A Tortured Headline

-By Warner Todd Huston

I had to laugh at an Associated Press headline that is so tortured as to be beyond belief. Naturally, the purpose of the twisted headline is so that the AP could get a Palin reference into its headline in order gain attention for its story, even though the story has little to do with the Palins.

OK, so without dallying further, here is the tortured headline: “Mom of Bristol Palin’s former fiance pleads guilty.”

So, a story about a person only loosely connected at this time to Governor Palin doesn’t even get named in the headline but Palin does? We couldn’t see a more tortured headline if AP had written: “Governor Palin’s hairdresser’s friend’s dog bites child.”

Yes it is a sad story the Levi’s mother was caught up in this drug bust and yes Levi was once to marry Governor Palin’s daughter, Bristol, but in truth Sherry Johnston’s plight has nothing at all to do with the Palin family. But interestingly so much of this story on Johnston is centered on Governor Palin and her family. The Palins formed a much larger part of this story than necessary. Sure a mention of how Sherry is connected to the Palins was called for, but some parts of this story were only meant to exploit a scoffing at Palin.

The following, for instance, was a legitimate part of the story:

Johnston, 42, is the mother of 19-year-old Levi Johnston. He and 18-year-old Bristol Palin were engaged but called the wedding off after their son, Tripp, was born in December.

If that was all that was said of the Palins in the story on Sherry Johnston’s misfortunes, the story would have been a more legitimate, journalistic effort. But the whole end of the AP story exploited the Palin connection with little justification.

What the following has to do with Johnston’s legal troubles is anyone’s guess:

Johnston was arrested in mid-December and charged with six felony drug counts. Levi Johnston and Bristol Palin’s baby was born a short time later.

Sarah Palin announced on the first day of the Republican National Convention on Sept. 1, 2008, that her unwed daughter was pregnant. The McCain-Palin campaign issued a statement saying Bristol Palin “and the young man” would get married.

Sherry Johnston eventually disclosed that her son was the father. The following week, Levi Johnson attended the convention in St. Paul, Minn., when Sarah Palin accepted the vice presidential nomination.

Palin resigned as Alaska governor last month.

I guess we can’t expect the AP to simply report the news without pushing its anti-Palin message, I guess.
Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as NewsBusters.org, RightWingNews.com, StoptheACLU.com, TheRealityCheck.org, RedState.com, Human Events Magazine, AmericanDailyReview.com, and the New Media Journal, among many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs to discuss his opinion editorials and current events and is currently the co-host of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Conservatism” heard on BlogTalkRadio. Warner is also the editor of the Cook County Page for RedCounty.com.

He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the new book “Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture” which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston

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