child's use as a political prop no matter how often she continues to do this. I don't think it's right, and I've said so to Jack, and he has learned his lesson. No child should be punished, even in jest, because of the random nature of being born -- as much as we might like to, none of us got to choose our parents.