You’ve been a bad, bad Hoya: Picking on kids edition

Fear the judgmental eyes of John CarrollAs the first new feature of the upcoming semester’s Vox, we’d like to turn the admonishing finger of the fourth estate towards certain Georgetown figures who have been thrust into the news for less-than-admirable reasons.

Online political gossip mag Wonkette has recently found itself in the midst of an extensive scandal after writer Jack Stuef (COL ’10) posted an anti-Sarah Palin screed focusing heavily on her disabled three-year old son, Trig. (Note: the post has since been removed and replaced by an apology notice from the editors.)

Stuef, former editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Heckler, holds the dubious distinction of having already weathered one media-related insensitivity scandal while a student.

A December 2009 issue of the Heckler lampooning The Hoya’s controversial 2009 April Fool’s Issue managed to itself draw fire because of articles perceived to be making fun of the Black Student Alliance and depicting writers from the Hoya as members of the Ku Klux Klan. The scandal prompted an open forum for critics of the articles and some extensive discussion about satire on campus.

Stuef’s Monday commentary on Wonkette included a “children’s treasury of Trig [Palin] crap” in response to the child’s third birthday. The post, which ostensibly intends to mock Palin’s use of her children as political props, features riffs on Youtube videos of the boy’s interactions with other children, and included this gem in response to a poem titled “Dreaming” written to the Down Syndrome-diagnosed child: “What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s retarded.” (The Alaska Dispatch has a lengthy description of the post.)

According to Slate, the article was eventually noticed on conservative blogs before spreading via Twitter. Wednesday afternoon, Papa John’s pulled advertising from the site after the piece was brought to its attention by a Twitter user.

Since then, Wonkette has swiftly lost advertising, with POLITICO reporting that nine companies have pulled ads from the site and Dana Loesch of Big Journalism compiling an even larger, ongoing list.

Stuef initially posted a notice on the post apologizing for his use of the word “retarded” before the piece was taken down entirely. Meanwhile, Wonkette‘s editor has issued what amounts to the weakest apology imaginable for the incident.

As multiple commentators have pointed out, while one can legitimately criticize or even lampoon Palin for many things, to attack a politician’s family is unfair, while mocking a person’s disabled child is beyond repugnant. Mr. Stuef, you have been a bad, bad Hoya.

However, as an excellent postscript, Mediaite notes that “a reader hilariously bought the domain name JackStuef.com, which now redirects to the National Down Syndrome Society donation page. Lemons into lemonade.”

12 Comments on “You’ve been a bad, bad Hoya: Picking on kids edition

  1. FREE JACK STUEF.

    But seriously, Sarah Palin uses her children to further both her political ambitions and her bank account. Plus…the kid IS actually retarded, so…

  2. Wow. And I thought *MY* articles were controversial…

  3. Hey I think you forgot a few tags among all the new ones: “Vox Sermonizing Again” and “More Opinion-Less News.”

  4. Free Jack, Apparently you are too stupid to get the point. The point is do not pick on a helpless three year old child. It does not matter what the kids parent does.

  5. “Joe Hoya” and “bad Hoya” are not mutually exclusive. Maybe even a natural pair…

  6. Tim, I think if your goal is to find examples of The Voice being a “bad Hoya,” your best bet would be to go with the article that appeared a couple of years back in which a writer wrote of her (I think it was a her?) experiences growing up in Alabama, featuring a racist neighbor who denigrated an elderly black man. The story ended with the black man dying and the neighbor praising him at the funeral.

    Unfortunately for the author, the neighbor somehow got ahold of the article and threatened to sue The Voice (which is to say, the university) for libel. The Voice had to retract the article and zap it from their archives.

    I honestly can’t remember what year this was, so it may be that this was before the time of any current undergrads. Spring 2007 maybe? Or fall 2006? They certainly kept it all very hush hush at the time.

  7. Between this new feature, the “What Sucks?” feature, and the one where we all voted on Georgetown’s “worst idea,” I’m beginning to feel like Vox just wants an outlet for picking on someone/something and/or whining.

  8. Pingback: Former Heckler editor Jack Stuef provokes controversy—again | April Fools Day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>