Even they have to draw the line somewhere. In an interview titled "Levi's Story", we read:
[W]e are witnessing the emergence of a whole new class of communities especially in rural and small-town America, and the outer suburbs where scores of children and young men are growing up apart from the civilizing power of marriage and a stable family life. (Think of Levi Johnston, minus the access to the money his temporary fame has brought him). This does not bode well for the economic and social health of these communities.
But the piece should really be called "Bristol's Story." Levi wanted to get married; it was Bristol who pulled the plug on it, with the support of her mother, the alleged patron saint of family values.
I agree with Ben Smith that Palin's entire family is on the table - because she has put them on the table.
You don't have Bristol on DWTS and not expect the public scrutiny that every other DWTS pseudo-celebrity endures. You don't exploit an infant with Down Syndrome without getting questions as to where the child actually came from (a universally disbelieved pregnancy announced the day after McCain won the nomination for president and a few days after Palin met McCain for the first time). You don't put Tripp and Track and Piper as characters in a propagandized "reality show" without opening them up to the media hounds.
None of Palin's children seems headed for college. They use foul language; one has committed vandalism; one has had a teen pregnancy. Palin herself got pregnant before marriage. They are prefectly free to do all these things and I wouldn't in any way want to restrict their freedom one iota. But you don't splay your private life for maximal political exploitation and then play the victim card when the press, or what's left of it, asks questions. And you certainly don't go around extolling traditional family values - when, compared, say, with Obama, you have none.
Which reminds me: when are we going to get medical records proving that Sarah Palin is the biological mother of Trig? Maybe it will take a desperate Republican rival to ask. The press sure won't.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.