As NewsBusters reported Thursday, the liberal website Wonkette has lost a significant number of advertisers following its disgraceful article about former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's handicapped son Trig.
The Daily Beast's Andrew Sullivan, who for years has claimed like so many Trig Truthers that Bristol Palin is the child's real mother, expressed disappointment Saturday that companies pulled their ads as a result of this piece:
I feel as queasy about this flexing of Palinite muscle as I do about the original, disgusting, asinine story. In some ways, I see a legitimate come-uppance for a tacky site that published a simply inexcusable piece of mean-spirited dreck using a child who cannot defend himself, treating him as if he were subhuman, which he most definitely isn't. But I also recoil from mob action like this, for the impact it has on fearless free speech and the chilling effect it will have on an already cowed and defensive MSM when covering the truly tough stuff about Palin.
It appears Sullivan has recently changed his opinion on free speech, for almost exactly a year ago, he was on "The Chris Matthews Show" claiming Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck were guilty of sedition for expressing views in opposition to President Obama.
A year before that, Sullivan blamed Fox News for the shooting deaths of three Pittsburgh police officers:
Many of us have worried that the heated, apocalyptic rhetoric of the anti-Obama forces might spill over at some point into violence in the hands of individuals prone to lashing out. We now have what seems to be a clear instance of that and three dead police officers. One wonders whether Fox News or the Second Amendment fanatics will chill it out a little. And then one realizes who we're talking about.
Now, twelve and 24 months later, he's worried about "the chilling effect" an advertising boycott of Wonkette "will have on an already cowed and defensive MSM when covering the truly tough stuff about Palin."
One quite imagine this includes exposing "the truth" about who really is Trig's mother, something near and dear to Sullivan's heart despite it being a matter of little consequence to anyone other than the Palins. As he wrote Friday:
In my view, a journalist doesn't have to engage in any consipracy theories in order to ask a public figure to verify a story that they tell as a core plank of their political candidacy - especially when verifying it should be easy. When the figure has publicly said she has already released the birth certificate - and she hasn't - and when she demands further digging into the Obama birth certificate after it has been produced, and when she once demanded that her opponent for the mayoralty of Wasilla provide his actual marriage license to prove his wife was his wife (and he did), I see no reason whatever to apologize or regret asking her to put her medical records where her mouth is. She still hasn't.
This was in response to Salon's "Trig Trutherism: The Definitive Debunker" published earlier that day:
Trig Trutherism, the surprisingly resilient conspiracy theory that Sarah Palin is not actually the mother of 3-year-old Trig Palin, is experiencing a boomlet thanks to a new academic paper that endorses the concept. Long pursued by the blogger Andrew Sullivan and a significant segment of the Palin-hating left, Trig Trutherism holds that Trig's real mother is either Bristol Palin or some third party, and that Sarah Palin herself faked the pregnancy to avoid embarrassment for her daughter or for political gain or some combination of reasons.
In light of the recent attention this subject has received and the considerable passion it has stirred, Salon embarked last week on an investigation of the circumstances surrounding Trig's birth. The exhaustive review of available evidence that we conducted, along with new interviews with multiple eyewitnesses who interacted with a pregnant Sarah Palin up-close in early 2008 -- most of whom had never spoken publicly about the matter before -- has produced one clear conclusion: Sarah Palin is, indeed, Trig's mother and there is no reason to suspect any kind of a coverup.
If Trig Trutherism sounds like birtherism to you, Sullivan doesn't agree:
Obama has produced the most relevant, clear, unimpeachable, if humiliating, piece of empirical evidence that he is indeed a native-born US citizen. In fact, he produced it a long time ago. (I think he was right to do so, and the press was easily within bounds to ask. That's how these things should work.)
And there is a huge difference between someone asking for exactly that kind of proof, however distasteful, and someone continuing to ask for it after that proof has already been produced.
Possibly, but what Sullivan is missing is there is no law requiring Palin to prove anything concerning this child. As such, there is no real national interest in this matter beyond Palin Derangement Syndrome, a malady that reached a new peak Monday when Wonkette published its disgraceful article about Trig.
Now, days later, Sullivan is disappointed with the "mob action" taken by companies not wanting to be associated with such filth.
This so-called former conservative should be deeply ashamed of himself.