Levi vs. Bristol: Who's Looking Out For Tripp?

Filed under: Opinions


After a string of spiteful, monosyllable caveman interviews that culminated in an even more cringe-inducing Playgirl spread, Levi Johnston is fighting to allow the press to be part of his child's custody battle. Last month, an Alaska judge granted Levi his wish, guaranteeing him another extension on his 15 minutes of fame.

Bristol Palin claims that Levi is an unfit, absent parent. She also wants to keep her baby away from Levi's mom, who is on house arrest for selling Oxycontin. When she filed for sole custody, Bristol asked for a closed proceeding in an attempt to avert the media circus that will inevitably surround an open hearing. Levi claims that the press will keep things honest and his famous would-be mother-in-law from interfering.

For her part, Sarah Palin says that this is an issue between Bristol and Levi, and while she supports Bristol's decision, she has no intention of interfering in the courtroom drama.

So, should Bristol get sole custody? Personally, I'm torn. While I don't think Levi has risen to the challenge of fatherhood (not even close!), kids need their dad -- and even Levi deserves a second chance to be a good father to Tripp.

It would be naïve to think that the Palin grandparents aren't bankrolling the attorney fees, but who could blame them for being disappointed, if not thoroughly disgusted with Levi? What grandparents wouldn't do all they could to shield their grandbaby from an irresponsible, reckless parent? Among my circle of friends who are grandmothers, there is near universal sympathy for the Palins when it comes to dealing with Levi and his actions of late.

So, is Levi genuinely worried about courtroom interferences from Grandma Sarah or does he want the press present for self-promoting reasons? If the last year is any indication of Levi's priorities, one would have to surmise that spending time with Tripp is not at the top of this new dad's list -- and frankly, if your in-laws are providing for your child, being civil and decent toward them is part of the deal.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Levi has had a post-centerfold change of heart and is genuinely fighting Bristol's custody placement with total sincerity. Let's hope that his love for Tripp is driving his decisions ... and not another year of pathetic B-list Hollywood invitations.

Related: Sarah Palin Style Evolution

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