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Operation K-Fed Redemption begins: On the same day TMZ posts paparazzi photos of Kevin Federline interacting with wife/meal ticket Britney Spears while actually holding his own son in his arms (and no hunky babyguards in sight), the AP is reporting that Spears has given the Today Show's Matt Lauer an exclusive interview, airing Thursday, in which she insists that her husband has been nothing less than her cornrowed, background dancing rock in her time of need:

Spears insisted that she loves her husband..."He helps me. He has to. I'm (an) emotional wreck right now," she said.

The paparazzi have "crossed the line a little bit" by showing her in private moments, she said. She also defended her parenting skills, saying, "I know I'm a good mom."

She drew criticism earlier this year when she was photographed with her infant son, Sean, sitting on her lap as she drove. She cautions against judging her.

"I did it with my dad. I'd sit on his lap and I drive," the Louisiana native said. "We're country."

While it may seem gauche to us, one has to admire Spears' frank defense of her rustic upbringing—a traditional, non-fussy America where newborns are commonly brought home from log-cabin hospitals by being casually tossed into the flatbed of a pick-up truck and hitting the gravel road. Meanwhile, her insistence that things are fine with Federline leads us to question everything we thought we knew about our own Trapper Keeper-poetry interpretation skills. Then again, the sudden spate of image-reparative K-Fed press could just be one of the negotiated divorce settlement terms, stating that Spears must do her part to improve the guy's rep on his way out the door.