Hunter and author Pete Bodo finds that the most interesting discovery from the controversy over last Sunday's hunting episode of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” is how little most people who criticized it know about Alaska, guns, wildlife, and hunting. And no one knows less about such things than Hollyweirdo Aaron Sorkin, who doesn't even know the difference between a caribou and a moose:
I mean, I know Sorkin wrote “The Social Network” (OMG! 2 cool!) and all that, but boy, does he know zilch about animals (including, presumably, the ones that provide his Santa Monica dinners). I suppose he doesn’t understand that he’s a predator in his own right – who else would label a woman documenting a hunting trip with her father, Chuck Palin Sr., as a “witless bully?”- JP
But never mind that. Friends have told me that even some hunters have criticized the show on various grounds. After watching the episode, I suspect it’s simply because those critics are among that distinct minority that hunts but also suffers from Sarah-phobia. The show accurately represents an authentic hunting experience; in fact, it does so with greater honesty and integrity that you find on your typical Saturday morning “antler porn” hunting show.
Palin also was ridiculed for emptying the five-shot magazine of the gun her father had provided for the hunt, after which she dropped the caribou with the first shot she took using Becker’s rifle. I confess to having felt a bit puffed up when, after Palin finally made her killing shot, I thought back to a previous scene, in which Chuck Palin took a tumble down a loose bank with his gear and rifle. “The scope (telescopic sight) must have gotten knocked off zero,” I thought (“zero” being the point were the bullet goes exactly where the crosshairs are centered) as Palin missed her fourth shot.
As we learned near the end of the episode, Chuck’s scope was indeed way off.
Some also objected to the way Chuck Palin worked the bolt after each shot taken by his daughter, interpreting it as a sure sign of her incompetence. Well, Palin’s obvious, basic familiarity with the rifle, and her decent form handling it, were sufficient to make me think that was nothing more than a typical “daddy knows best” moment. Hunters, guides, parents – we all get excited at the moment of reckoning. And only someone who’s never handled a rifle would suspect that Palin doesn’t know how to work a bolt. It isn’t rocket science, trust me on that.
But it’s depressing to have to parse the video episode this way. What, is Sarah Palin on trial here? The critics mostly demonstrate how woefully little they know about hunting, firearms, and the natural world in general, despite the “green” vows they’ve taken.
I’m a hunter, and to me Palin’s show was Emmy-worthy for its honesty, modesty, and it’s effective portrayal and celebration of the hunting experience.