National Enquirer, Sept 29 Issue: Bristol and the Drug Video

Summary:

  • It’s a two year old video done by a friend of Bristol. It was made right before Sarah Palin became governor.
  • Bristol poses for a camera while someone yells, “And here’s the future governor of Alaska’s daughter.” She smiles at the camera, and then inhales from a pot pipe, holds her breath, exhales, and then laughs uncontrollably.
  • The friend characterizes the party as just another night for Bristol and the other wild kids in Wasilla where everyone was drinking and smoking pot.
  • Levi Johnston, the 18 year old father of Bristol’s baby, dealt OxyContin, a prescription opiate used for pain control. That’s the drug that Track Palin was reported to be addicted to in the Sept 22 issue. Levi got it from a family member who had a prescription and sold it for quite a lot of money. (According to an NPR story, the street price of OxyContin was $80 a pill in 2005. I imagine that OxyContin, similarly to many other items in Alaska, is significantly more expensive in Alaska than in the lower 48 states.) Apparently there is a large demand for it in Wasilla, crystal meth capital of Alaska.
  • Levi Johnston smoked OxyContin, injected steroids, and snorted cocaine.
  • Levi Johnston is NOT eager to get married to Bristol. No dates appear to be set for the marriage.
  • Levi and Bristol having sex for the first time was big news in town. It happened at an outdoor party where they slipped away and had sex in a tent.

My conclusions:

The story is probably true. The National Enquirer is in the business of buying gossip to sell their magazine. They’re not interested in being sued and losing money for printing lies. And high school kids do these things; it happens to lots of families that I know. I also am fortunate to know many engaged, responsible, intelligent, and resourceful teenagers, but there are also many lost and out of control souls. So I find this back story much more plausible than a chaste scenario where Bristol and Levi had one sexual encounter after a particularly arousing bible study session that resulted in an unplanned pregnancy. And while the media is fixated on Bristol’s pregnancy, they’re skimming the other concerns about a woman having unprotected sex such as leaving herself open to sexually transmitted diseases and HIV infection.

It’s also interesting to see the wording of the story. The National Enquirer reports knowing about the video but do not indicate that they have the video in their possession. I wonder if this means that whoever took the video is going to let the story leak, get the video authenticated, and then sell it to the highest bidder. As far as I know, the National Enquirer is a purely print business and does not broadcast video.

I think the lessons behind story are that you should never let teenagers have video cameras, always choose your friends wisely, and parents need to be vigilant about their children. Having a husband who works two-week shifts at a job thousands of miles from home (Todd), holding down a job based 800 miles away from home (Sarah), and having five children in the house (Todd and Sarah) makes it difficult to know what your kids are doing. You need to make smart choices and establish boundaries and standards of conduct with your children. And you need to be around enough to reinforce these standards of behavior. Most teenagers are not able to make the smart choices for themselves. And a small town is by no means a prophylactic against drugs, drinking, and teenage sex. People I know who grew up in rural America tell me that it’s easy to run wild as a teenager when you don’t have a police force, you and your friends are are bored, and everyone drives starting from a young age.

Having yourself and your husband full-time on the campaign trail also means that you’re not watching the kids. Or helping your unmarried teenage daughter with her first pregnancy.

I’m also assuming that Sarah and John McCain are are hoping and praying that there wasn’t enough light in that tent to enable video taping of the sex.

And it still astounds me that given what was happening at home that Sarah Palin accepted the position of being John McCain’s running mate. She did not appear to be making a smart, deliberate choice. I realize that it must be extremely flattering to be asked to run, but it is also important to ask if it is a prudent decision for yourself and your family. My conclusion is that Sarah was in serious denial about her children’s behavior and she is blindly ambitious. Or, perhaps more frighteningly, she feels that she has been tapped for this job by God and is carrying out a religious mission. Unfortunately, given her extremely rigid and literal religious beliefs this is not a far-fetched a conclusion. And there is indeed evidence that she will act according to her religious beliefs. And that she believes that a prayer by a witch hunting pastor (No, this is not a typo. I really meant to type witch hunting pastor) got her elected governor. This is a newly posted video (mostly audio) where Pastor Muthee’s speaks about his religious beliefs which include using violence to promote his  religious agenda. Sorry, I wish I were kidding.

She does not present herself as the kind of person to take a breath, step back, and think things through. And I feel badly for Bristol and Track and the other kids. Regardless of the conflicting stories floating around about the kids “voting” on Sarah running for vice-president, I really doubt that they had any voice in this decision.

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