Dear Mr. Grayson and Vanity Fair editors:
I’ve been a fan of your magazine since I was a teenager. I’ve always found your articles are intriguing and your journalism insightful. It evokes thoughtful points of view. I enjoy your magazine because you discuss things in a way mainstream news can’t provide. I also love your fashion spreads, your advertisers and overall ability to market to a certain clientele. Heck, I even know that Madonna graced your cover more than any other person in the magazine’s history! However, I was deeply disheartened when I opened this month’s edition, finding your feature on Levi Johnston, former boyfriend of Bristol Palin.
Honestly, Mr. Grayson, what gives?
This is a guy who impregnated an underage girl, then may or may not have walked away from the relationship. As the tabloids ran to snap photos this past winter, he (or his hired publicists) leveraged the situation to exploit the Palin’s day-to-day activities. I think what hurts is that your magazine endorsed him.
Johnston criticized the Palins for “bringing him into the spotlight” back in April 2008, then in the same exclusive CBS interview, contradicts himself by discussing the family’s activity. He talks little to nothing about himself in your feature – or in any other interview for that matter – probably because there’s nothing to tell (oh, except for his willingness to pose in Playgirl Magazine).
Who’s helping out with the parenting while he’s out at Vanity Fair photo shoots and Tyra Banks interviews? More than that, what will his kid think when he gets older? Will he say, “my dad sold my mom and grandma out.”?
Salon.com’s comments on your recent article sums it up nicely:
The article is a gold mine for those still feasting on the picked-over carcass of Sarah Palin: One can go the trashing-working-women route; the political-scandal route; the please, God, why are we still talking about this family route. But to me, the most conspicuous thing about this article is what’s missing: namely, just about any information about his relationship with Bristol, his relationship with his son, his plans for school, and how he plans to get through it all.
As I question your, “Enquirer-esque” judgment in putting Mr. Johnston in your magazine, I’m a bit hurt by your decision to enable his activity or cast him in such a positive light. Honestly, has he contributed to society? Why does he deserve fame at all, much less a book deal, a movie role or valued space in your esteemed periodical? Shame on you, Mr. Grayson. I’m sure you could have found something more newsworthy or entertaining to write about.