There is no easy way to say this, so here it is: Levi Johnston did not tell the truth about the Trig pregnancy in his book, Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin's Crosshairs.
I had planned to write a fun,snarky, 4th grade-style book report for you all. But I’m no longer in the mood. I just spent this afternoon pouring over each word, trying to figure out if Levi is lying, or just doesn’t know the truth.
It’s like trying to sort out a giant ball of tangled yarn. There are SO many inconsistencies, it’s nearly impossible to unravel. For example:
In Going Rogue, Sarah Palin says that Levi Johnston was not present for the birth of his son Tripp. But in Bristol’s book, she says Levi and her mom were there. Levi says he was there. Obviously, somebody is lying. (I’m going to give this lie to Sarah).
Unless…they are mixing up details of two different birth stories. We know Levi was there when Trig was born:
Do we have any photos of him holding a newborn Tripp in the hospital?
Levi describes Tripp’s birth:
Once I got inside the lobby, I headed straight forthe Birthing Center. I had taken this same route eight months before,for Trig’s birth. This was different. This was Bristol’s and my baby. Sarah’s head swiveled when I walked into Bristol’s suite. I walked over to the other side of the bed. Sarah looked like the weight of the world had been lifted off her shoulders. Levi’s here, she said, leaning over Bristol and patting her hair. Isn’t that great? Bristol shook her mother’s hand off her head. I didn’t know it then, but it would be another five hours before my son was born. Sarah, Bristol, and I were the only ones there. No one had called my trailer-trash father, mother, and sister.Why didn’t I? I guess I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers. Levi, Sarah broke into my thoughts. Thank you for getting here so fast, she said, leaning over Bristol to touch my arm. I was John Wayne who had just ridden in to rescue the pretty lady in distress. Sarah could have been the one in labor. She looked a mess, hair stuck to her forehead, glasses askew. A little like the librarian who just let down her hair. Poor Bristol was twisting and turning, throwing her body side to side. She grabbed for me, hit my chin. I kissed her forehead. She smiled up at me, and then she screamed. Oh my God. My babe was in serious pain. It was her first delivery and she was only a girl. She screamed again. I mean flat-out screamed. Where was the epidural? I called the nurse. Bring that epidural in here right now. Bristol was wailing, cussing up a storm, bitching at her mother. We need that damn epidural! Now I’m yelling,too. Sarah and I were trying to talk Bristol down and it made her angry. Again, she went after her mom, verbally and then physically. Sarah ducked. Calm down, babe. Calm down. Breathe. Breathe. Bristol lay back and squeezed my hand until it was bloodless.
The doc came in and gave her the epidural. Then she was all sweet and nice and messed up out of her mind. Then she passed out, asleep. Sarah and I looked at each other, took a deep breath together, and smiled. We’d broken the filly with good teamwork. I was starving. Sarah suggested I run over to theTaco Bell. It was her favorite fast food. I knew she loved their quesadillas and asked if she wanted me to bring one back for her. I don’t think I could manage it, she said. When I got back fifteen minutes later, Bristol was still sleeping. She woke up an hour later with me at her side. She was sweaty, exhausted—and so beautiful. It would be three more hours before the doc said those wonderful words to me: She’s good to go. Bristol wanted to push. Together we were panting that baby out. How the hell does anyone manage to do this all by themselves? Tripp took his time, finally arrived after six hours of labor.
The cord had been wrapped around his short, little neck twice. One look at this baby boy—a miracle!—and I knew my life would never be the same. I was given scissors to cut the clamped cord. What I needed was an oxygen mask. My fingers were jelly. I was overwhelmed, grabbed on to the rail of Bristol’s bed with one hand, and passed Sarah the scissors. Snip. Baby Tripp was on his own. I would have loved a little Piper of my own, but when we found out we were going to have a boy, we already had the name picked out—actually way before Bristol had even conceived. Trip was a character in one of those psycho scrambler motocross films. Trip Carlyle. It had a nice ring to it. Bristol added the second “p.” Easton Mitchell? Easton was my favorite hockey-stick supplier.
You know what stands out to me? (Keeping in mind that I am trained in messaging and "spin" and I can spot a well-crafted message a mile away.) "I had taken this same route eight months before, for Trig’s birth." -- Why would he even mention"eight months"? In natural conversation, he would not. But he had to get that in there to reinforce the Palin story.
Also: "It was her first delivery and she was only a girl." -- Um, it was her ONLY delivery. It is REALLY strange to say it was her "first" -- unless it wasn't and he is lying about it.
Now let’s examine what he has to say about the Trig pregnancy:
Mom thinks she might be about to go into labor, Bristol said into my ear. We’re meeting her at the hospital. Sarah had been telling Bristol during the past month that her water was leaking once or twice a day, in drops. When she left for the lower forty-eight, though, her baby wasn’t due for another five weeks. I had told Bristol it was nuts for her mom to be traveling here and there,giving speeches. I sure as hell wouldn’t have let Bristol do that. Now Sarah was telling Bristol that the drops were pretty much constant. Sarah had felt she had plenty of time to get back to Wasilla.She wanted to be home rather than deliver in Texas so that her new son could be a true-blue Alaska boy. She wanted this child, possibly a Down’s baby, to be delivered by her doc, who knew the deal, in our new medical center in Wasilla.
Let’s ignore for a minute the ridiculous assertion that Sarah was leaking amniotic fluid throughout her seventh month of pregnancy and went on about her business like nothing was happening.
Levi, the circumstances you describe aren’t even possible. If they suspected that the baby was a “Down’s baby,” the new medical center would never have accepted Sarah as a maternity patient. This was a high-risk delivery (advanced maternal age, earlylabor, Downs Syndrome) and that medical center is not accredited to handle high-risk births. They would have put her in an ambulance and shipped her off to Anchorage. If they didn’t, they could be fined, liable for any damages to mother or baby and lose the accreditations they do have.
But what is even more interesting than these new details to the Trig fairytale, are the new details to the Tripp pregnancy story:
I was worried though about leaving Bristol. I told her I wasn’t going to go, but she insisted, wanted me to get some time with Todd. I don’t know whether Bristol was trying to get rid of me or really hoped Todd and I would become closer. I didn’t care at that point. I was just happy for a break. I also was getting a reprieve from the wedding series she loved to watch with me. It had been getting worse, this fascination with marriage. I saw so many of these shows that I could be a wedding planner, doing anything from divas to redneck weddings—with the bride and groom wrestling pigs in a mud pit. Before I left that morning, I made Bristol lunch and left a surprise box of her favorite candy, Almond Roca,under her pillow. I loaded my machine in my truck. Bristol wasn’t due for another three weeks. At least that was the plan…
Chuck Heath originally announced that Bristol’s due date was Dec. 18. Levi says that Bristol gave birth"3 weeks early" on Dec. 27. (date changed by Kathleen) Three weeks later would have made her due in mid to late January. Does this mean Levi never believed the date the family publicly released? Why doesn't he confront this discrepancy? Does this mean the Palins lied to America about Bristol's due date? If so, why?
And for the love of God, WHY ALL THE INCONSISTENCIES?!?! When you have a baby, your due date and labor story is BURNED ONTO YOUR BRAIN forever!! They were OBVIOUSLY lying, and trying to revise history, while struggling to get the story straight on Tripp’s birth. WHY? Why would they have to do that unless they were covering up for a previous pregnancy?!
Well, that should give you some discussion points. Overall, Levi throws in just enough "Sarah is a liar" examples in his book to remain credible and seem like he is anti-Palin. But I'm telling you, my Spidey Sense is tingling like crazy -- the kid is lying.
We’re in for a very busy and exciting week here at Politicalgates, with lots of coverage coming up on Joe McGinniss’ book as well. I will post a full review of Levi’s book later in the week. But for now, I’m going to go cry on my pillow.
UPDATE: Levi's televised publicity schedule.
“DR. PHIL” – September 20
“The INSIDER” CBS – September 2
“THE JOY BEHAR SHOW” HLN – September 21“THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCW O'DONNELL” MSNBC – September 22
CNN “NEWSROOM” – September 22
“WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW” – September 21
“INSIDE EDITION” CBS – September 21or 22
CNN “SHOWBIZ TONIGHT” – September 22
EXTRA – September 22