Levi Johnston’s book is out, and it calls out the Palins well (excerpts)

Imagine my surprise (or mild amusement really) when I found an ad for Levi Johnston’s new book on one of our favorite sites, D-Listed. That’s the first time I’ve heard that the book Levi has threatened to release for months is actually out. Levi’s new memoir Deer in The Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs has been published by Simon & Schuster. Judging from the passages I skimmed, the book is highly readable, interesting and relatable. They got Levi an incredibly competent ghost writer who makes him sound both coherent and self aware to a degree that is in no way supported by the dull, halting interviews he’s given to date. Levi is a high school dropout who posed for Playgirl and at one point wanted to run for mayor of his Alaska town. In an interview on “The View” announcing his candidacy (which never materialized), he was incapable of reciting a single reason why anyone should vote him. So it’s laughable to imagine Levi writing this book in any fashion since it actually flows well and describes things simply and vividly. Here’s an example in which he talks about his family. Levi’s love of hunting and the outdoors is a common theme throughout:


My male relatives… were ballsy, somewhat crazy, and still are. Not in a Deliverance kind of way though. They wouldn’t think twice about running a wild river in a canoe, catching air on a snow machine, jumping four-wheelers, or flying off hilltops 120 feet downslope. Those same men had unending patience as they taught us boys what we needed to know to be out there, on our own and safe…

I know who I am from hunting. It’s my identity – a world and an activity I know as well as anyone. Better. It’s a place where I can survive.

Kodiak brown-bear country is different from the heavily treed home of black bears need Wasilla. Kodiak land is mushy, swampy in the valleys, with adler that has been stunted by the wind, the cold and the fog. The saplings are ten, twelved feet high. Sometimes you see the tops of these thickets trembling as a bear pushes through, on the move. You guess the direction and cut that bear off or you’ll lose it.

A snow machine? Is that what they’re calling snowmobiles now? (It seems to be the case as they’re called snow machines consistently.) The passages in this book are evocative and interesting. I actually enjoyed reading some of this because it described nature and hunting in a way that changed my perspective. Levi had some incredible stories to tell, like when he nearly got sucked into a whirlpool when he was canoeing with his uncle. They had to wade through ice cold water for hours at night before they made it the ten miles back to camp.

As for what people are really interested in, The Palins, Levi didn’t say much that we haven’t already heard from him, but he did say it in a convincing way. He described a home life in which mom Sarah was in her own world, separate from her husband and the kids. Her husband Todd did his own thing, hanging out in his man cave and sleeping on the couch at night. Here’s the part where Levi describes that:

Claims Sarah and Todd were estranged, Sarah ignored her kids
The first time I went snow machining with [Todd], he surprised me. At home he is like a shadow. Always in the garage, doing something. Away from home, Todd was a totally different guy. He opened up and we had fun together. Todd and I got home one night and he walked back to his house, past Sarah, who was on her way to her bedroom with her typical dinner, a Diet Coke and chips. They didn’t say a word to each other, yet Todd’s face darkened. He went back to his usual grumpy self and headed for his hidey-hole, the garage, where he could be alone…

For the most part, Sarah was as distant as Todd. She gave out hugs and handshakes to the public, but in private, she didn’t reach out to her kids. If she was in one of her hyperjoyful moods, they she might grab one of them as they went by. Otherwise, she left them alone.

If they wanted something, she’d give in, always. It wasn’t important to her to get her own way about uninmportant stuff – things she wasn’t all that interested in.

Most days, by the time Bristol and Willow got home, Sarah was out of sight. She’d be in her first-floor, cavernlike bedroom with its big walk-in closet – that might have been a huge master bedroom, but it was all hers, not Todd’s, although he kept his clothes in there. He spent his time in his workshop in the garage, with overnights in the living room. Still dressed…

I was spending more time with her family than she did…

I never – I mean never – saw Sarah and Todd touch or kiss, other than for a photo op. They barely even talked to each other.

Levi (his ghost writer) was really sweet and gushing when he described how he fell in love with Bristol and spent time with her dreaming about their futures. He didn’t try to nullify their past at all. At this point I just started skimming looking for the good parts, and I found a few but there are probably more.

On how Levi and Bristol told Bristol’s parents about Bristol’s pregnancy
Todd, who had been watching Sarah first, and then me, was in that place where some quiet men go. Look out.

Do you think I’m going to support Bristol and your baby? His voice was loud. Suddenly he wasn’t so quiet after all.

Well, no.

You need to quit school, get a job.

Sarah picked up. You guys are going to have to get married.

Maybe. After we graduate, I was thinking. Had been thinking.

This was the only time she mentioned marriage – until, that is, the McCain team would make it an issue.

Sarah Palin lied when she said she told Bristol she had a choice to abort
There was no talk of abortion. Sarah would later say that she told Bristol it was her choice and her daughter made the right one… That’s total fiction, although Sarah might be deluding herself or just doesn’t know the truth. Bristol got pregnant on purpose. She had finally come clean, admitted to me that she hadn’t been taking her birth control pills. We were having a baby, end of story.

Levi’s ghost writer calls Sarah out a few more times in the book. He mentions that Sarah called her baby Trigg retarded in a joking way (we’ve heard that before), that she lied when she claimed that he purposefully wasn’t there for the birth of his son, Tripp (he made it there as soon as possible), and that she got livid when he tried to tell her that there wasn’t any difference between questioning Obama’s birthplace and people questioning whether Trigg was actually her son. Levi calls out Bristol, too, for fibbing to the press about her plastic surgery. He does it from his perspective without directly calling her a liar.

On Bristol’s plastic surgery (prior to her new face)
During the time we were together, before she was pregnant, Bristol had had her double chin reduced… Then she decided she needed to get her breasts reduced.

On Bristol’s new face not being necessary
Bristol has had more cosmetic surgery; she showed off her changed features a week before my twenty-first birthday. She told the media about the braces she used to wear. I remember those endless orthodontist’s appointments. I never knew it wasn’t all taken care of – the alignment issue she pointed out as the reason for her reshaped jaw. I did know she had continued to complain after the lipo about the remaining roundness of her cheeks…

There’s a lot in there about the custody battle for Tripp, about how Sarah and Bristol tried to keep Levi from his son and tried to block his visitation at every turn. Here’s another segment I’d like to share, about how Sarah was a big flirt. I doubt she was into Levi though.


Sarah Palin regularly flirted with other women’s husbands
All along my female friends had been trying to convince me that Sarah had had a cougar crush on me and was jealous of Bristol once we had a child together…

It’s a classic situation, my female friends told me, while their menfolk rolled around on the floor cracking up.

What did come to mind was how Sarah behaved with men her own age. I remember her standing next to my dad in the stands in the hockey rink in Fairbanks, rubbing the back of his neck. He wasn’t the only guy she was flirty with. I thought my mother would have a stroke. What could she say? Get your paws off my property?

Sarah could care less as she linked arms with another father and walked away. It was her mojo, her strength. Her sexuality. It was pretty powerful.

There’s more I’d love to repeat, and I’ll include some bullet points below.

  • Levi and Bristol made $300,000 for that US Weekly cover story announcing that they were back together. Sarah Palin’s lawyer brokered the deal and made Levi’s take just 25% while Bristol got 75%.
  • Levi admits hooking up with that chick who was pregnant with what the Enquirer claimed could be his baby. He said he only slept with her once in January 2010 when he was broken up with Bristol and that he’d used protection. It was the catalyst for his second breakup with Bristol, including a false tabloid story that he was going to shoot a porno.

    In the epilogue, Levi responds to Bristol’s claim that she was blackout drunk on wine coolers when she lost her virginity to him.


    Bristol’s story about losing her virginity was fabricated
    If that’s how Bristol lost her virginity, I wasn’t there. I never asked her when she did; that was her business.

    She needed to explain away how this good Christian girl went astray – it’s the first thing in her book – so she can make money as an abstinence spokesperson. Knowing now how her mother operates, and knowing what her daughter has learned at her mother’s knee, I think Bristol truly believes this is what happened.

    We did camp with friends, well after she and I had forged a physical relationship in the spring of 2006. There was one afternoon when Bristol was running around, trying to line up alcohol for the night. I told her to forget it. She would lose her judgment when she drank. I mentioned how one time when she was pregnant she asked for a wine cooler; I wouldn’t let her do that. I don’t know what else to say here. It’s tough to talk about an event imagined in someone else’s mind.

    This is what the Palins so – seize the high ground and put others in a position where they have to respond when there’s no way to do that…

    Bristol, like Mommy Sarah, blends events, locations and truths to form her own carefully crafted reality much like Sarah Palin’s Alaska and Sarah’s own take on Paul Revere. The only difference between mother and daughter’s spoon-fed moments is that Sarah’s are delivered with a wink.

    I went away from this book with a lot more respect for Levi. Maybe that should be reserved for the ghost writers who wrote this, whom Levi did name in the acknowledgments section as James and Lois Cowan. “Levi” writes, “I wanted them identified as my coauthors. They felt one name should be on the jacket.” It was a solid memoir. Contrast that with these ridiculous publicity photos of Levi and you can imagine why this book has hardly received any promotion. Jesse James should have hired some good ghost writers like this to make him sound likable.






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    52 Responses to “Levi Johnston’s book is out, and it calls out the Palins well (excerpts)”

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    1. Chris says:

      Let me guess “Alaskan sex for Dummies”? or “How to milk 15 minutes in 10 easy steps”?

    2. Sue says:

      So PATHETIC!!!!! Seriously who is going to buy this book? Don’t see it going to number one the best sellers list. lol! GO AWAY Levi…..

    3. teehee says:

      I still consider him a slimy douche, no matter what clothes they put on him or what his take. I dont like him as a person, which is a statement completely isolated from anything about the Palin’s.
      Granted he was young when he revealed himself ot be a total a$s, and he may have grown up/grow up. But this book wont help prove that as it seems an unnecessry mud slinging, which is very immature. Just ugly.

    4. krissy says:

      If only he would have kept quiet up til now..this book would be huge but all the famewhoreing really wore down his image. I do believe he is telling the truth though.

    5. LL says:

      Tool-ish is a tool-ish does.

    6. gee says:

      If he had just stayed quiet instead of running his mouth like some white trash hick (which he is) and just released this, people would have a ton of repsect for him and a totally different perspective on the Palins.

      I honestly believe the truth about Sarah, Bristol, and Levi is somewhere between all the extremes we hear. I just wish they’d all slide away.

    7. Messenger says:

      levi might not be the sharpest pencil in the box but i believe he is an honest person. when someone who doesn’t lie meets up with a “public” person who lies as a matter of routine there will be a clash of wills. i know it is hard for those of you who do not embrace Christian principals, but we believe lying is a sin. it goes against the grain and makes us uncomfortable. we believe in speaking truth. i am glad levi’s book is well written and i hope it does well. as for sarah palin, how well she does in politics depends on how many people continue to buy her act, but she has never fooled me.

    8. Andrea says:

      I heard an interview on CBC with Nick Broomfield – creator of a documentary called ‘Sarah Palin: You Betcha!” and was alarmed to hear his view of what Palin’s influence is like in Wasilla, Alaska. I think that documentary will be very eye opening and may show how Palin has come even this far with her politics.

    9. jen says:

      When will his 15 mins. be up??

    10. Sue says:

      @messenger – Christian principals also include not talking about other people, which is what this whole book seems to be about……. Those without sin cast the first stone…. Can’t believe Levi has no sin……

    11. Agnes says:

      Yes – Alaskans call snow mobiles “snow machines”. First-hand knowledge, I lived there for a couple of years. :)

    12. mln76 says:

      He’s still a tool, but he has every right to defend himself against the virginity theft that Bristol accused him of.

    13. Jaded says:

      Levi, Bristol and Sarah are cut from the same cloth – they’re manipulative, scheming, defensive, deceitful, and more than willing to throw anyone under the bus if it means succeeding with their self-righteous fame-whoring.

    14. Messenger says:

      you are wrong sue. you are permitted to speak the truth..i think levi’s book title says it all.. the palin hypocrisy needed to be exposed by someone who saw it first hand. she does have aspirations for higher public office, after all.

    15. Dibba says:

      I am sure most of this is true, but who cares? When will all this interest in this sideshow stop?

    16. Meg says:

      ‘There was no talk of abortion. Sarah would later say that she told Bristol it was her choice and her daughter made the right one… That’s total fiction,’
      now how would Levi know what sarah and bristol talk about when he’s not around? i love when people swear something never happened to someone else, when all that really means is it never happened when they were around, they never saw or heard it themselves. but unless you’re with that person 24/7, and I mean right next to them at all times, you cannot say 100% ‘this never happened to them’

    17. constance says:

      I think there is a lot of smoke in all the stories coming from Alaska’s First Family to quit. I think somewhere in the middle of this mess is the truth, maybe more leaning towards Levi’s side. he seems like a very simple, not wealthy boy who liked being surrounded by “powerful” people in a very small place. Then he found out they would screw him at every turn unless he played by their desires. Like a 21 year old, he rebelled against them with a lot of insinuated public support. Now that he has his side published, I hope he goes back to being a quiet working kid fighting to take care of his child. A more normal lifestyle is possibly the only asset left he has to fight the “Undefeated” Tour Bus Groupie.

      @meg, I was a teenager mother twice. I can tell you my boyfriend knew of every conversation for and against the children in utero with my family and friends. I can’t think of any reason not to be talking about it .

    18. Leticia says:

      @Messenger, good grief, why did you have to bring Christianity into this gossip fest? Your attitude towards Palin doesn’t sound very “Christian.” And do you know Levi? Why are you so sure that he is an “honest person”? I believe that Levi and the Palins are all shady.

    19. Joanna says:

      @ Messenger — Levi has admitted to lying about Sarah Palin before, fyi. My mom’s a Christian, and I don’t think she would approve of me being in Playboy. But I’m glad the Christian population was represented in Playgirl by Levi. It’s good to know the famewhore is still capable of making a buck.

    20. Messenger says:

      #18: i brought it in because palin stands on the Christian platform, espousing those principals. levi’s book exposes her duplicity. and, as someone who knows her well, i believe his pov has validity.

      #19: about what did he lie?

    21. mel says:

      She probably wont run for president now that Levi has exposed her.

    22. hairball says:

      @messenger: Yes, Christianity is the only religion who teaches not to lie.

      Jesus also endorsed revenge and bad mouthing your enemies. (See turn the other cheek and forgive them Father for they know not what they do).

    23. curleque says:

      That book might have one of the funniest cover shots ever.

    24. Messenger says:

      He called people on their hypocrisy, especially those who held themselves up as examples. palin has made some defamatory statements about levi in the past and i believe this book is his attempt to set the record straight.

    25. ladybert62 says:

      The ghost writeres are good because Levi (who I always thought was dumb as a post ) comes across as articulate, intelligent and insightful – I think that describes the ghost writers and not him.

      After saying that, I will say that I believe his version of things over liar bristol – I dont believe a word out of her mouth or her mother’s mouth.

      The little bit I know about Todd, I like and wonder why he has stuck around the self-involved Sarah – perhaps for the kids.

    26. OhMyMy says:

      I’m not even going to get into the subject matter. Just trying to read through the passages cited above is making my head hurt and my eye twitch.

      I’m surprised this made it past the editor and proofreaders. It’s loaded with typos and poor sentence structure. The stories may be interesting but it is not well written.

    27. Erinn says:

      I’m a waaay bigger fan of Levi than the Palin’s. I think that he’s telling the truth, albeit a glossed over one. I’d believe a hell of a lot more of what he says than Bristol and her mother.

      I think he has every right to defend himself since he’s been attacked by the Palin’s so much.

    28. HEB says:

      hey–this is the kind of stuff that is going to keep Palin far far away from the White House.

      He can write a 100 memoirs as far as I’m concerned.

    29. lucy2 says:

      I bet there’s a hint of truth to some of what he says, and I don’t blame him for defending himself from her public description of the camping trip issue.
      However, I think it’s gross he (and all of those involved in this) continues to try to make a buck off this – love them or hate them, that’s his kid’s family – same goes for Bristol. Quit bad mouthing each other publicly, set good examples for the kid, and grow the f up already.

    30. Roxy750 says:

      Ugh…..talk about a sell out. Is the money worth it Mr Cheap shot? is it really? Grow up, get a life, move on…have some dignity and self respect…or at least respect others…and their privacy..

    31. Kelly says:

      They should’ve made the ghostwriters dumb it down – the writing is not horrible. And as such, it really strains the limits of believability to even pretend that Levi wrote it, because if he did, it would be, like, 2 pages of incomprehensible scribbles written in Sharpie.

    32. Judy says:

      Levi is not stupid…I’m sure those are his words but made articulate w/ proper grammar, etc., by his ghostwriters…I believe he’s an honest kid trying to do the right thing. And I think that Bristol, like her mother, is a LIAR. I’m anxious to read Joe McGinniss’ new book (expose) on Sarah THE LIAR Palin.

    33. texasmom says:

      I think there is something in the water of Wasilla that makes the Palins AND Levi behave toolishly.

      I am reading the Joe McGinniss book “The Rougue.” He is an actual journalist who cites sources, etc., and one thing mentioned in his book is how many people he spoke to volunteered that Levi’s version of events matches their experiences with the Palins.

    34. Iggles says:

      Ah, screw it! Y’all may not agree, but I’ve always liked Levi.

      I think it’s awesome he went off the reservation, because we all know how shady the Palin family is! It doesn’t mean I believe 100% of what he says, but I believe his tales over Sarah or Bristol’s!

      TEAM LEVI!

    35. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

      My friend’s daughter has down syndrome and I was horrified when he made a “retard” joke (his words, not mine). In discussing this with my husband, he made an interesting point. That it was possibly a highly inappropriate way of making light of a very difficult situation. Sometimes people joke about uncomfortable situations in order to make others feel more relaxed. (kind of like what JR Martinez was doing on dancing with the stars when he joked about looking for the missing ear that was blown off during a land mine blast).

      Also, I don’t think Bristol wanted to get pregnant. I just think it was typical teenage negligence.

    36. the original bellaluna says:

      Levi may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but that kind of makes him more believable than those scheming, lying Palins.

      Now, I’m not saying he’s dumb, but it takes a certain level of intelligence (though not actual knowledge, as SP herself has illustrated) to be a devious, deceitful person.

      The machinations gone into SP’s carefully crafted public persona are not something I believe Levi capable of pulling.

    37. the original bellaluna says:

      Kind of off-topic, hubs has that hunting bow, but it’s much taller and his arrows have orange feathers.

      No, that’s not innuendo. ;)

    38. Original Tiffany says:

      Menfolk? I had to stop there.

    39. Stan says:

      He gets a bad rap by default it seems but I have a lot more respect for him. Anyway compared to the Palins one doesn’t need much to come off as a saint.

    40. jensational says:

      This is the most ridiculous crap I have ever read. how can you believe ANYTHING this guys says. All it is is Levi giving justification to him being a douchebag. I feel sorry for the Palins. They didn’t deserve to be treated this way and Levi has absolutely no credibility when it comes to telling “what really happened”. Ugh. Barf. Get rid of this dude.

    41. jensational says:

      @Iggles, you don’t know diddly-squat about how shady the Palins are because you don’t even KNOW them to begin with. Team Levi? Team Loser is more like it.

    42. Iggles says:

      jensational – Nice of you to tell me what I know. I’ve read quite a bit about this mess of a family during the 2008 election cycle. Hearing what people from Alaska and WASILLA specifically had to say about her shadiness as mayor AND governor left a bad taste in my mouth.

      Sarah has been caught fudging the true before. From writing crib notes on her hand during a debate to “missing” high end clothes bought with McCain-Palin election money, this woman is shady. Shady. SHADY.

      I’m more inclined to be Levi more than her or Bristol.

      The Palins are the biggest losers here. I feel sorry for all the children – Willow, Trigg, and Tripp (wth is with these names btw???)

    43. daisy says:

      LMAO I thought that book cover was made by somebody on twitter as first. Why would they approve a cover like that? lol. It looks cheap and fan made.

      And, y’all sound ridiculous talking about Team Levi/Palin/Bristol or whatever. These ppl have proven on more than one occassion what slimy, conniving, manipulative assholes they all are. I don’t believe a word that comes from either one of them. They have a son together, so why people are sitting back encoraging this behavior–as opposed to…um, IDK, telling these idiots to grow the eff up–is baffling to me and it says a lot about our sociey and how we got where we are today. Just imagine how that boy will feel when he grow up one day having to read about his parents slinging mud at one another in public.

    44. Crystalline says:

      I have to agree with others that I think the truth about this all lies somewhere in the middle, but I find Levi’s story in line with other things I’ve read about Sarah and Bristol. There also is a point to be made in that Sarah and Bristol have more to lose and the rape she alleges is an excellent example. I hate to doubt a potential victim knowing personally how hard it is to face that, but Bristol and Sarah both had a lot to lose if Levi was simply a partner rather than the “stealer of her virginity”. I think he’s a tool, but he is a bit simple, which makes me find his story rather believable.

      Also, ditto on the Jesse James, I bet his camp are shooting themselves in the foot now for not getting these people!

    45. Kellie says:

      I believe him.

    46. Seal Team 6 says:

      Levi is a total redneck (as are the Palins), and I don’t blame him for the way he’s been targeted by the Palins. I love how Kathy Griffin took him to the Emmys as her date a couple of years ago.

      He has a right to his famewhore money as much as the Palins do.

      Oh — and considering the lies the Palins have told about him, including his date-raping Bristol for her virginity, who can blame him?

    47. Emma says:

      @ morticiansdoitdeader:

      You say her pregnancy was not on purpose, but a result of teen negligence.

      Excuse me, but if you stop taking your pills and still have sex, then there is no “accidental pregnancy.” Just MHO. If you don’t want the pregnancy, keep taking the pill.

    48. Belle Epoch says:

      Excerpted from newspaper article:

      The story — about Johnston being forced out of his idyllic hunting and fishing world in tiny Wasilla, Alaska, and thrust into the glaring limelight at the 2008 National Republican Convention — is his. But the book was written 5,200 miles away from his home by a couple with six grandchildren who live at the Key West Harbor Yacht Club on a boat named Coconut.

      The Cowans said they hope readers learn that Johnston, who recently turned 21, deeply loved Bristol and is not a deadbeat dad. He pays $1,600 a month in child support for their child, whom he rarely is allowed to see. He’s got a large tattoo that says “Tripp” on his arm.

      Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/20/2416178/levi-johnstons-ghostwriters-he.html#ixzz1YdpgH644

    49. TP says:

      I’m glad Levi is standing up for himself against psycho bully Sarah Palin

    50. Robin/Canada says:

      I’m not sure who is worse….The two of them will do anything for moo la la!

    51. Moreaces says:

      Love it. Kiss them for me (Levi) I may be too late.

    52. telesma says:

      I don’t like this kid. Famewhore or just sucked into the Palin maelstrom, doesn’t matter, I just don’t like him.

      That said, I’d believe him before I’d believe a word that fell from any of the Palins’ lips. I think that family is built on lies. Sarah Palin’s entire existence is lie after lie after lie. IMO, she’s a scam artist that got lucky and is milking it for all it’s worth.

      Also, there’s an unauthorized bio of Sarah Palin coming out, and what he says about her hiding in her room and not spending time with her family is corroborated by other people who spoke to that author.