April 12th, 2009
07:51 PM ET
14 years ago

Journos: Statement by Palin rep fueled Johnston-Palin coverage

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A recent statement by a spokesperson for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin only served to fuel the media’s coverage of the ongoing feud between Palin’s family and that of Levi Johnston, the father of Palin’s infant grandson and the ex-fiance of Palin’s teenage daughter, two journalists said Sunday.

The feud reached a new level when Levi Johnston, joined by his mother and his sister, sat down for interviews early last week in a media tour designed to dispel several rumors about the family that the Johnstons said were false.

After an appearance Monday on the Tyra Banks show where the young father said he had lived at Gov. Palin’s home while Palin’s daughter, Bristol, was pregnant with the teenage couple’s child and soon after the baby’s birth, a spokesman for the governor said Levi Johnston had lied in the interview.

In a later interview on CBS’ morning show, the young father struck back, sharply refuting the Palins' claim he was lying about being permitted to live with his onetime fiancé and suggesting the Palin family is now essentially treating him as an outcast.

Rather than quell the media frenzy surrounding the break-up of the two teenagers and subsequent feuding between their respective clans, the statement on Palin’s behalf only served to add fuel to the media fire, two journalists said Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

“Did the governor, you know, boost the ratings of these programs by blowing it up into this big public family feud?,” CNN’s Howard Kurtz asked journalists Deborah Norville and Amy Argetsinger.

“I think there is no question,” Norville, the host of “Inside Edition,” said. “Because when an elected official who was campaigning for the second highest office in the land issues a statement, we’re obligated in the news media to pay attention.”

Argetsinger, who writes for the Washington Post, agreed. “I don’t think anyone was particularly interested in talking to Levi Johnston after the Tyra show,” observed Argetsinger. “But she (Palin) called him a liar, which opened up the door to going back and getting his response. She created the day two, day three story, really.”

Soon after being named as Republican Sen. John McCain’s running mate last fall, Palin revealed that her unmarried teenage daughter, Bristol, was pregnant with Johnston’s child. Johnston joined the Palin family at the Republican National Convention.

The two teenagers had plans to marry but, instead, their relationship ended after the birth of their son, Tripp.

Johnston and his family said in interviews last week that Johnston is permitted to visit with his son at the Palin home but is not permitted to take the child away from the home.

Filed under: Extra • Levi Johnston • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • State of the Union
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Ilene

    I believe the boy in this one. He was always just there for show and he sure never looked comfortable the entire time.

    April 12, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. Joseph

    Palin created this story from the beginning, from how she raised her children to how she paraded the "happy expectant couple" before the world at her convention.

    We should all thank our lucky stars this "skillful politician" isn't in charge of anything vital in our federal government.

    April 12, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  3. KizzyMae

    Just think, this drama could have consummed Palin if the McCain/Palin ticket had won the election. We should really consider ourselves lucky.

    April 12, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  4. Perusing-through

    CNN REPORTED: "Johnston and his family said in interviews last week that Johnston is permitted to visit with his son at the Palin home but is not permitted to take the child away from the home".

    TRANSLATION = Republican V.P. nominee Sarah Palin dumped her daughter's boyfriend and father of her grandchild Levi Johnston, once she knew the Vice Presidency was toast for her.

    April 12, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. trying to be reasonable in WV

    This is not NEWS. Oh, sorry, maybe for the supermarket tabloids or _People_ magazine it is, but otherwise it's just another sad and (frankly) commonplace story about two dysfunctional and unenviable families (YOU blame the side you want . . . I just don't care).

    If I never hear another thing about Sarah Palin, it will be too soon. I wish her no harm, of course, but every episode (and stay tuned, there'll be more) heightens my immense relief she's not a heartbeat away from being POTUS.

    April 12, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. phoenix88

    Sarah Palin is a sick individual caught up in a fantasy world of could've would've been

    for those close to her, beware you are expedient

    April 12, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. katiec

    Nothing Palin or her family does deserves recognition. The media often resorts to the role of a gossip, sleezy, instigator of news which should be left alone.
    On the other hand it shows the brutality towards anyone who does not comply with their wishes and hypocrasy.
    It was released in the Anchorage News that Palin did indeed try to
    get her ex-brother in laws unemployment benefits disallowed, so
    beware those lip sticked pit bulls. Alaska seems to be a little less
    happy with her daily.

    April 12, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. Jack in Florida

    Sarah Palin is holier than thou.......she talks the talk, but apparantly she doesn't walk the walk in her home..............leave the poor kid alone. He knocked up your daughter and then your selfishness and stupidy threw your poor family and him into the world spotlight. It is bad enough being knocked up at 17 without the world knowing, but Sarah Palin's stupid decision to accept John McCain's offer to run as VP got her into this mess. You deserve everything you get for putting your family behind your personal selfish goals.

    April 12, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  9. Charles

    Sarah Palin says Levi Johnston lied. Sarah lied when she told the nation that Bristol and Levi were going to get married. If they ever really intended to get married, they would have done so before the baby was born. Sarah should just go away.

    April 12, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |