I get the newsfeed from CNN on my Google desktop and saw the headline “Bristol Palin: Abstinence for all teens ‘not realistic’ “. This was the way CNN summed up her interview with FOXNews’ Greta Van Susteren. It makes a good headline.
But that was just a tiny bit of the interview. CNN didn’t want to emphasise that the media tried to make it look like Governor Palin forced her into keeping the baby – something Bristol refuted vehemently. The whole point of the interview, which was Bristol’s idea, was to get across the message to not have sex, because the consequences can be life-changing. Here’s more of what she said. The ellipses only edit out Greta’s questions, not Bristol’s statements.
“I think everyone should just wait ten years. . . Just because it’s so much easier if you are married and if you have a house and a career – it’s just so much easier. . . I’m not the first person it’s happened to and I won’t be the last, but I’d love to be an advocate to prevent teen pregnancy. . . Kids should just wait. It’s not glamourous at all.”
Bristol did say, “I think abstinence is like… like… the… I don’t know how to put it, like – the main… everyone should be abstinent whatever, but it’s not realistic at all.” So what did she mean by that?
She continued, ” Because it’s more and more accepted now.”
Van Susteren: “Among your classmates and kids your age?”
“Among kids my age”
Van Sustern asks what can be done to change this. “To see stories like this and to see other stories of teen mums. It something… you should just wait ten years…”
So the lack of realism about abstinence is a matter of this “is” rather than the “ought”. Bristol is not saying that abstinence is not a realistic goal, but rather not a realistic view of the way things are now. A way she wants to change for others.
Video of the full interview is available on the FOXNews website.