The Johnston Family On Tyra Banks

Filed under: Celeb Kids

In case you missed the latest chapter in the chamber opera that the Palin and Johnston families are engaged in, here's an update.

Levi Johnston was on the Tyra Banks Show on Monday, along with his sister Mercede and their mother Sherry.

Palin Family Album

    Sherry Johnston, Tripp Easton Mitchell Johnston's other grandma -- besides Sarah Palin -- pled not guilty for charges of selling OxyContin. "I was in pain, and I'm still in pain," she told

    Al Grillo, AP

    "We both love each other," Levi Johnston, 18, told the AP in a rare interview about his relationship with 18-year-old Bristol Palin. "We both want to marry each other. And that's what we are going to do."

    Paul Sancya, AP

    "Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned," the Palins's statement said when they announced her pregnancy. "As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows that she has our unconditional love and support."

    Robyn Beck, AFP/Getty Images

    Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her husband Todd have five children: Track, 19, Bristol, 18, (with Levi Johnston), Willow, 14, Piper, 7, and Trig, 8 months. (not pictured).

    Fredy Perojo, AOL

    Chuck Heath, 70, (pictured with wife Sally), Sarah Palin's father, said gift boxes for his newest grandson are piling up in the governor's mail room from all over the world. There's no way the family will ever be able to answer every letter, he said, although they are trying.

    Charlie Neibergall, AP

    Sarah Palin initially hid her pregnancy with Trig from the public, causing rumors that Trig was her grandson via Bristol.

    Win McNamee, Getty Images

    "Trig is beautiful and already adored by us," read a statement by the Palin when Trig was born on April 18. "We knew through early testing he would face special challenges, and we feel privileged that God would entrust us with this gift and allow us unspeakable joy as he entered our lives. We have faith that every baby is created for good purpose and has potential to make this world a better place. We are truly blessed."

    Paul J. Richards, AFP / Getty Images

    Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband Todd, and daughters Bristol,16, right, and Piper, 5, at the end of a 2006 inauguration ceremony in Fairbanks. Palin, 42, is the first female and youngest governor of Alaska.

    Al Grillo, AP

    Then-Republican U.S. vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, her daughters, Piper, Willow, and husband Todd walk out onto the ice to drop the ceremonial first puck before a St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings hockey game.

    Whitney Curtis, Getty Images

    Levi Johnston called himself a "redneck' on his MySpace page.

    Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Some highlights:
  • Mercede is friends with "a lot of girls Levi previously dated," and Bristol doesn't want those girls around the baby. Therefore it's difficult for Merecede to spend time with baby Tripp, since those girls might come with her. Not sure about you, but when my relatives stop by to see my kids, they tend not to bring their friends along. But maybe things are different in Alaska.
  • Tyra wants everyone to know that the Johnston family are not being paid to be on her show. She feels this is deserving of applause. The audience agrees. There is much clapping.
  • Despite it all, Levi would vote for Sarah Palin if she ran for President. You must be relieved. I know I am.
Also of note are two web-only clips from Levi and his sis. In the first, Levi wants teen fathers to know that parenting isn't easy, and that he really wants to be there for his son Tripp. Mercede gets a brief solo video as well, saying that she wants everyone to know that her family is "not white trash." She also would like to be allowed to "be the aunt" that she has "always wanted to be," and hopes that Bristol will let Tripp come to the Johnston household.

That latter scenario seems unlikely, since at casa de Palin, there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth. Sarah and family are not happy about the Johnston interview, with a press rep telling People Magazine that they are "disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship [with the Palins]." Subtle. Palin's PR person went on to say that "Bristol's focus will remain on raising Tripp, completing her education, and advocating abstinence." Except for the time when she said that an abstinence-only education was "just not realistic" for everyone. Maybe they meant to say that Bristol will advocate abstinence "from now on"?

As Susan pointed out earlier, the real problem here is the interviews that both families are doing. I understand why Sarah Palin does press. She's a Governor with a national profile and it's not unusual for her to speak to the media on a regular basis. But Bristol didn't need to do an interview on Fox News, and the Johnstons didn't need to go on Tyra. Frequently both sides cite a desire to "set the record straight." Guys, if I may use a somewhat dated expression, the record is broken. It keeps repeating the same song over and over again. He wants this, she said this, but then they told us to do that... Blah blah blah. Be done with it already.

But some of the commenters on Tyra's website believe that the Johnstons needed to speak out. A user with the handle "FROM ALASKA" weighs in thusly: "All of you are lowlifes. There is two sides to this story, the Johnstons just wanted to tell everyone their story since it was only Bristol telling it. They're just trying to get their stories straight." On the other side of the aisle, "Mary Ann" disagrees: she is "shocked that Levi and his sister would make comments about the mother of his child. It shows their immaturity." And "Bobbie" stays firmly in the middle, telling us that she is "tired of hearing about the Palins. I wish Sarah would crawl back into the Alaskan woodwork." Bobbie, I'm not a psychic twin or anything, but I'm guessing that we're going to hear a lot more from Palin over the next few years.

Not to play favorites, but we think that our commenters are the best around, so let's hear from you!

What do you think? Was it a good idea for the Johnstons to go on Tyra and tell their story? Or does everybody except for Governor Palin need to get out of the public eye as quickly as possible?

Brett Singer is the editor-in-chief of

ReaderComments (Page 1 of 1)


Flickr RSS



AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.