Sarah Palin vs. Levi Johnston

Their latest scrap splinters the blogosphere

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America's bloggers are racing to take sides in one of the nation's great conflicts: the war between Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston. The tumultuous saga--involving backstabbing tell-alls and seamy Playgirl show-alls--has taken an uglier turn. On Wednesday, Levi Johnston told the hosts of CBS's The Early Show, that he knew things about Sarah Palin too damaging to mention:
There are some things that I have that are huge. And I haven't said them because I'm not gonna hurt her that way. I have things that can, you know -- that would get her in trouble, and could hurt her. Will hurt her. But I'm not gonna go that far. You know, I mean, if I really wanted to hurt her, I could, very easily. But there's -- I'm not gonna do it. I'm not going that far.
Johnston then repeated his charge that Palin used the word "retarded" to refer to her son with Down Syndrome. "I think she was joking, but it doesn't make it right," he said. Palin quickly fired back a statement:
We have purposefully ignored the mean spirited, malicious and untrue attacks on our family. We, like many, are appalled at the inflammatory statements being made or implied. Trig is our 'blessed little angel' who knows it and is lovingly called that every day of his life. Even the thought that anyone would refer to Trig by any disparaging name is sickening and sad.
She closed with a crisp barb, alluding to Johnston's upcoming Playgirl spread:
Consider the source of the most recent attention-getting lies—those who would sell their body for money reflect a desperate need for attention and are likely to say and do anything for even more attention.

How have bloggers split? Palin finds an unlikely ally in Breanne L. Heldman, a writer for E! Online:

It's not that often that we agree with Sarah Palin this strongly. [She] has been known to state the preposterous, but calling her daughter's baby daddy desperate hits below the belt and right on the money.

Adding backhanded praise is Nicole Steadman at Celebuzz:

I loathe to agree with the ex-governor, but we're talking about a kid who squired Kathy Griffin to the Teen Choice Awards, posed for topless pictures in GQ with his baby, and is currently planning to pose for Playgirl. [He] needs to rethink some choices.

Levi's squad boasts The Atlantic's own Andrew Sullivan, who encourages him to spill the rest of Palin's secrets:

At this point, it seems to me that Levi has nothing to lose and a lot to gain by telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Next month would be a great opportunity, as Palin's latest vehicle is wheeled out by the marketing company, Harper Collins. If she can make millions off lies and spin, why should he not make some cash by telling the truth and exposing the fraud?

Gawker's Brian Moylan also backs Johnston:

Oh, that is rich. This is coming from the woman who said David Letterman thought it was "OK, accepted and funny to talk about statutory rape," when he made a joke about her daughter, one he thought was aimed at her of-age daughter, not the younger one. Always blowing it out of proportion. Anyway, Levi isn't selling his body, he's just posing for some naked pictures. There is a huge difference. Well, we don't know how big the difference is yet, but we'll let you know once we see the test shots.

Update: Johnston releases statement about Playgirl shoot: "Everything's gonna hang out. We're talking full johnson."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.