I never much got into relationship-centered reality t.v. No Bachelor or Bachelorette for me, no The Hills, no Housewives of Anywhere, and certainly no New Jersey Douchebags or whatever that show is called. But I swear to God, if Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston get their own show, I’m on that like white on rice.
I don’t even know if I could explain why, but there’s something about those crazy-in-love Alaskans that just fascinates me. Perhaps it’s because I despise them, pity them, and find myself vaguely attracted to them—all in almost exactly equal measure. Isn’t that what makes people watch reality shows in the first place? That combination is powerful. I don’t know why, but I want to want to give them a hug, punch them in the mouth, and have hot sex with them…in no particular order, or perhaps simultaneously. Is that weird? Is it just me?
Yeah, okay. It’s probably just me.
Anyway, so they were on the outs for a while, you know. Levi was saying horrible things about Bristol’s mom (She Who Must Not Be Named), hanging out with Kathy Griffin, and hiding his candy in Playgirl photo shoots…then all of a sudden, BAM! He starts apologizing for things he said about Grizzly Mom.
Rumors were circling around Alaska about a possible reunion. Later Bristol explains they’d been hanging out a little—you know, for the sake of their son with the weird name. They went for a walk together. Then, after he left, Levi texted her these 13 magical words: “I miss you. I love you. I want to be with you again.” Swoony, huh? Isn’t he a dream date?
Reader, they were engaged a mere two weeks later…apparently deciding it best to announce it in Us Weekly before telling Mama Bear because Bristol said she found the idea of telling her mother the news “intimidating and scary.” I have no comments on that sentiment. None at all.
Voldemom, of course, reacted to the news with effusive love and support and encouragement. She released a statement to the media showering congratulations on the happy young couple. It read: “Bristol at 19 is now a young adult. We obviously want what’s best for our children. Bristol believes in redemption and forgiveness to a degree most of us struggle to put in practice in our daily lives.” Don’t you wish your moms were so supportive and caring?
Of course, I’m not convinced that Bristol-Levi 2.0 will work better or last longer than the first version did. But I’m really pulling for them. And, again, I have to say I don’t really know why. I mean, Bristol didn’t win any points with me for going on a speaking tour talking about abstinence shortly after becoming the country’s most popular unwed mother for a while back during the last presidential campaign. None of the interviews I’ve seen with either of these kids left me impressed with their class or intelligence, two traits I generally tend to look for in people.
Perhaps that’s where the “pity” part of my reality-show emotion trifecta comes in. I kinda think they’re just dumb kids who, if it weren’t for big-money politics, would’ve been able to play out their Springeresque drama in the privacy of their own trailers.
They were thrown into the spotlight. Rather than shrink from it, however, they bloomed into fame-seeking publicity whores. That’s where the “despise” part of the equation comes in.
As for the third part of the equation: Levi cleaned up pretty good for the Republican National Convention, didn’t he? And I don’t know what Bristol’s been doing, but on the cover of Us Weekly she kinda looks bitchy-hot in that early-1990’s Shannon Doherty way. But I digress.
What’s most fascinating to me is the speculation that has come from the announcement of these crazy kids’ engagement.
AOL News (which I didn’t really know existed), posted what it calls the “definitive” timeline tracing the history of the Bristol-Levi relationship.
Newsweek dove right into a political analysis of the engagement:
“Before his apology, Johnston was (obviously) a loose cannon who made the Palins look bad with his tell-all inside look at the Palin house — even though some of his claims were apparently false (though Johnston hasn’t said which ones). And the fact that Palin had an unwed teenage daughter with a baby didn’t help her — indeed, there were allegations that the original Johnston-Palin engagement was a shotgun affair to save face — but now she can again play up the “happy family” image that’s served her well.”
But the really juicy stuff appeared just where I thought it would: on the message boards of the Fox News website. The story of their engagement appeared on the “Entertainment” blog of the Fox News site rather than on the Politics page. Hmm.
(Semi-digression: When I searched the Fox News site to see where they posted info about Chelsea Clinton’s upcoming wedding—you know Chelsea, right? She’s the politician’s daughter who didn’t get knocked up at 17 and then do a speaking tour about abstinence—I had difficulty finding stories about it. The first thing I found was a headline: “Chelsea Clinton to Wed at Ritzy New York Venue?” Then there was an invitation to submit your hilariously photoshopped images for their “Photo-Opinion” feature. Here’s the pitch: “Chelsea Clinton will wed later this month. Oprah and President Obama both plan to attend. Show us what you think the wedding might look like.” I’m sure that’ll produce some good conservo-comedy. After that one, the most recent Chelsea Clinton story involved Fox’s criticism of MSNBC’s David Shuster for saying something in February 2008 about Hillary “pimping out” her daughter during the campaign.) Damn that David Shuster! Too bad he didn’t follow the Fox News policy of never saying anything bad about a Clinton!
Anyway, here are some of the best comments and theories I read from contributors to the Fox News Entertainment blog story about Bristol and Levi. (I didn’t edit any of the grammar or spelling.)
1. Levi is untrustworthy AND evil liberals are paying him to worm his way back into the Palins’ lives so he can collect dirt on Mama Bear.
- (a) from dizzykitty: “I want to know what left-wing organization is paying this idiot to crawl back into the Palins’ lives? Think about it. 2012 elections are just around the corner. He can’t be trusted.”
- (b) from David: Levi Johnston is most likely a plant from the left to get into the Palin family and collected some dirt on Sarah Palin for the next 2 years. Sarah, don’t let your guard down.”
- (c) from anniep: “I’d be looking for hidden cameras and mikes at family dinners. This sounds like a Rahm Emanuel set up to me.”
2. There’s something fishy going on and it involves babies.
- (a) from Annieluc: “Bristol is about 3 months pregnant now. Rumors in Alaska have been around for weeks. So much for her abstinence role model job…”
- (b) from lowhandy: “I think that a trip to the Maury show is in order… THE KID HAS BLUE EYES AND BLOND HAIR AND DOESN’T LOOK LIKE DADDY!!!!!!!!!”
- (c) from Confused: why does this baby look nothing like either of them. Theres more than just one thing fishy about this whole scenario.”
3. Let God Sort it Out
- (a) from G.M.C.: “They are a family that has such a committed Christian attitude. Her mother and father can now say how thankful they are that their prayers have been answered. God Bless them and the Palins!”
- (b) from Ariel “If your parents aren’t happy with you getting married to a person, it’s a sign that God doesn’t want it to happen. Just because you had a baby with someone doesn’t mean to should marry them.”
- (c) from ChristianMother: “God forgives us–we can forgive each other. While the eyes of this sinful world judge them, God knows what’s in their hearts. God bless this young couple and their beautiful baby boy.”
4. It’s all a hoax by the far-left media because they’re just trying to “refudiate” the Holy Hockey Mom.
- (a) from Gina0227: “This story can’t be real, probably a Lame-stream media hoax. That photo of Bristol and Levi is fake. I wish the media would stop attacking Sarah Palin. She’s a great mother and this is a lie.”
- (b) from Irisheyes: “I agree Gina0227. If this was real, it would be all over the news and it’s NOT. Sarah is a great mother and very smart and scrares the LIBS to death. LIBS don’t have anyone that smart.”
- (c) from Ron: “This will be another reason for the libs to attack Sarah Palin. They already hate her because she is smart,pretty and believes in God.She also knows how to balance a budget. Dems cant do that.”
5. Levi’s only marrying her so he doesn’t have to pay child support anymore.
- (a) from suzanne: “Levi couldn’t make it in Hollywood, spent his money, didn’t want pay child support, so now he’ll marry Bristol and live off of her. What a loser, Bristol, love is blind.”
- (b) from jasbr: “now that Levi won’t have to pay child support, maybe he’ll stop selling his stories to the the tabloids.”
- (c) from JCZK: “After all he did to that family, she’s going to be legally tied to him now? He ran out of money. A person can say “I love you…I miss you” and not mean it when $ signs are all they see.”
Ain’t love grand?