Sarah Palin May Have Violated Wildlife Guidelines in Reality TV Show... And it's Only the First Episode
“Let's get the fish, before the bear gets the fish.” An unintentionally telling statement from Sarah Palin during a fishing segment on her new show Alaska––her over-simplistic greed for power and TV time and influence, analogized neatly in the fact that this woman would steal fish from a bear. But wildlife experts in her home state are saying that wasn't her worst infraction in the very first episode of the new reality series. According to Alaska Wildlife Alliance director John Toppenberg, Palin bucked a policy that requires people fishing in a boat to keep at least 30 feet away from bears. "It's clear from the video that she violated the guidelines," Toppenberg told the Guardian.
Large brown bears gather in Wolverine Creek because the fishing is so easy and the animals have, in the process, become a tourist spectacle. But Toppenberg warned that by behaving in an apparently irreverent manner, Palin was doing nothing to foster responsibility among visitors. "She is encouraging the violation of important guidelines that allows tourism to flourish in Alaska. She is inviting future problems with the tourism industry and, in particular, the bear-viewing industry," he said.
The first clip shows Palin and family boating and fishing very near the bears. Of course, she also uses the experience as an opportunity to project herself as a protective, maternal but tough “Mama Grizzly” (the analogy is not light-fisted), at one point cooing and opining on the maternal instinct of the creatures. Enjoy:
If anyone didn't think this show was a cynical, savvy move to stump for 2012, there's no denying it now. As GOP strategist Terry Sullivan told the Huffington Post, Alaskais "one big cable buy. When Governor Romney was talking about running for president, he had sent out a DVD where he was sledding in Utah with the family, talking about whether he would run or not, and everybody was baking cookies and hanging out. The difference is she has a production company willing to foot the bill for it." Or, as a former aide puts it, "The TV show is going to allow her to reestablish herself with the general public." Great! Seven more episodes to go.