Danielle Bean, a wife and mother of eight, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine and author of My Cup of Tea, Mom to Mom, Day to Day, and most recently Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Read more of her blogging at Faith & Family Live and DanielleBean.com.
Whether you like her politics or not, whether you watch her show or not, you’ve got to hand it to Sarah Palin. The woman knows how to elicit a reaction. And she’s not afraid of getting a little blood on her hands in the process.
The video above shows a clip from “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” her new reality TV show airing on TLC. In this episode, we see the former governor of Alaska and potential candidate for President shoot and kill a caribou while on a hunting trip with her dad.
Anticipating a storm of protest, Palin posted a preemptive strike on her Facebook page the day the episode was scheduled to air:
“Tonight’s hunting episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska ‘controversial’? Really? Unless you’ve never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather couch or eaten a piece of meat, save your condemnation of tonight’s episode. I remain proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy.”
Predictably, PETA was quick to condemn Palin’s statement and actions:
PETA Vice President Dan Mathews has issued a statement saying, “Sarah seems to think that resorting to violence and blood and guts may lure people into watching her boring show, but the ratings remain as dead as the poor animals she shoots.”
But those who watch the shooting episode impartially will see that Palin does not glorify the blood and guts of hunting and she shoots animals only to put meat in her family’s freezer. She is correct in pointing out that anyone who eats meat or wears leather has no valid argument against her hunting hobby.
I think the Palin reality series has been a mostly successful ploy for attention so far. Critics can certainly accuse Palin of wanting attention and knowing how to get it, whether it be positive or negative.
But PETA knows how to do that too.
I’m not sure I even understand the recent PETA pope with condoms ad, for example, but it generated the flurry of media attention I am sure they were seeking.
Those who criticize Palin for her attention-seeking tactics should be prepared to recognize the fact that shameless attention-seeking happens on both ends of the political spectrum. And people only do it because it works.