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.
Now, if we had actual non-deferential, out-for-the-truth MSM reporters, they'd be knocking on Levi's door asking what he could possibly mean by secrets that he has that "would either really hurt her or really get her in trouble." Johnston, of course, has said he won't divulge such material - which is, in Levi's eyes, more damaging to Palin than anything revealed so far. As for the privacy angle, look: she's not a regular person able to keep some things secret. She's potentially the next Republican nominee, the most powerful force in her own party right now, and a former vice-presidential nominee. She has repeatedly insisted that her life is an open book. She has repeatedly thrust her own family into the klieg-lights, including an infant and a teenage daughter. Her family narrative is a central plank of her political appeal. It is not illegitimate to ask her factual questions about it, and follow up with requests for proof.
Now recall especially what Johnston told Vanity Fair, when he says he was retaliating against Palin's refusal to give him full access to his son. This was his idea of a warning shot:
Sarah told me she had a great idea: we would keep it a secretnobody would know that Bristol was pregnant. She told me that once Bristol had the baby she and Todd would adopt him. That way, she said, Bristol and I didn’t have to worry about anything. Sarah kept mentioning this plan. She was naggingshe wouldn’t give up. She would say, “So, are you gonna let me adopt him?” We both kept telling her we were definitely not going to let her adopt the baby. I think Sarah wanted to make Bristol look good, and she didn’t want people to know that her 17-year-old daughter was going to have a kid.
Whatever Johnston is now insinuating is clearly worse, in his eyes, than trying to pass off her daughter's baby, Tripp, as her own. Of course, Johnston may be lying about all this. He has a motive: to get access to his son, and to make lots of money.
But, again, in reviewing the competing stories from both Johnston and Palin, all I can say is: Johnston seems far less artful and contrived than the former governor of Alaska. She too has a motive: to make lots of money and to seek political power through a compelling narrative. What we need are reporters to get to the bottom of this "he-said-she-said" back and forth. And what are the actual odds of MSM follow-through on this? One word: zero.
Still, some of you non-journalist types may be interested, so here's some of the transcript, via Gawker:
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 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 meencouraging 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."
Yep, the Palin drama is ridiculous. As is the political party that seems to be taking it seriously.
(Photos: Levi, Bristol and Trig at the GOP Convention last year, and Sarah Palin, posing with son Trig for Runner's World.)