Congratulations to Bristol Palin and Levi Johnson on the birth of their healthy baby boy, named, in the family tradition of non-traditional names, Tripp. I’m sure the baby will be much loved and a joy. It also seems clear that the baby will be gorgeous, as are both young parents.
Apart from the normal personal anguish of an unplanned, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, Miss Palin endured a pretty awful dose of media scrutiny and derision, mostly aimed at her mother, of course. But, for a young woman who was not a celebrity, nor any kind of public figure, the ordeal must have been especially hellish. In our perverse, celebrity-driven culture, however, there is payback. In this instance, it comes in the form of cash. The picture magazines will be paying the couple on the order of $300,000 for first pictures of Tripp. The price went up as the story gained in value this month with the arrest of Levi’s mother for drug-dealing. Perverse? Cynical? Gross? Sure. But useful.
Sometimes celebrities make a big show of giving the baby pix money to charity. If I were advising the couple, I’d tell them to have a nice little wedding as soon as possible.(“Soon” being the operative word here.) And use the rest for college for both of you — including whatever babysitting you need to pay for. If there is any left, put it away for Trapp’s education. This is blood money for your personal humiliation — and if you are smart you will use it to build a solid future. It’s purely a side benefit that that path would annoy the media most.