So Many Reasons to Laugh at Levi Johnston's Playgirl Photoshoot

Pundits guffaw as Sarah Palin's would-be son-in-law agrees to strip for a magazine centerfold

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In the latest Palin family imbroglio, media darling Levi Johnston announced yesterday he'll pose nude for Playgirl. The father of Sarah Palin's grandson and pistachio peddler extraordinaire has begun lifting weights three hours a day, six days a week for the shoot. As with his explosive Vanity Fair inteview, the announcement has unleashed a torrent of media hoopla. Commentators wonder if the latest stunt reveals vanity, stupidity or an assiduous attempt to embarrass ex-Governor Palin.

  • What Is He Thinking?  "This joker’s on his fifteenth minute," writes Hoping for ephemeral political fame to build you a career is a bridge to nowhere." Others are bewildered by Johnston's choice of publications. In video footage captured by Vanity Fair, he says of Playgirl, "I'm assuming it's where a dude poses for women." In fact, as James Ryan at Nerve points out, most of its subscribers are male: "We thought his handlers were a bit more prudish than that, but now it seems clear that Johnston is merrily skipping his way down the path to actual gay porn."
  • What This Means for Palin  Bad news, writes Taegan Goddard: "It's not clear that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will run for president in 2012. What is clear, however, is that if she does run she'll need a strategy to deal with the father of her grandson." But Rod Dreher at Belief Net sees the bright side: "How fortunate the Palins are that this cat is not part of their family any longer." Sounding a conspiratorial note, Another Black Conservative says Johnston's being exploited to sully the name of Palin: "Now as far as Levi goes, does this boy not have any gray matter between his ears? Really, how stupid is he not to realize he is being used in an attempt to embarrass Palin?"
  • Will This Media Circus Never End? "Like a never ending car crash. You want it to stop. I want it to stop. Everyone wants it to stop," begins a blogger at U235. "But for all our wishing we just can't stop hearing about the latest gruesome developments of the Palin family. When it was the Osbournes you were allowed, nay encouraged, to change the channel. But somehow, insidiously, Sarah and her freak-show family just can't be exorcised from of our TV sets. They've been riding the media ferris wheel now for longer than I care to recall and it's to the point where even the name Sarah makes my left eye twitch. Seriously what does it take? Garlic? Wooden stakes? Holy water? A black democrat for President?" Doug Mataconis blames John McCain: "If he hadn’t picked Sarah Palin as his running mate, we never would have been exposed to any of these people."
  • It Was Inevitable, snarks Allahpundit: "The kid knows his limitations, I’ll say that for him. The only reason anyone’s heard of him is because of something he did with his schwanz. Might as well show it off. Perhaps they’ll make this extra 'special' by publishing the photos on the day Palin’s book drops."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.