UK Guardian reporter Ed Pilkington went to Anchorage to interview the 19 year-old babydaddy of Tripp Palin, Levi Johnston. There's audio, and some fairly interesting insight from Johnston on the Palin family and his Vanity Fair article, which was "retaliation."
Let's go straight to some quotes from the interview:
On the Vanity Fair piece: "I stand by it and I'm cool with everything I said. The route I chose to pick was just because they wouldn't let me see my kid. So I didn't really think that there was another way. That was the huge thing that made me do this. I don't want to (say it was retaliation)...I mean, I guess. If they would've let me see my kid, everything's fine, I never would've had to do any of that. They were gettin' scared. They know I know a lot. I still know more than what's out there. Then it got bad again and I said screw it, Vanity Fair article.
And on the custody issues Levi's having now: It's startin' to get bad again. They're making it kind of a pain in the ass again (to see Trip). I know I'm gonna end up (going to court). There're a lot of secrets and a lot of things that I haven't put out there that are bad...so I don't know if I want to. Some of the stuff I got, kept in, would either really hurt her or really get her in trouble. So, I really don't want to say anything else. I'm not that kind of person, no matter how much she pisses me off. I don't want to leak anything huge on her.
Okay, so, questions:
1. Is Levi Johnston screwing with all of us? It's entirely possible. An interesting way to gauge this would be to figure out the timeline on the Vanity Fair piece? Did Levi approach VF? Vice versa? Was there a lag between an offer and the acceptance of the offer? Despite all of the custodial trauma Levi's claiming, you've gotta wonder if he isn't enjoying his time in the limelight. I can't imagine he isn't. On the other hand, walking around L.A. with the same big guys he was seen at Monkey Bar with have been the most egregious extent of his famewhoring. He could, theoretically, be doing much, much worse.
2. What the hell isn't he talking about? And why isn't he? Sure, Levi's claiming principles as the obstacle we're facing to knowing everything he's got on the Palin family, but this 19 year-old kid from the sticks is either as innocent as he's assumed to be, or is far, far savvier than anyone could ever imagine (or at least savvy enough to listen to good advice). Hanging on to whatever he knows and leaking info out in droplets could maybe, possibly, profoundly scare the shit out of Sarah Palin and her oft-projected 2012 run's potential. Then again, maybe she isn't running, maybe she actually is done, and maybe a cost-benefit breakdown of what Levi's leaks could get him as opposed to the trouble it could cause for Palin's entire family really isn't worth it to him. He's a 19 year-old father, though: so what, exactly, is?
3. Will the threat of a lawsuit do anything to the Palin camp? And what could a lawsuit mean for them? Either way, we're gonna find out, and with it, the weight of whatever Johnston may or may not have, and the character of his balls if forced to move it forward. [Ed. Oh, we'll definitely know that soon enough. Intimately.]
Listen to the audio. We read and read about a lot of bullshit. We watch it on TV and in movies. But just the audio track? It's different. There's that dumb line from a movie: the truth just sounds different. Well, man, it does.
'Could be that there's another way for him to earn a buck that doesn't have to do with being in the spotlight—he remembers at the beginning of the interview his prospects in hockey or as an electrician—because Levi sounds down, out, and tired of dealing with all of this shit. Maybe he just wants to see his kid, and move forward with his life as something other than Levi Johnston, Asspain to Sarah Palin.
Or he's an underdog genius who's playing the media and the entire Palin narrative to his liking. At this point, pick one: the odds are about the same. More highlights:
On Sarah Palin's Vice President nomination: "Didn't mean anything to me. I didn't care. I didn't think it was that huge. I'm just gonna sit here and not say a word."
On Palin's personal interaction nature: "You can catch her in a lie a lot of the time. She don't read the newspaper. A lot of the things she's sayin', I know she's lying."
On the outdoorsmen nature of the Palin family: "I'd say (Sarah's) definitely stretchin' it big time. They're not a big hunting family."
On racism in the Palin household: "No, not (Sarah Palin)..no. She never said anything like that. She's not the racist type."
On Palin's loss: "After the election, she didn't want us to get married, really. You could tell that they're all sad about everything. I don't know, just her attitude towards everything was pretty down. I don't think she had much care for anything for a while. She hung around in her room a lot. I think she just wanted to be left alone for a while. She just went through a big depression, I think. She was bummed out bad."
On his breakup with Bristol: "There's no one to blame for it. I mean, if it didn't work, it didn't work."
On what he thinks of Sarah Palin now: "I still don't think bad about her. But...You know, just some of the shit she pulled on me—encouraging Bristol not to let me see the kid and everything else, from her acting like she liked me for four or five plus years, and then going on saying that stuff, is just ridiculous how fake they are...it's just ridiculous."
[Photo of Levi in "happier" times via Getty Images/Robyn Beck]