Addendum On A Note to the Internet

Way to keep it classy, folks. Is this type of opporoborium appropriate for what yes, yes, a cruel thing to say? Isn’t this also a form of cyberbullying?

On a different note, Emily Bazelon, who has done some other excellent work on cyber-bullying, provides some context for the Palins’ brouhaha in the context of typical teenage Facebook flame war.

I still don’t think that this is worthy of national media attention, but since it is, I think that Bazelon’s thoughts are the most constructive I’ve seen so far. Certainly, it’s most constructive than making personal attacks against a teenage girl and her parents.

Look, I’m not going to sit here and defend the use of homophobic slurs, but on the same note, the use of those slurs among teenagers is still disturbingly common — and the context here doesn’t demonstrate any clear homophobia. So instead of making some sort of partisan attack (and for the record, a President Palin would almost certainly cause me to expatriate myself for the 2-1/2 years that’s she’s President), let’s instead try to make a more constructive case for taking those words out of our vocabulary.

And personally, I think there are a lot more constructive ways of doing that than by use of a sexist slur like “trashy b**tch.”

(Original posts here and here).

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, Quick Takes, US Politics
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. There used to be a rule that kids of politicians are off limits.

    I’m not Palin fan, but I’d like to know what happened to that.

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  4. Herb says:

    “I’m not Palin fan, but I’d like to know what happened to that.”

    Not sure that rule was ever codified….or enforced.

    Best part of Bazelon’s analysis:

    “Of course, the Palins aren’t regular teenagers. It’s not bad luck that their adolescent misfires went viral—it’s inevitable.”

    Also inevitable: The predictable “Why’s everybody picking on the Palins?” chorus.

  5. mantis says:

    I’m not Palin fan, but I’d like to know what happened to that.

    Two things: Chelsea Clinton (Rush started after her when she was 12 or 13 years old), and the Internet.

  6. tom p says:

    Alex, I agree with you (in a serious way) but I have to admit that mantis has a point:

    “Two things: Chelsea Clinton (Rush started after her when she was 12 or 13 years old), and the Internet.”

    There comes a point when all we can say is,

    “The world sucks donkey dick.”

  7. Janis Gore says:

    It’s good timing for the Palins. This stuff is being hashed out before her run.

    As for teenagers, can’t we just drop them into a grated pit and toss in a side of roasted beef once in a while, the occasional bucket of Maybelline for the girls?

  8. Trumwill says:

    (Rush started after her when she was 12 or 13 years old)

    To which the question must be asked… do you want to be Rush Limbaugh?

  9. Janis Gore says:

    Sixteen is not too young to learn that what you put into the public sphere can come back to bite you. Do not leave physical evidence.

    The same rules we’re all trying to grind into our children. Don’t brag about doing something illegal. Don’t take pictures drunk or stoned or half-naked (of full-naked). Don’t complain about your employers.

    Don’t tell people to stfu and say things like”My family is famous and yours isn’t” when your mother is running against “elites” on the “wholesome family” platform.

    I betcha Sarah landed on her with both feet.

  10. Janis Gore says:

    Mind, Alex, that Willow was a state governor’s daughter just a year or two ago. She should know better.

  11. mantis says:

    To which the question must be asked… do you want to be Rush Limbaugh?

    Hell no. Leave the Palin kids alone. I have nothing to say about them whatsoever.

  12. Mikeybackwards says:

    There used to be a rule that kids of politicians are off limits.
    I’m not Palin fan, but I’d like to know what happened to that.

    What happened is that Palin has chosen to encourage her children to join the political spectacle in a ‘notoriety = fame’ motif.

    Is this type of opporoborium appropriate for what yes, yes, a cruel thing to say? Isn’t this also a form of cyberbullying?

    The answer to your first question is simple – yes.  It is yes, even though you elide and gloss over that this wasn’t a one-off comment.  This was an on-going attack that went on for a number of exchanges including attacking someone who suffers from a physical debility whose medicine makes him gain weight.  One would have thought Palin would have taught her children better than to use physical characteristics in insults given Trig’s condition.
    The answer to your second question betrays your lack of ability to discern between public outrage at Willow Palin’s actions, and attacks.  While some have chosen to attack both Willow and Palin through criticism of Willow’s ill-conceived and ill-considered remarks (to be extremely generous); most of the critique is that she finds it acceptable to attack others in this manner.
    In your rush to defend Ms. Palin (the younger), you tar everyone who is outraged by outrageous behavior as attacking her.  In this you feed into the meme that Ms. Palin (the elder) is attempting to craft for both herself and her daughter of innocent victimhood.
    Once again you ignore that this is not about anyone attacking Willow Palin.  It is about Willow Palin attacking another in public in an outrageous and socially unacceptable manner.  And people are free to comment and opine about what says about her breeding, class, and upbringing and how that reflects on her mother’s and father’s parenting skills.
    Perhaps you and Doug yearn for the days when the children of a person who claims she seeks to lead the free world could get away with bigoted and hateful speech.  But those days are well and blessedly past us.  Since Sarah Palin seems intent on only reinforcing negative messages from the public outcry and Willow Palin’s public attack, it is very much appropriate for the rest of us to disabuse her of any notion her mother might impart that people’s outrage has anything at all to do about the mother and everything to do about the daughter’s disgusting attacks and reprehensible behavior.
    If you weren’t so insistent in ignoring the messenger, you might be able to understand this.