Bristol Palin, Levi Johnston and the Airing of Dirty Laundry
In the latest round of the seemingly endless mudslinging contest to which the Palins and their one-time sycophants have descended, Levi Johnston, in his upcoming autobiography Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs, rebuts Bristol Palin’s accusation in her autobiography, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey so Far, that their first sexual encounter happened on a camping trip while she was drunk; claiming, among other things, that Bristol got pregnant out of desire to get revenge on her mother. He also asserts that Todd and Sarah Palin don’t really parent their children, that his first sexual encounter with Bristol did not occur on a camping trip, and that he actually attempted to dissuade Bristol from consuming alcohol at one point because he felt it would cloud her judgment. The Palins, in particular Sarah and Bristol, and Levi Johnston have been publicly trading accusations for years, basically ever since his relationship with Bristol dissolved, first in March 2009, and then again in August 2010.
The accusations are too numerous to repeat in any detail here, and too well-covered by other sources for one more dissection to add to anyone’s understanding of them. In terms of what actually happened, it is likely that we will never know for certain. The only people who know are those who were involved, and they’re all telling different stories, stories that, given the differences in perspective, may all contain elements of truth.
While I understand the desire to make a quick buck, when did it become publicly acceptable to air one’s dirty laundry in such an appalling fashion? Growing up, I was always taught that you should keep your private life private, and only air dirty laundry where no one else could see it. People have always had a fascination with other people’s scandals and misfortunes but, seriously, enough is enough. It seems that the Palins and Levi will do anything to keep themselves in the news and, apart from perhaps Sarah Palin (and even that is shaky), not a single one of them is newsworthy in their own right. What did Bristol Palin do? She got pregnant and kept the baby. What did Levi Johnston do? He fathered Bristol Palin’s child. So what? Why do we care about either of these figures? While I understand the desire to make enormous amounts of money by publishing explosive tell-all books, the real question is: why are we reading them? We’re never going to know the truth and, had any of this occurred to someone who wasn’t a popular Vice Presidential candidate’s daughter, we would never have given any of them a second thought. So why do we care when it happens to a failed Vice Presidential candidate’s daughter?