Debra J. Saunders

Be prepared to see more of Levi Johnston than you ever wanted to see. The 19-year-old who fathered a baby born out of wedlock to Sarah Palin's teenage daughter Bristol is about to pose nude for Playgirl magazine. Also, with Palin's book, "Going Rogue," set for release this month, some publications may follow Vanity Fair's example in October by granting the high-school dropout a byline.

Arguing with Idiots By Glenn Beck

In that piece, Johnston claimed that Palin did not nurture her children -- or cook or clean -- while husband Todd tinkered in the garage or slept on a black recliner in the living room.

This sort of Vanity Fair piece need not include verification by other sources, but there must be a paragraph with a seedy nugget in it. So Johnston wrote that the former Alaska governor sometimes called her Down syndrome son, Trig, "the retarded baby."

Appearing on CBS's "The Early Show" last week, Johnston released his latest salvo: "If I really wanted to hurt her, I could, very easily, but I'm not going to do it. I'm not going that far."

Not yet anyway. Johnston garners more ink in British than American newspapers. But he frequently is fodder for leftwing blogs and among pundits who concoct phrases like "Wasilla hillbilly" -- and cannot let go. He is the scratch for the itch of partisans so anxious to feel superior to Palin that they will consume any negative story about her, no matter how tainted. MSNBC talking heads like to bring up Levi Johnston.

Methinks if Fox News aired similar stories about a Democrat's daughter, there would be news stories questioning the right-leaning network's news judgment. After all, the accusations of an underemployed 19-year-old -- who has a career-incentive to dish out dirt on Palin -- are not exactly credible.

Or as "The Early Show's" Maggie Rodriguez wondered during an "exclusive" interview last week, "You really sound like somebody who's dead set on hurting these people the way they hurt you."

Rodriguez also asked, "Why should people believe you versus her?" To which Johnston replied, "I don't know." And: "I mean I was like family in that house." (All the more reason for Johnston to have kept his mouth zipped.)

Debra J. Saunders

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