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The Palin paradox: What's real and what's reality show?

See Levi apologize. Sorry, Sarah, sorry. See Levi and Bristol announce their secret reengagement. See Levi and Bristol break up again. See Levi apologize for apologizing.

Bristol Palin, 2009. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

If you're confused about the three-ring circus known as Sarah Palin-Levi Johnston-Bristol Palin (and do we even need last names anymore?) ... well, join the club. America's favorite tabloid triangle has managed to baffle even the most ardent fans with their real lives and reality lives folding into a convoluted, Escher-like drawing.

The picture, as it appeared last week:
Levi apologized to America for pretending to make up with his former future mother-in-law last month. "The only thing I wish I wouldn't have done is to put out that apology, 'cause it kind of makes me sound like a liar," he said on the "Early Show" Friday morning. "And I've never lied about anything."

Bristol is dedicating her life to helping teen moms. And maybe joining the cast of "Dancing With the Stars." True? The lack of confirmation by ABC or Palin hasn't stopped the blogosphere from going nuts over the mere prospect of the 19-year-old unwed mother in high heels and sequined panties. "I don't think I'm any more obsessed with making a career out of this than she is," said Levi on Bristol's reality ambitions. (And yes, the Post's TV Column will post the new contestants when they are announced Monday between 8 and 10 p.m.)

While filming her TLC reality series, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," earlier this month, Sarah had a run-in with a woman in Homer who hung a 30-foot banner proclaiming, "WORST GOVERNOR EVER." The former constituent blasted Palin ("You swore on your precious Bible that you would uphold the interest of this state, and then when cash was waved in front of your face, you quit!") while her security team looked unhappy and tried to block the camera -- or was that part of the "make-it-look-dramatic" demands of the show? And did a member of Palin's team really rip down the sign after filming stopped?

So many questions: Is Levi really sorry now, or is he acting sorry to look good on his reality-show-driven Wasilla mayoral run? ("I don't think being mayor is about qualifications," the high school dropout told CBS. "I think it's about people liking you and believing in you. If we do win, I'm going to have to give up Hollywood for three years.") Will Bristol and Levi get back together on the "DWTS" finale? If Sarah falls in the woods and there's no reality camera to capture the moment, does she make a sound?

Update: To the surprise of, well, nobody, on Monday night ABC officially announced that Bristol Palin is one of the cast members of the new season of "Dancing With the Stars."

By The Reliable Source  |  August 30, 2010; 1:04 AM ET
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The whole bunch has managed to defy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame and mutate it into the jock itch of fame; just keep recurring and irritating. They are like Critters; where are bounty hunters Ug, Lee and Charlie when we need them to rid us of the vermin?

Anyone can say what they will about Bill and Hillary Clinton but they raised a child who grew up to be very dignified, private and professional. While the Bush twins had some rough patches as teenagers, they too grew into private life and did so fairly quietly, with the only high profile episode was Jenna Bush Hager interviewing Bill Clinton on Today; respectable and professional.

Sarah Palin raised Bristol to obviously exploit her looks, surname and connections as well as, for lack of better term, white trash sex appeal.

If McCain had actually lived up to his "maverick" cred and told Rove and the RNC to get lost and went with his principles, which would have been Lieberman, Ridge or Graham as VP, this woman and her tawdry soap opera would never be known to us and she would not be injecting herself into every issue without facts in a cynical attempt to hurt Obama's presidency and dictate the debate WITHOUT ACTUALLY DEBATING; hiding behind Fox,Facebook and Twitter.

ABC has had some quality shows the last couple of years; Castle, Scoundrels, short lived Life on Mars. If Bristol Palin is on ABC in any way, I will boycott and wait for Castle and Scoundrels on DVD or Hulu.

Last but not least, does Bristol Palin expect us to believe that for the bried reunion w/Levi, when he stayed at her condo, they were just playing cards? Please. He at least had to get a Monica Lewinski out of it. Lol!

Posted by: Handsome19781 | August 29, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I agree that the issues of the Palin family have at times seemed surreal. We wrote about Bristol's overexposure on my blog:

Posted by: johnnymodo | August 29, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

I see a new reality show filmed in a trailer park in the making here. And I'm talking double-wides too...

Posted by: semilost44 | August 30, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

Come on- a 19 year old unwed mother-no status other than her mothers (Palin)behind the scene comments-why degrade DWTS-isn't there anyone else out there- so we do not have to see the Palin faimly in the audience every week- enough Palin and her trashy family-I too will turn the show off!

Posted by: dvbrenden | August 30, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Sarah "I am the proud mother of a combat veteran and no one can take that away from me."
Truth: Track had a choice between the National Guard (which improved Palin's war creds) or jail for drug and vagrancy charges.) That desk job in a war zone beats a cell.
Bristol: "I am totally independent. I have a job. I just want to be a good mom to Trigg, and finish my education."
Truth: She had no intention of going to college...who needs to be intelligent? She left her job and the cushy condo to run back home where someone else could raise her son along with mommy's other precious kids, allowing Bristol to follow in her mentor's footsteps, make speeches in the lower 48, and be on TV.

Tell me why these people have any credibility with the right?

Posted by: smgess | August 30, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

The Palins are a joke. Sarah Palin was the worst governor ever, given the results of the investigations into her administration, her overcharging the state for her expenses and then just quitting when the going got tough. Thank God she was not elected VP! What an embarrassment she is to this country, even as just a money-grubbing wannabe!

Posted by: hockeymom1 | August 30, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

This morning I sorted through my home-delivered copy of The Washington Post and frowned when I saw Levi Johnston's photo pasted at the top of page 1 of the Style section. Sometimes it seems that not a day goes by when The Post doesn't find room enough in their rapidly dwindling pages for someone whose so-called fame is attributable only to accidents of birth, connections, scandal, and/or timing, not talent, charm, philanthropy, or accomplishment. The Post seems to find a great many profoundly uninteresting people worthy of unwavering attention.

Meanwhile, back in the Metro section, no one on duty noticed that part of Courtland Milloy's column is missing, and yesterday's ombudsman column was devoted to the plethora of errors in The Post -- everything from botched headlines to inaccurate figures.

The day has not come when my life is so empty that Levi Johnston, Rielle Hunter, or any and all Salahis are even of the slightest interest. From the letters to the editor I see evidence that many of my fellow readers share that opinion.

All of which means the Reliable Source will trot out a few more people exploiting their 15 minutes of fame.

Posted by: AnotherHagman | August 30, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I wonder how repukes loves two morally loose women such as bristol and sarah both of whom got knocked up before marriage.

Posted by: davidsawh | August 30, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

so the bimbo is also a sl^t, preggers before marriage, no surprise happens at trailer parks all across america.

Posted by: calif-joe | August 30, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The Palins have become an embarrassment. It is amazing how a family is able to make millions of dollars out of an American soap opera which idolizes single teenage mothers who apparently is destined for even greater greatness via dancing with the stars, and pretends to know and understands the American Constitution more than the President who taught Constitutional Law at Harvard. And, poor Levi, now apparently wealthy Levi, will he be dancing with the stars or will he be dancing in child support court? Senior Palin must be laughing all the way to bank. Americans deserve the Palins, why, because, if one is able to make millions from junk, in America, one gains respect and adoration. Perhaps in the future Bristol Palin will be our first single mother president?

Posted by: Rlupodimare | August 30, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I must laugh at all the people posting here bashing the Palins. You post they get rich. Maywe if you don't like them and just disregard them you would be better off. I think they are kind of funny and I wish I were getting rich.

Posted by: peterdc | August 30, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Not only did Sarah and Bristol Palin both get pregnant out of wedlock, so did Sarah's mother (with Sarah's older brother). It's just a good ol' fashioned Palin family value.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | August 30, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Oh my, the liberals are in meltdown again. The level of hate and vicious comments knows no bounds when it comes to Sarah Palin. People who have worshiped the white trash clintons and now worship at the feet of barry hussein and his hideous wife. The lovely Sarah was great this weekend at the "Restore Honor" gathering in D.C.

Posted by: somberjules | August 30, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

The difference with Palin and her three-ring circus and all of the other T.V., Tabloid Reality shows is that none of the personalities on any of those other Reality shows were nominated by their political party for VP of the U.S., or wanted to be VP, nor do they aspire to be President of the United States like Palin aspires to be someday.

The Republican Party has turned the GOP into a 3-Ring circus. How sad, but true.

Posted by: lcarter0311 | August 30, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

So far, 20 of Sarah Palin's picks have won and 10 have lost in primary contests across the country. Victories translate into confidence! Palin is much smarter than what liberals are willing to acknowledge and privately they fear her.

Posted by: 2012frank | August 30, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Truth: Track had a choice between the National Guard (which improved Palin's war creds) or jail for drug and vagrancy charges.) That desk job in a war zone beats a cell.

The word in AK is that Track wasnt just up for vagrancy, but that he had cut the brake line to a couple of school buses. Can anyone confirm that was the case?

And yes Track was also rumoured to be a methhead, part of the reason he was kicked off his MI hockey team. Anyone got more than rumor on that too?

Lastly, it sure seems that between Track's birthcert and the Palin's Marriage License, it should be clear if Sarah was with child when the Palins got married.

Posted by: WOW9 | August 30, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Palin's picks have won in primary contests; generally attracting the more partisan or activist elements (think McGovern).

However, it remains to be seen whether her picks can win a general election. Sharron Angle runs from reporters and wants questions in advance and now refuses to directly advocate cutting Social Security and Medicare. Fiorina was responsible for not only devaluing HP stock but shipping 30,000 jobs to Asia. Nikki Haley will win but that has more to do with South Carolina politics and how GOP wins more often than not in the Palmetto State.

Furthermore, yes, she scares people: INTELLIGENT people. Charismatic charlatans offering easy solutions to complex issues and dividing nation into segments in which rural, undereducated white evangelicals are "real Americans" and implying educated urbanites are sub-human scum; saying "their" country was stolen is the kind of thinking that gave the world the Holocaust.
Since minorities, moderates and independents don't vote at same clip as true partisans, it is possible a very small yet vocal minority mob can attain great power, just as the Bolsheviks did in Russia and the Nazis did in Germany. Both used identity politics, division and sold easy soundbite answers to pressing issues. Both were responsible for the deaths of 10s of millions of people. A Sarah Palin presidency would have those types of consequences, given her fondness for her so called "real America" and her Dominionist religious beliefs.

Posted by: Handsome19781 | August 31, 2010 2:29 AM | Report abuse

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