The Washington Times - October 28, 2009, 05:10PM

Levi Johnston repeated on CBS’ “The Early Show” on Wednesday his assertion that Sarah Palin called her son Trig “retarded,” prompting a firm rebuke from the former Alaska governor.

Mr. Johnston initially claimed in a Vanity Fair tell-all that Mrs. Palin had called her son, who has Down syndrome, “retarded,” about which he reminded “The Early Show” co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez.


“I think the biggest hit we’ve had on, like, the Vanity Fair, you know, people really look on, is when she called her kid retarded,” he said. “I mean, I’ve got a lot of people talking about that.”

The governor fired back on Wednesday afternoon via a statement delivered through a spokesman. “We have purposefully ignored the mean-spirited, malicious and untrue attacks on our family,” she said. “We, like many, are appalled at the inflammatory statements being made or implied. Trig is our ‘blessed little angel’ who knows it and is lovingly called that every day of his life. Even the thought that anyone would refer to Trig by any disparaging name is sickening and sad. CBS should be ashamed for continually providing a forum to propagate lies. Consider the source of the most recent attention-getting lies — those who would sell their body for money reflect a desperate need for attention and are likely to say and do anything for even more attention.”

Mr. Johnston will be on the Early Show again on Thursday, when the last portion of his two-part interview airs.

When Mrs. Palin mentioned Mr. Johnston as someone “who would sell their body for money” she was likely referring to the agreement Mr. Johnston made to appear nude in Playgirl magazine. He told the “Early Show” his photospread would be done “tastefully.”

He was also featured in a new ad for pistachios. In it, Mr. Johnston appears with bodyguard Tank Jones, who is near Mr. Johnston in nearly every one of his public appearances nowadays, fending off the paparazzi. Once the coast is clear a voice-over says: “Now Levi Johnston does it with protection.” Joan Wickham, a spokesman for Wonderful Pistachios, has said, unconvincingly, there was no sort of pregnancy pun intended.

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