Update 2: Statement from the writer of the story, Erik Nelson:
Within 10 minutes of the post, I received 2 emails from special needs families, saw that it was hurtful and I pulled the post immediately. I apologize for offending you.
Since you wanted to know what I was going for, it was that Palin said that she was leaving the governorship because of jokes. What kind of President would she make if she couldn’t handle some bad jokes? I used her words to create a farcical situation where offensive jokes were meant to be ironic. I saw immediately that it was wrong and apologized on the site.
OK, it is at this point you have to decide for yourselves if you’re satisfied. All the guy can do is apologize, go, and sin no more. As a working writer in the touchy field of politics, I’m sure I’ve used poor judgment in the past, and the important thing is to grow from the experience.
I shared with Erik my thoughts on his story, somewhat productively, and I urge you to do the same, productively. I’ll make sure he reads your comments here. Personally, I hope Erik becomes a more successful, more sensitive writer from here. I hope the same for myself.
Update: Official statement from HuffPo after the jump, at the end of the post.
There was a story posted earlier tonight at Huffington Post regarding the resignation of Sarah Palin, an offensive attack on children and people with disabilities. As soon as I was told about it, and the urge to vomit/punch something passed, I tweeted about it, copying a HuffPo editor:(Warning: Profanity below the fold)
The important thing to note is that the piece had obviously not been seen by any HuffPo editor, as evidenced by the lousy grammar throughout, and the 3rd grade final sentence: “Politicians don’t usually quit for so stupid of reasons.”
Also important is that, within 10 minutes of tweeting HuffPo editor Jason Linkins, the piece was pulled (although it took longer for it to completely disappear). On a holiday weekend, no less, that’s an amazing turnaround.
Now, I know a bunch of people took screenshots and published them. While I like HuffPo, I’ve got no dog in the fight to protect them. Clearly, this was the work of 1 jerk who managed to slip something through. If it makes you feel good to excoriate HuffPo for the oversight, be my guest. A fair person can see that a mistake was made, but they acted in good faith.
My main concern here was seeing that garbage removed so that it wouldn’t hurt children, people with disabilities, people who love them, and every other decent person. That has been accomplished.
What I would ask is that, if you’ve published screenshots, take them down. Nobody’s denying this happened. Save ’em in case they do. But don’t publish that trash just to get some extra hits on your blog, or to score cheap points against HuffPo or “the left.” Hell, still score the points if you must, but take the screenshots down. I have ’em on my hard drive, too.
Update: Mario Ruiz at Huffington Post emailed me the following statement:
Due to an editorial lapse, Erik Sean Nelson’s post on Sarah Palin bypassed the
normal vetting process and appeared on HuffPost — but was never featured
anywhere on the site. Even though satiric works are generally given greater
latitude, Nelson’s post falls outside of HuffPost’s editorial guidelines. As
such, if not for the error, it would not have been approved for publication, and
was removed from the site as soon as our editors became aware of it. We
sincerely regret the error and any offense it might have caused.