The Myth of the Bristol-Levi "Shotgun Wedding"

The Myth of the Bristol-Levi "Shotgun Wedding"

The Myth of the Bristol-Levi "Shotgun Wedding"

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Sept. 1 2010 10:42 AM

The Myth of the Bristol-Levi "Shotgun Wedding"

Ben Smith draws attention to a thinly-sourced quote in Michael Joseph Gross's profile of Sarah Palin:

Soon after her nomination, she brought up with McCain aides thesubject of Bristol’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy by Levi Johnston: "Wouldit be good for the campaign if they got married before the election?"she asked, and went on to wonder whether one weekend or another wouldbe more advantageous for media coverage.

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Smith explains that the quote came from a wild yarn in a UK Times story, passed on by a McCain campaign source, even though "the idea was never brought to Palin, much less seriously considered." I can confirm that because I heard it from the same source, albeit after the campaign was over. It was, as I understand it, a goof, and it went to print because, basically, UK papers have more lax standards on what they print than American papers. Of course, it's not like American papers have covered themselves in glory when "analyzing" Palin's family based on rumors.

Point is, this anecdote is bunk, and it makes me wonder about the rest of the story.

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.