"For the first time in my life, I feel sympathy for Sarah Palin," said Gail Collins in The New York Times. In excerpts from an interview in the October issue of Vanity Fair, the ex-fiancé of Palin's daughter Bristol paints an ugly picture of the Palins' family life—claiming Sarah and husband Todd Palin often talked divorce, and left all the cooking and cleaning to the kids. It's hard to muster sympathy for Johnston, a 19-year-old dropout, when he complains that Palin tried to make Bristol break up with him—that belongs "in the rather slim folder titled 'Sarah Palin’s Good Ideas.'"
This hit job proves that Levi Johnston is a "scumbag," said Lucy Jones in Britain's DailyTelegraph. This is his baby's grandmother he's attacking. "Yet, perhaps Vanity Fair is more at fault here, with its peculiar obsession with savaging Sarah Palin." Attacking her as a narcissist and "an elk-shooting bimbo" wasn't enough—now the magazine is "scraping the barrel" and attacking Palin using "a teenage scumbag who would put his ego before his child."
There's certainly "good reason to be skeptical" about Levi Johnston's "explosive stories," said Alex Koppelman in Salon. In previous interviews, for example, he said the family never discussed adoption —which contradicts his new claim that Sarah Palin wanted to hide Bristol's pregnancy, adopt her baby, and raise him as her own. Still, Johnston's insistence that Sarah and Todd Palin didn't have time to do much parenting "does tend to put a little bit of a crimp in Palin's family values talk."