Let's consider the latest developments in the Levi Johnston saga.
When we last left Levi, he was fighting with his ex-girlfriend, Bristol Palin, over the custody of his son, Tripp. Also, he was talking trash about Tripp's grandmother, the former Republican vice presidential nominee.
This was last summer, when he was showing up everywhere from Vanity Fair to Playgirl, complaining about how Sarah Palin made him cut off his mullet before the Republican convention and how on the day Tripp was born, "I didn't think Sarah wanted my mom around all the cameras because she had been arrested for selling prescription medication a week and a half earlier."
But this week Johnston sent out an olive branch, via People magazine.
"Last year, after Bristol and I broke up, I was unhappy and a little angry. Unfortunately, against my better judgment, I publicly said things about the Palins that were not completely true," he said.
We have been dealing with a lot of imperfect apologies recently, but this one hits a new level of unsatisfactory.
At the very least, we need to know which of the gossip he was dishing was true, and which not completely. The part about how Sarah fights a lot with Todd? Or that she never cooks? Personally, all I want to know is whether Levi was being straight when he said that the former governor of Alaska doesn't really know how to shoot a gun.
Johnston also told People that he hoped that the Palins would "forgive my youthful indiscretion." This does not really sound like something that would come from a high school dropout who gave his son the middle name of Easton because that is his favorite hockey equipment company. In fact, the last time I heard anyone refer to a "youthful indiscretion" was in 1998, when 74-year-old Henry Hyde, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was confessing to an adulterous affair he had conducted when he was 41.
Bristol responded to her ex-boyfriend's statement with one of her own, saying that "part of co-parenting is creating healthy and honest relationships between the parents." Also not the kind of word choice you normally hear from a 19-year-old.
Last year, when his illegitimate fatherdom fame was at its height, Levi had acquired management and was talking about writing his memoirs or pursuing an acting career. But it appears that he has not actually been able to turn his failure to use a condom into a permanent job.
Bristol has been far more successful. She is currently the teen ambassador for the Candie's Foundation to prevent teen pregnancy. She is also available to speak about her experiences - for fees of $15,000 and up.
Earlier this year, Rachel Maddow reported on MSNBC that Bristol had filed paperwork to establish her own company to provide "lobbying, public relations and political consulting services." This may have been done for tax purposes, but the fact is that for a foe of teenage pregnancy, Bristol has been making unwed motherhood look like a pretty attractive gig.
This week, she made her acting debut on the series The Secret Life of the American Teenager, where she had been cast in the role of an unmarried teen mom named Bristol. The plots all seem to revolve around who is pregnant, formerly pregnant or worried about being pregnant. In the Bristol episode, there was a great deal of speculation about whether the main character, Amy, was "pregnant again."
Amy plays the French horn and had gone off to a camp for young musicians in New York City in hopes of furthering her ambition to get into Julliard. It was possibly the coolest music camp in the history of band instruments, since every camper got her own personal apartment in Manhattan. Then Bristol appeared at Amy's door to offer to show her how the subway works and let her in on the camp's secret theme: "We're all teen moms. And musicians."
To summarize: Bristol Palin is a teenager whose out-of-wedlock baby has turned her into a national celebrity and gotten her a cameo role on a popular TV show. Where she explains to the lead character that her status as an unwed mother wins her a slot in the world's greatest music camp.
The only person who's actually been doing anything for the battle against teen pregnancy is Levi Johnston. Don't have unprotected sex with your boyfriend, girls. Look what he might turn into.
©2010 New York Times News Service