April 11th, 2009
01:36 PM ET
4 years ago

Kurtz: Should media steer clear of Palin-Johnston saga?

Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin appeared together at the Republican National Convention in September.
Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin appeared together at the Republican National Convention in September.

(CNN) – On last Sunday's "Reliable Sources," I made a last-minute decision to add an item about Bristol Palin's ex-boyfriend - not because I'm particularly fascinated by the ex-boyfriend, mind you, but because Sarah Palin had just ripped Levi Johnston apart.

"We're disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship," the Alaska governor declared.

Not since the last time she opened fire on a caribou has Palin used that kind of ammunition - which had the effect of boosting interest in the young man's appearance with Tyra Banks. And the Tyra sitdown got Levi an even bigger audience, with Maggie Rodriguez on CBS's "Early Show."

What a mess. But is it a highly personal mess involving two 18-year-olds that we in the media should avoid?

I put that question to Deborah Norville of "Inside Edition" and Washington Post gossip columnist Amy Argetsinger for a segment that will air Sunday morning at 10 ET on "Reliable."

Why would Levi Johnston, having just split up with the woman whose baby he fathered, seek out the TV spotlight?

Full story


Filed under: Levi Johnston • Sarah Palin • State of the Union
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. John from California

    Unfortunately this story highlights the world of Sarah Palin and her poor judgment in family affairs. While this alone might not be an important story, the fact that Sarah thinks the whole country should take her lead and live the same way, is indeed scary.

    Scary Sarah needs to retreat into the background and the media coverage of her family's issues will fade with with her.

    If Silly Sarah thinks she can preach to American people, then her affairs should be public knowledge.

    April 11, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  2. Dave in Arizona

    Funny that people continue to refer to these two adults as "kids". When I was 18 my drill instructor had many names he referred to us by, but "kid" was never one of them.

    April 11, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Jack in Florida

    It is Sarah Palin's fault that all of this even came to light. She should have said "Thanks but no thanks" to John McCain when he asked her to be his running mate. She knew then that Bristol was with child and that her acceptance as a no name candidate, would bring the world's spotlight on her family. She pur her selfish needs before the needs of her family and accepted the invitation to run as VP. (Plus, she is no where qualified to be in that position.)

    I am so tired of her and feel very badly for her family as they did not ask for all of this attention.......their idiot mother did.

    I say, go Levi and tell the world what the real Sarah Palin is all about. She threw you into the world's spotlight and now she is throwing you under the bus....stand up and defend yourself .

    April 11, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. Anna, Missouri

    The reason other media outlets are into this story is because it brings high ratings. The fact that you have it on this page, and are bringing it up on your show, and telling us about that now, is also to increase your ratings. No one in the media is thinking about these kids or the baby. That said, Sarah Palin is not thinking about the future of her grandchild either. If she was, she wouldn't be airing the family laudry in the public forum. It is one thing for a teenager to go public with things that have affected his life. It is quite another for someone that wants to be President to be so public about private matters. I do not know who is advising her these days, but they should be fired for political malpractice. Even people on the extreme right do not like this story, and her "family values" being aired in public. The more she speaks, the more it shows that she has no concern for anyone, including her grandchild. Her only goal is to be front page news. How pathetic!

    April 11, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. Shahid Martin

    It is time for the US to make fundamental changes in its foreign policy and focus on solving the Palestine and Kashmir issues.

    April 11, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. sick and tired

    These people are not worth all the hoopla. Palin needs to get out of the media, she was all about touting them around when she was running for office. Now suddenly the other family is trash, it just doesn't work that way.

    April 11, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. J.C.

    Can we spare these adolescents and report on something more constructive?

    April 11, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. Diana NJ

    Palin needs to keep out of it and stop feeding it. She is not protectiing her daughter or grandchild by keeping them in the news. Silence is Golden.. and for a change this right to lifer needs to take care of her family by shutting her mouth.

    April 11, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  9. lou

    Leave them alone. When one trades on one's children's personal lives for an agenda, she (Palin) has lost all public credibility and should be publicly ignored as should her misguided daughter and her consort.

    April 11, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. katiec

    Anything about Palin and her family is bad jouralism. She was such an attention grabber with her viscous campaigning one cannot now believe anything she says. And anyone who goes against her wishes or thoughts is instantly a victim of her vendetta.
    However, her daughter and ex-boyfriend should not be making the
    news. Although Palin put them in the headlines that is past and
    what happens now should not gain any publicity.
    It just shows what measure the media will go to for attention no
    matter how unimportant or sleezy.

    April 11, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  11. Reatte Beaumont, Texas

    People need to look in there back yard before they start to judge others. But it seems to be the american way with the mainstream media and the demo's but we will all have to stand in front of the Lord and answer to what we have all done

    GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE GOOD PEOPLE THAT TRY TO DO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 11, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Mike

    I think we should leave these two kids alone. Governor Palin and the Republican party put them in the national spotlight. They did not do this on their own accord.

    However, their breakup validates my own belief that the "engagement" was purely a political and public relations ploy.

    April 11, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. Pat

    Sarah Palin is the one should be ashamed of herself.
    She dragged her daughter and the boyfirend into the spotlight during a difficult time in their lives. He was expected to 'function' however she needed it – even if that means a shotgun wedding. This was never a private matter for her on the campaign trail – if so she would have left them at home, sorting out their lives as future teen parents.

    April 11, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Molly Weasley

    One word answer: YES.

    He says one thing. Gov. Palin fires back. Who cares? Stop it already.

    April 11, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Peter

    I believe this story, like Sarah Palin, is pointless. There is no news, and I bet Levi is saying this SO Palin gets her publicity, Im ashamed Sarah Palin is an american

    April 11, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Newstainment

    Is this news or entertainment?
    And does it really matter anymore?

    April 11, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  17. phoenix86

    Not if you're the National Enquirer. If you're trying to be a respected source of information, leave the gossip columns to the NY Times front pages.

    April 11, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  18. Seth in Jacksonville, FL

    Funny that Sarah Palin says she is a disappointed in the Johnstons. She used the story to her advantage while campaigning. We all knew her claim that they would get married and live happily ever after would not pan out.

    April 11, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. GE in MD

    Yes – news media and entertainment media should deep six any coverage.

    April 11, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Dave Komer

    This isn't even a blue / red state issue, or a republican / democrat issue. It is as you stated in you article a subject that should be left alone as it is truly non-news to the rest of us. These two individuals have the rest of their lives ahead of them and the press doesn't need to be mucking up their paths. Their going to have a rough enough time with the child on the way.

    To the press I can only say that this is truly, truly garbage new coverage.

    April 11, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    The relationship between these people is neither interesting nor of any concern to anyone but them.

    April 11, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Darlene

    "A quest for fame, attention, and fortune..." For once Sarah Palin had the correct answer.

    April 11, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. stop the stupid 'reporting'

    These kids are not news except for those with the agende to undermine all things Palin. What a joke. And the double standard is glaring when one considers the media protection Joe Biden's adult daughter Ashley is given regarding her cocaine use.

    April 11, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  24. barbara

    I am sick of Sarah Palin and all that she stands for. If she is what the Republican party has to offer help all of us. She should not be given any airtime at all. Her disfunktional family should not air their laundry in the Media, period.

    April 11, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. SJR

    The media should steer clear of the Palins period.

    April 11, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
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