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. Jeff

    It seems only fair that the public get their fill of it. Gov Palin has made a fool of herself by stepping to a level lower than an 18 yr old youn man.

    Gov. Palin made this a public issue when she brought them onto the seen in last year's General Elections, sad to see things have gotten so bad so quickly but you reap what you do.

    I had so much respect for Gov Palin and was looking out for her future run for higher office but this incident has shown me on thing. She is as petty as a bitter bee. Never should she had put her mouth into this issue. It should have been left up to the teenagers themselves.

    Furthermore withholding the young man from seeing his son is just sad. What ever happened to the idea of a family unit where the child can interact with both parents even though they are not a couple anymore. I taught we stood for family values. Shame on Shara Palin for getting involved.

    April 11, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Mel of Alexandria

    Yes, The Media should leave them to work out their differences.They made their relationship public, but since it is not what we want our young people to emulate, we should not be holding it up for them to see. Dirty linen, regardless whose, should be taken care of in private. The Media influences public opinion, and therefore it should not only give us the bad and the ugly, but also an extra dose of good.

    April 11, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. Bev - NYC

    Yes,the media should stay away form any story about Sarah Palin or anyone related to her. I for one have had quite enough of this family.

    April 11, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  4. gewe

    hope this soap goes into reruns soon

    April 11, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Jim

    This is far from news worthy. Two squabbling teenagers. The media should stick to doing their job and quit trying to sensationalize every little trivial thing they think they might be able to sell a paper with.

    April 11, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Bev

    Ah...give it a rest.

    April 11, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  7. Sara from Arizona

    Why is this news?

    April 11, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  8. catmom

    Sarah Palin is totally responsible for this. She chose to tell America that her 17 year old daughter was unmarried and pregnant. She announced their impending marriage and she dressed Levi Johnston up and paraded him around. She did that to benefit herself and the Republican party and their base. The same base that has been known to disparage minority teenage mothers. Obviously she never considered the impact that this would have for her daughter, Levi Johnston or her family. If she is so smart and savvy then she would never have paraded her daughter and Johnston around the way she did. Obviously she didn't care what impact this would have on Levi Johnston. He is a teenager for gosh sakes. If it was okay to parade him around when she needed it, why isn't it okay for Johnston to talk about his experience with this family?

    April 11, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Farnk, Las Vegas

    The press should stay clear of the Palin and Johnson thing. But even more than that, they should ignore Palin completely! The more she talks the more she proves she's an idiot. Last week she said she wanted the stimulus money to be used to build a commercial rocket launch center in Alaska. This is about the dumbest thing she's said yet. Doesn't she know about launching rockets in cold weather? Hasn't she ever heard of the Challenger? This woman really needs to READ! She also needs to take some English courses. For someone who claims to be a college grad, one has to ask, How? She proves that our educational system needs a whole lot of work. She's a disgrace to America. So please start ignoring her and just let her stay in Alaska, obviously that's where she belongs.

    April 11, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. mims

    yes, I f we stop paying attention to them maybe they will go away!!

    April 11, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  11. kevincollins

    It was Gov. Palin's choice to put her daughter and her boyfriend into the national spotlight for political gain, so she really has no validity in decrying the media attention now.

    April 11, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Tony

    Please keep her out of the news. I’m sick of the lying Palin family. How in the world did the John McCain camp let this camera hungry woman in front of the US to view. BTW – wasn’t she proud of them four months ago..........parading them in front to the entire US. Come on! Please let the tabliods have this mess!

    April 11, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Susan

    Because the media has been after him since he was first shoved into our living rooms, and he was not allowed to talk during the campaign. Then his mom is jailed' he loses the job he shouldn't have had anyway, and the spotlight beckoned. Evidently Alaskans are so light deprived that even media glare is more than welcome. I also believe he's telling the truth. Palin and family have no interest in truth, and Levi was not paid for these interviews, so why would he lie?
    The bottom line is though, why do we care? Only because Palin will continue to seek national office until she is found by the whole country to be the liar most of us think she is. In that case, Levi will have done a great service to the US.

    April 11, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. andrea

    Maybe, just to get even with Sarah Palin. I mean he should know her pretty good, and wants to expose her for who she is. The fact that he is also hurting Bristol is to bad, but he is only 18. I blame Sarah Palin for a lot she is the adult, and should of never put these 2 young adults in the spot ligh as she did.
    And the fact that she is responding is a sign that she is very inmature herself. But that is really nothing new, she needs to grow up, and run Alaska, and be quiet. Everytime she opens her mouth it is garbage.

    April 11, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. Perusing-Through

    Stay on this story because the voting public needs to know the 'character' of its political leaders and presidential aspirants.

    April 11, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  16. Perusing-Through

    The answer is no. Sarah Palin in a blatantly hypocritical and politically expedient move marched Levi around the country as her future son-in-law because it pleased Christian-Evangelicals and James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" organization. Soon after Sarah lost her V.P., she dumped Levi and effectively separated him from his new son. With her own lies, Sarah made this a news story.

    April 11, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Eileen

    If I NEVER hear any more about the Palin brood it will be too soon.

    April 11, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Frank Julian

    Many of us have to suspect, with good reasons, if this is the plot by some democrats or Obama allies to destroy a potential rival in 2012?

    April 11, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  19. CA Senior

    We can expect the media to continue reporting on the Sarah Palin-Levi Johnston conflict, no matter what our thoughts are about it. The competitive nature of juicy items will not allow silence on the subject.

    April 11, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. Maggie

    It seems this Levi person is showing hie true colors. If he was any kind of person at all he would be trying to protect his x girlfriend and the mother of his child. Seems like a sorry excuse for a man. She is better off with out him for sure.

    April 11, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Leave the kids alone, but keep up on Sarah. After a grueling day, I need a good laugh and I know there will be one in any article with the name Sarah Palin in it....

    April 11, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. Gene

    A story about whether the media should do a story? That's like saying "wow.. this tastes really bad.. try it!"

    This is just getting ridiculous.. stop giving this Jerry Springer family any more attention.

    April 11, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Charlie in Maine

    You know it's funny. We on the left get mad because the media are too conservative and those on the right complain the the press is too liberal. The truth is the press including CNN are biased toward controversy. It may have a liberal slant or conservatiove slant on a story by story basis but truth be told the media in America are hopelessly devoted to one idiology: Controversy sells the sells the story. No matter what one thinks of the Palins they certainly are a story. So the answer to your question in the headline is moot. Maybe they should but will they? No, you can bank on it.

    April 11, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Lash Larue

    Unless the Media is willing to give Joe Bidens Kids the same coverage than No The Media should stop wasting time on a personal family Mess......Unless you have Children,you should not be voicing how someone else should raise their kids,,Remebering all of US are different.

    April 11, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  25. lovable liberal

    Even though this soap opera is good for Democrats, yes, leave it alone.

    April 11, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
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