BuzzFeed: The New Wonkette?

When BuzzFeed.com brought Ben Smith on as an editor, it was presumably to bring some journalism "cred" to the website most notably known for a place where readers could rate stories on a scale of  "LOL" through "WTF." The choices within that range are: "Win," "OMG," "Cute," "Geeky," "Trashy," and "Fail." So yeah, it was an uphill battle from the start.

BuzzFeed didn't do itself any favors on March 19th when it published what appears to be its first contribution by a writer named Jack Stuef. Doesn't ring a bell? Let's stroll down memory lane.

What’s he dreaming about? Nothing. He’s retarded.

[...]

His mom went to a lot of trouble to leak amniotic fluid over 8 states to make sure that he arrived in this world somewhat alive,”

[...]

Enjoy yourself today, Trig. Have fun! Get drunk (on purpose this time)! We can hardly wait for 15 years from now, when you will finally be able to vote and will be sent off by your mother’s junta to fight the Union in the Great Alaska War. It’ll be quite a loss. You’re the smartest one in that family.

You read that correctly. Stuef is referring to Sarah Palin's son, Trig--the youngest of the Palin family; the one with Down's Syndrome.

The article caused a huge backlash, and eventually Stuef  "resigned" a month later to focus his attention on his stand-up comedy career, or something. When someone has no problem taking potshots at a toddler with severe developmental issues because his mother is of a political party he doesn't agree with, it's hard to take anything he says seriously. If you go back and read the piece he wrote at BuzzFeed, you'll see exactly what I mean.

If that article is an indicator of the quality of writing we'll be seeing from the funny guy, it's just a matter of time before he steps in it again. BuzzFeed just made its path to legitimacy a lot harder. Are they actually paying him to write that dreck? If so, was the Trig article on the "Achievements" section of his resume?


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