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Jewish World Review
Nov. 3, 2009
/ 16 Mar-Cheshvan 5770
Levi Johnston Stripped Bare
Debra J. Saunders
Be prepared to see more of Levi Johnston than you ever wanted to see.
The 19-year-old who fathered a baby born out of wedlock to Sarah Palin's
teenage daughter Bristol is about to pose nude for Playgirl magazine.
Also, with Palin's book, "Going Rogue," set for release this month, some
publications may follow Vanity Fair's example in October by granting the
high-school dropout a byline.
In that piece, Johnston claimed that Palin did not nurture her children
or cook or clean while husband Todd tinkered in the garage or
slept on a black recliner in the living room.
This sort of Vanity Fair piece need not include verification by other
sources, but there must be a paragraph with a seedy nugget in it. So
Johnston wrote that the former Alaska governor sometimes called her Down
syndrome son, Trig, "the retarded baby."
Appearing on CBS's "The Early Show" last week, Johnston released his
latest salvo: "If I really wanted to hurt her, I could, very easily, but
I'm not going to do it. I'm not going that far."
Not yet anyway. Johnston garners more ink in British than American
newspapers. But he frequently is fodder for leftwing blogs and among
pundits who concoct phrases like "Wasilla hillbilly" and cannot let
go. He is the scratch for the itch of partisans so anxious to feel
superior to Palin that they will consume any negative story about her,
no matter how tainted. MSNBC talking heads like to bring up Levi
Methinks if Fox News aired similar stories about a Democrat's daughter,
there would be news stories questioning the right-leaning network's news
judgment. After all, the accusations of an underemployed 19-year-old
who has a career-incentive to dish out dirt on Palin are not exactly
Or as "The Early Show's" Maggie Rodriguez wondered during an "exclusive"
interview last week, "You really sound like somebody who's dead set on
hurting these people the way they hurt you."
Rodriguez also asked, "Why should people believe you versus her?" To
which Johnston replied, "I don't know." And: "I mean I was like family
in that house." (All the more reason for Johnston to have kept his mouth
Granted, Palin doesn't help her case when her spokesperson releases
statements trashing the father of her grandson. Such as: "Consider the
source of the most recent attention-getting lies those who would sell
their body for money reflect a desperate need for attention and are
likely to say and do anything for even more attention." This is one of
those situations in which "No Comment" would have worked better.
Of course, Palin is outraged because Johnston is behaving like a classic
heel. But he's a 19-year-old heel, who clearly is in over his head. No
doubt Johnston will come to regret the Faustian choice he has made. TV
producers and magazine biggies may woo Johnston in their zeal to
discredit Palin. But he can give them what they want only by making
things up or betraying confidences that is by making himself look
like a world-class creep. In no time, they'll be trashing Johnston as a
During her interview, Rodriguez asked Johnston if he felt "used and
discarded" by Palin. He did and he failed to note the irony.
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