Monday, December 6th, 2010

Sarah Palin the TV Star Exposes Sarah Palin the Fake Hunter

Palin champions will hold up last night's "Sarah Palin's America" episode as proof of the candidate putting her money where her moose is. That is to say, after years of talking about being a hunter, Palin actually went out and shot something.

While much of the debate around the episode is an ethical one about a millionaire shooting a defenseless animal so as not to have to pay for meat, the real conversation should be about how the episode absolutely exposes Palin as a charade.

In this most recent episode, a woman who has blindly championed the NRA and legitimized her frontier-woman status by claiming to be a "lifelong hunter" comes across as anything but.

For starters, Palin and pa head out on a long hunt without bothering to sight in Palin's rifle, a mistake no serious hunter would ever make. Why Palin's dad chose for her a "varmint rifle" for a caribou hunt and why Palin, an admitted "moose hunter," would not question such a gun's appropriateness is never answered.

From there, numerous bungles along the way to finally downing the caribou show a hunting tourist who, at worst, appears to pose a genuine danger to fellow outdoorsmen.

While Palin's hunting-for-TV jamboree certainly impressed the hockey moms, it seriously eroded her base of genuine hunters. One online commentor, on Sean Hannity's website no less, grumbled, "I turned on Sarah Palin's Alaska a minute ago and she just shot four maybe even five times at a caribou and missed. Needless to say I'm not impressed with her ability to handle a firearm let alone aim it and hit something."

On Palin's own Facebook page, a viewer wrote, "What a joke. I was a fan before the show. No one who is a true hunter lets others carry their rifle or can't load their own shells. Sarah, you are a phony in this area of your 'skills."

Several others wondered why Palin, an experienced hunter, didn't bring her own rifle, pointing out that familiarity with one's weapon is a core principle of hunting. Another pointed out, regarding Palin's veteran hunter dad, "I was surprised to see him using the gun as a walking stick."

Several hunter friends to whom I showed the video were less than impressed. All agreed that she did not look like she had handled a gun many times. One, who just posted his November kill on his Facebook profile, said "I would not hunt with her."

In the episode, Palin is handed a second gun, which, thanks to good video editing, she uses to down the animal in one shot.

But knowledgeable hunters would have all recoiled in horror watching Palin immediately place her finger on the trigger of the "hot" Savage 110 as it was handed to her. Keeping one's finger off the trigger until the very moment of the shot is the first lesson any responsible hunter ever learns.

But Palin's inexperience with guns is in no way more obvious than when she is handed the rifle and she asks, "Does it kick?" It was an exchange Brad Schlegel took note of, writing on Palin's Facebook wall, "'does the rifle kick' what kind of a question is that? Doesn't matter if it kicks or not you shoot it the same. That was a girly question momma griz."

It would behoove Palin real American opponents and supporters alike to remember that pretending to enjoy hunting is an American political tradition. Indeed, who can forget John Kerry, avid fowl hunter? Or this: "My father taught me how to shoot."

Of course, not everyone was convinced that the mystique of Palin as Alaskan hunter is a con job. In the tradition of justifying anything to preserve a dear illusion at any cost to reason, a commenter on Hannity's forum dismissed questions like so: "You'd have seen her dad take a tumble while caring the gun she used. He must have knocked the scope out of alignment." Another hunter in the 24 Hour Campfire forum reasoned, "I bet the producers of that show knocked that messed with the scope to make it more dramatic," while another theorized, "If I had to guess, it'd be someone on the set messed with her scope with promises of wealth to make her look stupid."

Update, regarding the wearing of orange. As former Governor of the state, Palin should know that Alaska's policy is that "Upland and big game hunters are strongly recommended to wear Hunter Orange."

Abe Sauer does not have an addiction to low-paying work.

51 Comments / Post A Comment

jolie (#16)

Interesting! I watched this show for the first time ever last night (HAAAAA-AAAY BRISTOL) but didn't realize that she was a hack hunter. No frame of reference whatsoever. But neat! Thanks! (OMG can we get weekly takedowns of this show? With gratuitous screencaps of Bristol?)

deepomega (#1,720)

Aren't you gonna set up once the outage is over?

jolie (#16)

OBVIOUSLY. God, she is so hot. I just wanna be all, "Psst, hey Bristol! Just think how badly it would piss off your mom if you started dating me!"

jolie (#16)

(Because everything I know about dating I learned from The Breakfast Club?)

MattP (#475)

Run Mr Moose! They're shooting at you!!!

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Shouldn't the reindeer have been allowed at least a tree or bush to hide behind to make it fair.

DoctorDisaster (#1,970)

"Varmint rifle" made my day, although rifle-as-walking-stick came close.

barnhouse (#1,326)

This was terrific.

zidaane (#373)

I picture a van just over the ridge that moose was shooed out of.

hockeymom (#143)

A couple of things.

Maybe dad was just being dad, but if she is an accomplished hunter, she wouldn't need someone to tell her "wait right there, we need to make sure it's dead."

The editing is suspect. I'm assuming it was a one camera shoot, but we never actually saw her shoot the animal. We saw a tight shot on the trigger during the fatal shot, then what I'm assuming is a "create in the edit booth" shot through the scope effect. All I'm saying is, she may or may not have been the one to fire the fatal shot. There's absolutely no way of knowing based on the edited piece.

Finally, not ALL hockeymoms are "impressed", Abe. Just sayin'.

Abe Sauer (#148)

True! Only the mom's of defensemen!

Abe Sauer (#148)

"Moms" *sigh*

Abe Sauer (#148)

Also, re: editing: If a left-wing Breitbart existed, he would offer $10,000 for the unedited tapes of this hunt. I myself will offer, no joke, $400 to anyone who can give me the original, unedited recordings.

Injest (#8,942)

"Maybe dad was just being dad, but if she is an accomplished hunter, she wouldn't need someone to tell her "wait right there, we need to make sure it's dead."

Ah ya that is “dad being dad” and it never stops, sorry, deal with it, cuz you kids are gonna have to deal with “mom being mom” even when their 50 years old.
I think this is one of those “pay back” things.

"The editing is suspect."

Its not “suspect”, its a TV show. Things needed for a TV show? Audio and Video. Know what a TV show without Audio and Video is?
Off the air cuz no one will watch it.

The shot through the scope was most likely an “effect”, who knows?. Caribou are notorious for not following the script.

You do know “gun cameras” have been around for about 70 years. In fact here's one that is a digital camera inside a rifle scope. In fact there hundreds of these digital camera/rifle scope combinations on the market today.

Just because you don't know about it doesn't mean they don't exist.

"Dec 10, 2007 … ELCAN Optical Technologies has a rifle scope equipped with camera and video capabilities that photographs or videos automatically when you…."

"All I'm saying is, she may or may not have been the one to fire the fatal shot. There's absolutely no way of knowing based on the edited piece."

You need to prove that it is an “edited piece”.

A good strategy for the moose and deer would be to hassle her with questions about ethics violations until she quits.

C_Webb (#855)

Asking her what she reads has been known to stun her.

shawn (#1,859)

Her amateurishness seemed clear from the commercials but I couldn't bring myself to actually watch this or the trapshooting episode. So thanks for this!

Abe Sauer (#148)

I would also just like to point out how funny it is when the guy asks, from 120 yards, "what do we have for wind?"

What would that be, like, 2 inches max deviation? Just guessing, as I'm not a hunter.

MattP (#475)

I thought the wind question related to if it could smell them.

adp (#8,899)

Seriously? Why does the world feel the need to critque and critize the Palin family's every move? I mean, who cares if she is an expert hunter or not? I believe the point of the show is to expose viewers to the unique lifestyle and landscape of Alaskans and their state. Plus, I watched the show and at no point in time did Sarah ever profess her supreme skills as a hunter. It is merely a show ment for entertainment purposes. I understand many viewers are already anti-Palin, and watch the show the an already negative attitude. This is ridiculous, she and the rest of her family are critized more the anyone else in the media… and for really no reason at all.

das motorbike (#3,228)

How f*cking dare anyone out there make fun of [Sarah Palin] after all she has been through.!
SHE’S A HUMAN! (ah! ooh!) What you don’t realize is that [Sarah Palin] is making you all this money and all you do is write a bunch of crap about her.


Perez Hilton talked about professionalism and said if [Palin] was a professional she would’ve pulled [the shot] off no matter what.
Speaking of professionalism, when is it professional to publicly bash someone who is going through a hard time.

Leave [Sarah Palin] Alone Please…. !
Leave [Sarah Palin] alone!…right now!….I mean it.!

GoGoGojira (#2,871)

Go back to processing payrolls, you slut!

Noodlehead (#8,895)

You, like, totally, live in the now. Don't you, man?

I suppose pointing out the woman's gleaming hypocrisy (when she has stated her skills over and over again on the campaign trail) could be construed as criticism.

To me, it's like when Nixon said that he wasn't a crook, and all those pesky people found out that he actually was. They should have just remained quiet and let everyone believe what Nixon wanted them to believe.

Q: "Who cares if she is an expert hunter or not?" A: 1) The people hunting with or near her. 2) Wabbits.

melis (#1,854)

Someone has got to get the Palins out of the media! They're trapped in the media! Trapped, I tell you!

Neopythia (#353)

She's definitely not the most critizied person though she is probably the most pointlessly critizied person.

If I was a more cynical person I'd think she was the product of a Republican think tank to create the most palatable target for liberal ire; a decoy to draw attention while the real canidates slip past with minimal notice.

See also: Christine O'Donnell

For no reason? Really? I could understand an argument like, "well, now that she isn't running for anything, we should all ignore her again." I'd agree with that (if, you know, she hadn't put her nose out for 2012) but there are very legitimate reasons to criticize her. Anytime someone claims to know how people should act, how "Real America" thinks, etc. they open themselves up to criticism. If you haven't noticed, she hasn't exactly faded from the public eye. She has 2 books out, a spot on FoxNews, a daughter that just ended a run on one of America's top-rated shows, and now has a show on TLC (one of cables most watched networks).

novabeatnik (#8,910)

Are you new to reality?

They call her New to Jezebel.

Who's been goofing around with the "Like" button? Like, for weeks now? Reveal yourself!

ImARealHunter (#11,193)

When she lies I'm allowed to criticize. Who would want someone in a position of authority who lies outright. 1. A varmint rifle is designed to shoot small animals, like prairie dogs, from great distances and is a foolish choice for anyone for Caribou or Moose. 2. The old man looses his credibility when he uses a weapon as a cane. I teach 12 year olds basic safety. 3. Anyone who misses a caribou sized animal from 120 yards multiple times has never learned how to shoot in their lives. My 10 year old grandson could hit it with his BB gun from that distance. NO ONE who knows about guns would publicize that blatantly unsafe stupid hunt. I've been a hunter for 50 years and no one who I'm not sure is safe with weapons would ever be permitted to hunt with my group. Including Sarah the supposed lifetime hunter. She is a joke.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Palin/Cheney .357

popstand (#8,298)

That was a portrait of bravery.

Graydon Gordian (#3,206)

Abe, you're a man after my own heart.

This whole thing really does frustrate me, partially because I'm a hunter, but mostly because of the ways in which it reveals the true extent of her charade.

OleMissRebel (#8,900)

Wow, lots of crap wrong here from a hunter's standpoint. 1. No orange at all? 2. Who's carrying the caribou back to the camp? 3. Dad says wait until it turns broadside, but she shoots it head on anyways, ruining the meat.

My favorite part is they're still whispering after she shot 4 times.

Oh and I'm not sure where the 120 yards came from, but if that's true then the scope must have been really off. You could have shot the deer with iron sights just fine from that distance.

hockeymom (#143)

Q: "who's carrying the caribou back to the camp?"
A: Production Assistant.

SeanP (#4,058)

Re: 120 yards… no kidding. You could almost hit the thing with a slug gun from that range. One of a few things was going on: 1) the scope was really, really off. 2) the animal was actually further away than that. 3) she's totally unfamiliar with shooting.

mwr (#8,908)

It occurs to me the old man falls while carrying the rifle before the shot and probably misaligns the scope. If you notice, when handed a properly sighted in rifle she bags to 'Bou on the first shot. Not too shabby in my book.

jrc903 (#8,918)

I gotta say that this whole thing reminds me of my very first hunting experience with my father when I was about twelve. Sure enough, I did not carry my own rifle. I did not load my own rifle. I did not fire it until my father told me too. But quite frankly,,, by the time I was Sarah Palin's age– I actually knew more about being in the field then did my father. Now-granted this would have been cute– if this women had not been portrayed as master of the outdoors— but since she is a know all– see all–end all- she must accept the fact that people are NOT TOO GD impressed with her outdoor "trade-craft"–as it were. For one thing– why would she even have to ask if the rifled kicked? Or was she just joking–even that she has no sense of humor–i guess she wasn't. Then there is the second rifle..along with a rifle scope view of the kill shot? I did not see any evidence of any extra electronics attached to the second rifle? Many hunting shows– feature such views–but that would require some extra instrumentation mounted on the rifle–i believe.. So– yes grand conspiracy folks.. we will never know who killed that "tiny" animal? Will we?

Andy Reagan (#8,940)

it's awfully easy to film an animal being shot, and then put some crosshairs over top of it. do they look like real crosshairs to you anyway, WHITE? doubtful.

jrc903 (#8,918)

Before Dick Cheney gets any older– she should invite him to Alaska for some reindeer hunting… they bet they scored equally well–in hunter's safety class.

jrc903 (#8,918)

Oh yes.. that straight on shot.. shown in the rifle scope.. that was a big no no.. Not actually like here in vermont/nh where you jump a buck and have no choice but to either aim for the back of the neck of the the running animal—(hard shot) or for the flag/tail. easier shot but….a disaster to the meat.

barnhouse (#1,326)

By the bye there is some terrific Reddit commentary on this post.

Jürg Frei@facebook (#281,617)

@barnhouse lol……
AND why did they kept on whispering……..after missed shot nr.4 it was clear the caribou had some serious hearing impairment.

kiwicafe (#8,925)

You have got to be kidding me right, you call this hunting? All that is missing is a motorized wheel chair for Ms Palin, and why not mount the rifle on a tripod, and you want her to be President of what . . . the Alaskan Big Game BS Ass? Right on America. This is one for WickyWackyLeaks, the Fijian and Barbados governments are going to be real nervous when she decides to . . .

Andy Reagan (#8,940)

why does it matter how skilled she is at hunting. hunting is about conservation, not trying to kill innocent animals for "free" meat. furthermore, how well she can hunt relates in no way to how well she can govern. "varmit rifle"???? by the size of the bolt and the length of the round going in the chamber, the first rifle is likely a 30-06, each round will travel in excess of three miles. if it's not a 30-06 it's sure something similar.

Injest (#8,942)

"Why Palin's dad chose for her a "varmint rifle" for a caribou hunt and why Palin, an admitted "moose hunter," would not question such a gun's appropriateness is never answered."

Ahhhhhhhhh could it be cuz the Savage 110 comes in chambered in 1 of 4 calibers?

The .30-06, .270 Winchester, .243 Winchester and the .308 Winchester

The .30-06 was the MAIN battle rifle round of the US military for about 50 years.
It is one of the most powerful military cartridges ever produced.

The .270 Winchester (or 6.8x65mm) is a .30-06 necked down from .30 to .27 it is very powerful with a flatter trajectory than the .30-06

The .308 Winchester (NATO 7.62x51mm) is the current high power military battle rifle round. It is slightly less powerful than the .30-06, but the recoil or kick is greatly reduced.

The .243 Winchester is a .308 Winchester necked down from .30 to .24 it is very powerful with a flatter trajectory than the .308 Winchester.

The .243 Winchester is the least powerful of all these rounds. It is used for medium to large game
including Whitetail deer, pronghorn, wild hogs, Black bear and Caribou.

That should answer the question as to why she didn't “question such a gun's appropriateness”.

Seriously are you an idiot?

Do you know what makes a varmint round, a varmint round?
It instantly turns a varmint into fertilizer!

ImARealHunter (#11,193)

It would be stupid for a novice to hunt a caribou with a varminter. That .243 is a 6 mm rifle and doesn't have the knock down power you should have to make sure you don't wound rather than kill the animal you are hunting. A 6 mm rifle is fine for deer at the greatest, about 200 pounds at the most. Not a caribou.

James Wynn (#9,030)

Check out the WSJ article on the episode by an accredited hunter documentarian:

Palin Derangement Syndrome. It can make an idiot of you too.

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