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Levi Johnston's pistachio ad
Was it in bad taste for the father of Sarah Palin's grandchild to make a joke about using protection?
 

That Levi Johnston is one "classy" guy, said Glenn Thrush in Politico. The father of Sarah Palin's grandson, Tripp, who was born out of wedlock to teenager Bristol Palin, embarked on a new career as a pistachio pitchman. In his debut commercial, Johnston "makes light" of his failure to use a condom by standing next to a burly bodyguard and munching on a nut as the voiceover says, "Now Levi Johnston does it with protection" (watch Johnston's pistachio ad).

"This unsubtle nod to Johnston’s teen dad status isn’t unexpected," said Courtney Hazlett in MSNBC. Ten-month-old Tripp is Johnston's "golden ticket"—would we still be talking about Bristol Palin's ex "if he hadn't fathered her child"? This commercial "plainly advances a notion that if you impregnate the right person, you can make money for doing so."

"The risqué joke may raise some eyebrows in Republican circles," said Matthew Moore in Britain's Daily Telegraph, but a pistachio ad is "the height of respectability compared to some of Johnston's other career options." Remember, the 19-year-old high-school dropout told Vanity Fair last month that he would consider posing naked for Playgirl. If he's determined to parlay his fame and "rugged good looks" into a media career, this is a relatively tame way to do it.

It's just an ad for nuts, said Marina Hyde in Britain's Guardian, but the pistachio gig "catapults" Levi Johnston "straight into the mainstream." A tongue-in-cheek commercial is what passes for a "serious role" for a young man who got his start as tabloid gossip fodder. "This is the American dream in action, people, and you should give it six months before the reality show."

 

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