LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sarah Palin, the former U.S. vice presidential candidate, is used to finding herself the brunt of jokes but her humor snapped when the animated TV show "Family Guy" appeared to mock her son who has Down syndrome.
Palin's family called the creators of the show "heartless jerks" after an episode in which a female character with Down syndrome said she was the daughter of an accountant and "my mom's the former governor of Alaska."
Palin resigned as Republican governor of Alaska last year.
Palin, who was recently hired by Fox News as a commentator,
said in a posting on Facebook that the show, also aired on News Corp's Fox network, was a disappointment and "another kick in the gut," with her post receiving thousands of supportive messages.
But instead of elaborating on her views on the show that appeared to mock her 22-month-old son Trig, she said she asked the oldest of her five children, daughter Bristol, to comment as her reply would be "more restrained and gracious."
Bristol Palin, 19, said you have to develop a thick skin as the child of a public figure but insults at her youngest brother hurt too much to remain silent.
"People with special needs face challenges that many of us will never confront and yet they are some of the kindest and most loving people you'll ever meet," Bristol Palin wrote in a statement on her mother's Facebook page. / "... why could anyone want to make their lives more difficult by mocking them? ... If the writers of a particularly pathetic cartoon show thought they were being clever in mocking my brother and my family yesterday, they failed."
However not everyone was sympathetic toward Palin.
Some fans of "Family Guy" said the show is all about mocking people.
"It's their job to make fun of everyone. Get over it," said Tweeter@Little_Siren.
No one could be immediately reached at Fox to comment.
Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy