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Levi Johnston, Caught in the Crossfire

Levi Johnston, left, takes to Tyra's couch. (Karl Giant/Warner Bros.)

It really stinks when your girlfriend and your sister hate each other.

That was the biggest insight to come out of Tyra Banks's much-hyped interview with Bristol Palin's ex-fiance, Levi Johnston, broadcast yesterday. Once we got past the talk about whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin knew her daughter was having sex ("probably") or forced him to propose ("no"), what emerged was a sad small-town teenage breakup story -- but one that made headlines worldwide.

Johnston, 19, said tension between the two girls have kept him from seeing much of newborn son Tripp. Sister Mercede also came on the show to explain:

"Bristol and I don't see eye to eye. That's mostly because I have a lot of girlfriends that Levi's previously dated, that's the main issue going on. 'Cause you know they can stop by the house, and she doesn't want her son around previous girlfriends."

The media glare also created problems. Mom Sherry Johnston alleged that the Palins wouldn't let her get photos of Tripp. The talk-show host voiced some sympathy for the Palins -- with celebrity "this crazy protection thing happens, 'Oh my God, I don't want it on TMZ.' " Said Sherry Johnston: "I am part grandma and I don't get no pictures. I don't want pictures to sell, I want pictures of him growing up, and I don't have any."

The Palin family blasted the interview -- which Banks said the Johnstons were not paid for -- in a statement: "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."

A Palin rep told CNN last night that Johnston's claim to Banks that he lived with the governor's family while Bristol was expecting was an outright "lie."

The high school dropout and aspiring electrician came off as affable if not very articulate. On attending the Republican convention: "It was a weird experience." On his attraction to Bristol: "Her whole family is big-time hunting and fishing and the outdoors. ... She's not a big shopper city kind of girl. ... She's a pretty, intelligent woman, that's enough for me."

On getting his girlfriend's name tattooed on his ring finger: "I wouldn't recommend it." But he'd still vote for Sarah Palin if she runs for president in 2012.

By The Reliable Source  |  April 6, 2009; 1:14 PM ET
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So Levi Johnston is affable but inarticulate? Sounds just like his not- quite-mother-in-law, Sarah Palin. The Palin family and their crime-prone inlaws just gets more seedy by the minute.

Posted by: garry2 | April 6, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Regular updates here on the Trailer Trash channel. Now back to the Osbournes.

Posted by: hairguy01 | April 6, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

The Palin fiasco should, once and for all, make it clear what kind of judgement Bill Kristol has. A year ago he was touting Sarah Palin as the most promising Republican since Dan Quayle. Sadly he's still provided a forum, even in this newspaper.

Posted by: elkofan | April 6, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"affable but inarticulate" - Sadly, that also describes my man Obama. Hopefully, Tyra won't be his next stop after Leno.

Posted by: obamamama31 | April 6, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I think it was really lucky the young couple didn't marry.

It's bad enough the way it is. Both young parents have a lot of growing up to do, and let's hope they can manage it for the sake of an innocent child.

Posted by: swissmiss150 | April 6, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't give this grandma photos, either. If they weren't interested in cashing in on their family's connection to the Palins, they wouldn't be on Tyra's show. Pathetic.

Posted by: Sharon_59 | April 7, 2009 8:23 AM | Report abuse

Do Levi Johnson and Bristol Palin really deserve four straight days of coverage in the Post? Smearing Sarah Palin is the only reason the Post would pay any attention to this. Gov Palin got where she is today by hard work and true grass roots effort. No ACORN organizers were involved. The Post and some of your commenters (i.e.Gary2) can't handle that reality. Destroying Gov Palin is the objective. Trash TV is the vehicle.

Posted by: Ddad99 | April 7, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

One word:


Nothing defines the trailer-trash image of the GOP like regular daily installments of the "Wasilla Hillbillies"!

The only thing that would have been more cliche would be to have him tuck a bible under his arm and wear a six-gun.

Posted by: Heerman532 | April 7, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Sure do love those Republican Family Values. Imagine the fun they'd be having in a McCain and Palin white house dinner!

Posted by: curthess | April 7, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Thank goodness Sarah didn't make it to Washington. The Palin soap opera would be the laugh of the world.

Posted by: susann910 | April 7, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

"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."

Replace the word Levi with the word Sarah and you have exactly what Ms. Palin did to the country in her feeble attempt to run for Vice President.

too bad

Posted by: vigor | April 7, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

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