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Levi's Blues

So, after begging the press and bloggers to lay off Levi Johnston, he goes and does the Tyra Banks and CBS Morning shows. So much for my belief that he wants to be left alone. I guess he's now invited whatever media scrutiny he gets. But this attack on Levi from the conservative blogger Erick Erickson, via Andrew Sullivan, is just gross:

The left, when it decided Bristol Palin was fair game, went after Levi Johnson for being a thug and redneck. He was not interested in college — only in scoring with the Governor’s daughter. The classic tale of the high school jock who is, in essence, a low life loser in it for a good time. The left and media regaled the rest of us with tales of what a loser the Palin kid slept with.

The left was right. Now, though, they can’t be bothered by it. Below is the actual Levi — no preppy clothes. No polish. Just good old boy who knocked up the Governor’s daughter. Not exactly the image Tyra Banks and he would like you to think about.

What’s even more creepy is that the other person in the picture is his sister. And, as if lifted from the pages of Deliverance, she has his name tattooed on her back finger. Think about that one for a minute.

Nothing like a good incest insinuation to start your day. Ugh.

Erickson, a Palin defender, believes Levi is bashing the Alaska Governor to make money. Palin critics like Andrew and Amanda Marcotte are relishing the Johnston-Palin brouhaha as an example of Republican class politics backfiring. But I think this whole situation is a lot more basic than that. If you watch Levi's interviews with Tyra Banks and CBS, what you'll see is a kid who had a baby and then had a falling out with the baby's mother (and her mother) and is now desperate to still play a role in his son's life--which is something his son's mom and her family don't seem very eager for him to do. I realize that the prominence of the people involved makes this a very tabloid-ish tale, but I think it's a human one, too. And I wish the left and the right would remember that as they turn this family feud into spectator sport. (Fat chance, I know.)

--Jason Zengerle