Opinion

Commentary: Levi Johnston's new low

Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, Sept. 3, 2008. (Chuck Kennedy/MCT)
Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, Sept. 3, 2008. (Chuck Kennedy/MCT) MCT

Levi Johnston, remember him? Or should I ask, How can we forget the dude?

He's the 19-year-old high-school dropout whose claim to fame was becoming the baby daddy to the grandson of the then-governor of Alaska. Ah, that roils the memory, doesn't it? Johnston, the former future son-in-law of Sarah Palin. Johnston, the airhead who has repeatedly tried to stretch his 15 minutes of fame like Silly Putty.

Now he has sunk to a new low, amazing for a guy who has turned the already abhorrent practice of kiss-and-tell into a career. (Think Tyra Banks, The Early Show and the Teen Choice Awards.)

But before I continue, pass me the antibacterial soap, please. I'll need it.

Johnston has written — and I use this word loosely — a first-person account of his experiences in the Palin household for the October issue of Vanity Fair. In "Me and Mrs Palin," he pictures a dysfunctional family in which Sarah "Hockey Mom" Palin rarely showed up at her son's games, and Todd Palin sneaked out for beers while the children kept house.

(Are these Palin kids for real? I face an uphill battle every single dang day getting mine to pick up after themselves!)

In Johnston's words: "The Palin house was much different from what many people expect of a normal family, even before she was nominated for vice president. There wasn't much parenting in that house. Sarah doesn't cook, Todd doesn't cook — the kids would do it all themselves: cook, clean, do the laundry, and get ready for school. Most of the time Bristol would help her youngest sister with her homework, and I'd barbecue chicken or steak on the grill."

And that's just for starters. Johnston also writes about divorce talk between the Palins, Sarah's plot to adopt her out-of-wedlock grandson Tripp and her preference for hanging out "on the living-room couch in her two-piece pajama set from Walmart — she had all the colors — with her hair down, watching house shows and wedding shows on TV."

I'm no fan of Palin. Her comments usually irk me; her ideas insult me. Regardless, the woman deserves some respect, particularly from this screw-up. Did he think, I wonder, how his son might react if the boy ever reads this excuse for revenge?

What's more, Johnston is not the sort of person someone in my business would call a credible source. This is his shot at the limelight, and he cares little about its consequences. Click onto Vanity Fair's website to see what I mean. You can watch him in all his ignoble glory, talking about an offer to pose for a Playgirl video.

Immature and downright creepy.

I'm surprised that Vanity Fair, the glossy publication with the usually interesting photographs, would give a loud-mouth opportunist a soapbox to spout off. Then again, the piece may offer up an object lesson, its only redeeming quality: Those in the public eye will forever view their in-laws warily.

Levi Johnston, do yourself a favor. Shut up and go away. Learn to be a father.

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