Heather Michon

Heather Michon
June 25
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NOVEMBER 21, 2008 12:43PM

They Decapitate Turkeys, Don't They?

Rate: 31 Flag

The latest entry in the Sarah-Palin-Is-One-Dumb-Bunny file is what MSNBC calls WORST POSSIBLE BACKDROP FOR TV NEWS INTERVIEW.

Governor Palin arrived at the Triple-D Farm and Hatchery outside Wasilla the other day to "pardon" a turkey in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. It's a ritual many governors have performed in recent years as the kind of fluff-piece they know the media is sure to cover.

She did it with her usual aplomb, dressed in a skirt and heels standing, one imagines, in turkey poop. The local media dutifully covered the story as their lead-out on the evening news, but what has made international news is the interview that happened after the pardon.

Palin took a few questions from the press pool on her family's holiday plans, and then met with a another camera crew for a short interview. For most of the three-minute tape, a farm worker is bleeding and decapitating a turkey just a few feet behind her.

We did get a good chuckle out of the video here at Maison Michon, but the more I thought about it, the more it began to stink.

This was one of those pieces of tape that floats around TV newsrooms and occasionally makes it up the ladder to New York. Without the backdrop, the interview was pointless -- mostly a rehashing of issues that would otherwise not have made it into a story on a busy news day. It was just going to sit on a shelf somewhere in case it was needed later.  But the cognitive dissonance of Palin's words against the casual slaughtering of a gigantic turkey was tailor-made for "Countdown." And from there, it was going to go viral.

The thing is, the camera crew and reporter knew full well how that was going to look on film before they started filming. All they had to do is say, "Excuse me, Governor, could you just move two feet to the left? Thanks!"

Yes, they asked her if she minded the backdrop, and she responded "No worries." I don't think that's a deal-breaker.

Alaska, despite it's immense geographical size, is a small state in terms of population. Like a lot of small-state politicians, Palin doesn't have a particularly good grasp of staging. She's a meat-eater from a family of hunters: she knows how meat gets to her plate, and it doesn't shock her. That she lives in a nation of people who just like their meat to get to their plate by some mysterious, sanitary process that doesn't involve blood or ickiness might well have escaped her.

In this, Palin is typical of those pols who blow out of the hinterlands and on to the national stage every couple of election cycles and charm the pants of the media with their naturalness, their complete lack of guile. The charm quickly wears off, and they go back to being rednecks and rubes, while the more slickly-produced candidates regain the spotlight.

While it isn't the media's job to make a politician look better than they are, they should not go out of their way to make them seem foolish -- or if they do, at least keep the blooper reel confined to the station Christmas party. 

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It would do Americans good to see where their food comes from.

I enjoy picking on the many blunders of Sarah Palin, but this was different. I giggled watching it on the news this morning, but then thought about the strangeness of people being horrified by the backdrop...do people not know where their meat comes from? Even more strange is that they censored some of the brutality with blurs over the turkey. Is it not okay to see where meat comes from? Weird, all around.
Unbelievable. I hadn't read about that interview. It looks like something they would have manufactured in an editing room -- but no, it's real. I'm almost feeling sorry for her.
It was definitely odd. I thought the guy doing the sacrificing seemed to be looking over at Palin and the cameraman with sort of an "Are you sure this is OK?" look.
My fervent hope is that the GOP believes she is "the future" of their party as she is the true reflection of a shallow, greedy, warmongering, Fascist-leaning political party. Inciting audience members to chant, "kill him, kill him" when using her "Obama is a terorist and friends with one, Bill Ayres....." line (because she had nothing else to say, anyway!) was a LOW POINT in American politics and one that should shame and embarass every American!! The crude barbarism of that moment is appalling!!
It's interesting to play What If. What If Ted Stevens had won the election. Then What If he'd been ousted from the Senate. A new law in Alaska does not have the governor appointing someone to fill the vacant seat (since Murkowski, SP's mentor, rose to the governor's chair and appointed his Daughter to fill his seat), but instead calls for a special election. What If SP ran for the Senate seat vacated by Mr. Stevens? And What If her constituents had instead elected someone else.

Just thinkin'....
Everytime I see her, I have to wonder if the marketing of Sarah Palin is pure brilliance or pure stupidity ... after all this time ... I still don't know for sure.
I couldn't watch the video even though I know where my thanksgiving turkey came from. It is just another bizarre episode in the Palin soap opera.
"pure brilliance or pure stupidity"

I had that same thought about this particular video clip.
As a card-carrying vegetarian...well, not really a card-carrying one...I actually think it's cool that it got broadcast.

Here's the thing: Palin accepted, and still accepts, the mantle of being the voice of the American underdog, and, if reports are to be believed (including on Salon), she's gunning for 2012.

I expect that any politician who wants to represent me should have the common sense and awareness to look over their shoulder before they speak.

If they aren't...they deserve what they get.

Just my two cents.
With her media and journalism background, she should have a decent understanding of staging. I'm not feeling sorry for her. But I appreciate those who are nicer than I.
This video really upset me, but today I was checking around about WHY the handling of those poor birds wasn't more humane, like over in a second with a hatchet, and found this URL which explained a lot:

Its all just one long comedy sketch. Or at least that's what it feels like. If someone had shown me that clip unfiltered I would have thought she had been superimposed over the background for comedic effect. The self-parody is permanent. There's nothing she or anyone else can seem to do to stop it.
I think the turkey actually helps Palin. Life does not exist without death; even cows kill plants. Being calm around dying turkeys merely shows common sense about the nature of reality.
Uhhh....uh-uh. I know Sarah Palin can field dress a moose and all, and she's in Alaska and all, but if she's not aware that the lower 48 population might look askance at staging an interview in front of turkey slaughter, she's stupider than I thought, and that's saying a lot.

As a child I watched chickens being slaughtered and watched my mother dressing them over the kitchen sink. It's been a while, true, but I think I'm less squeamish than most. And I couldn't hear what Palin was saying in the interview for being distracted by what was going on behind her. (Oops, maybe that was the point...)
While I'm loathe to say anything in defense of Sarah Palin, you make a very sound point. She doesn't need to be made to look stupid, she's perfectly capable of doing that for herself. For once, I almost feel a little bad for her. But then I have to wonder, did she really not know what was going on behind her? I've never bought into her cries against the evil mainstream media, but this occasion certainly doesn't discredit her accusations. Perhaps she anticipated the reaction such a scene would elicit, and is using it to fuel her anti-media campaign? Or maybe I'm just jaded.
Yes, it was a set-up and a good laugh had by all but the turkey. Her reaction afterward was classic Palin. She laughed it off. I find her quite frankly, indefensible.

But this was not her doing, but it worked out well for her image. Just keep sliding on down the pole Sarah...Slide, slide, slide...
Brilliant strategery if you ask me... the spectacle of carnage in the background buffers the pain of listening to the vacuous blather in the foreground. That 58 million people could vote to position Sarah Palin one heartbeat from the presidency still leaves me incredulous.
Thank you for posting this. Yes, indeed, what happened to the
turkey is the type of thing that happens to animals, and anyone
who eats them should know.
I was disgusted when I saw this on Anderson Cooper last night.
Most of the show was about the Precious One but, oh look!
There's that stupid Sarah Palin! It takes no courage to put up
something like this , then point the finger and laugh.
Sarah Palin is in desperate need of a good PR firm, if
she want to be on the National Stage. She's not in Kansas
(or Wasillia) any more.
First, this is a patently ridiculous argument in the age of YouTube. What if it had been an amateur videographer present as a bystander with a digital camcorder who captured the footage? Second, you can't isolate this one issue, when her entire presence on the national stage has been a series of blunders. Third, you're coddling her. This woman is a very public figure—with a degree in journalism no less—who should know better. Lastly, she has brought all of the negative attention on herself. She opened her debut with guns loaded, playing for the cameras, and then denouncing them when they captured her in ways that were less than flattering. This silly twit gets everything she deserves. She called a press conference to pardon a turkey. It's not the media's fault she ended up serving one... with lipstick.
First, this is a patently ridiculous argument, especially in the age of YouTube, and in a very public forum initiated by the subject. Second, this is a woman whose presence on the national stage has been nothing more than a series of blunders, almost entirely self-inflicted. Third, you're coddling her: someone with a degree in journalism should know better. Not to mention that she was the one who set the tone for her national debut by opening up all of the guns on everyone outside of her fanatical "base." This silly twit gets everything she deserves. She was the one who called a press conference to pardon a turkey. It's not the media's fault that she actually served one... with lipstick.
Sorry for the double post. It crashed on me and I didn't realize the first had taken already.
It's not the reporter's, videographer's or Palin's error ... it's her press secretary's error. That's his or her job ... telling Palin to move somewhere else or not do the interview. It's not a reporter's job to make a subject look good.
It's a good story, but I don't think it's a big deal, is it? I'm no Palin fan by a long shot. And she OK'd the backdrop. So what? Anyone who grew up on a farm or spent any time in the woods hunting knows the drill. That meat don't skin itself and jump in the shrink wrap without a little help.

If you hunt and shoot a caribou, you have killed a large animal. It must be field dressed, quartered and back backed out of the area. It's been going on since man learned to sharpen a stick.

Palin learned to hunt at an early age. It's just the natural order of things in their world.

You may now begin to throw the rotten fruit and vegetables in my direction.
The premise of this piece furthers the justification that Palin is not to blame for anything that goes wrong. I was a helicopter camera operator for a tv news station in Chicago, covering traffic and tragedies. I had four different reporters, all women, all longing to be safely on the ground behind the anchor's desk. Every one of them was intimately aware of their background and exactly how they were lit and presented. Every one of them possessed diva-type behavior out of step with their importance. This was a very vain group, perhaps only out-vanitied by politicians.

The point should be that Palin lacks awareness and foresight. It does not matter who bought her the expensive campaign clothing; that she did not stop to consider the conflicting perception wearing outrageously priced designer threads would make regarding Republican values v. ostentation reveals a blindness on her part. That she was unaware of her turkey slayer backdrop flies in the face of her BA in Communications-Journalism and her on-camera training. If she indeed was unaware, that suggests she is so enamored of the camera lens that that's all she sees. If however she was cognizant of her background, then this suggests a blood-lust desire to tell the world: "You're either with us... or I'll put you in the turkey grinder and get back to you."

The author of this piece will doubtlessly continue to cut Palin breaks no matter how absurd her logic.
Absolutely agree with Robert Andropolis. This is a person who has been doing interview after interview with the country's largest media outlets. Yet this type of thing still happens? This is just another example of Sarah Palin's tunnel vision - the inability to see what's around her if she has the opportunity to share more talking points that she still believes will help her public persona. GOP leader in 2012? I don't think so. Particularly since even her PR person can't be bothered to see what the shot set-up looks like (common practice among publicists who represents anyone who's going to be on television). Kudos all around. Palin for being a self-absorbed idiot and her PR person, for being, well, just an idiot.
Great post! Congratulations.

I disagree profoundly with many of Sarah Palin's principles, but in this case her reaction to the press ambush was perfect. Politicians get interviewed; turkeys get slaughtered by the millions. Both facts. If they happen to appear on the same screen, what of it?

The media, hoping to turn this into some sort of nail in the coffin moment, was sorely misguided. The media was trying to blackmail her; she defused it all by saying, basically, publish and be damned. Publish they did, and if the ratings and circulation figures of CNBC and The New York Times are any indication, the damnation is imminent.
"Yes, they asked her if she minded the backdrop, and she responded "No worries." I don't think that's a deal-breaker. "

Actually, they went well beyond what was required. It is not a PhotoJournalist's job to manage a politicians image - it is to report what they see... In fact, I'll go as far as to say it is their job to create images that say more about the real scene than what the photo op managers want the people at home to see.

The video photographer did what his/her job required - creating images that correctly portrayed the irony of the annual "Turkey Pardon" while others were being slaughtered only a few feet away.

If Palin can't understand how to manage her own image, that is her problem, not the medias...
I am a television journalist, and I have asked myself how I would have done it. She had “pardoned a turkey”. So the backdrop is logical. I would have pointed out where we stood. The team who photographed her did, and she said: don't worry. She had no problem, so I would have asked my cameraman to proceed - it's normal procedure, unless a press secretary or a spokesperson (there must have been one) had asked the camera to move.
I am a journalist, not a PR person: it is not my job to make anybody look particularly good or bad.
I would never have trapped her, and neither did the T V team, they asked.
It's true that clip makes me pity her. But she is no babe just out of the wood. She's been at it since AUGUST, and even before, since she already campaigned to become governor.
I find this interview, in this setting, very revealing of the person she is (and I don't say this in a judgemental way).
It's really simple...karma's a bitch.
The fact that this vid is going viral is more of a commentary on the obliviousness of most Americans to the sources of their food than it is on Palin.

This is where your Thanksgiving dinner comes from. Bon appetit!
This article is a such a wet blanket. That video did not just provide "good chuckle." It is the funniest thing I've seen in a long time. It's a work of art, on par with any sketch comedy, and even having a touch of the surreal (something out of a David Lynch film).

So Palin was tarred and feathered (blood and feathered?). The woman doesn't need defending.
bearpaw, I don't think the primary interest is in the fact that turkeys are slaughtered in this manner. I think it's the irony and bizarreness involved in pardoning a turkey and giving a casual interview right next to the slaughter.
Buckeyedoc, Irony can be so ironic sometimes, no?
What stood out for me seemed was either lack of awareness of the camera frame and/or what was happening around her. I know she is a hunter and the killing of animals is not big deal to her, it still strikes me as odd that she didn't seem to notice her surroundings.
Of course we should blame Palin. She knew exactly what was happening behind her and she did not care. Why? Because killing animals does not bother her in the least. This happy-go-lucky wolf killer actually had the gall to say that she was a "friend to all creatures great and small" in her scripted "pardon" of the turkey. By friend, she means gleeful killer.

That said, it is incredible that this professional politician allowed herself to be put in such a position. As Stephen Rea screamed at Mena Suvari in the film, "Stuck": What the fuck is wrong with you?!

Anyway, I'm glad people saw what happens to the turkeys that end up on their tables, even if the news media did blur out the bird's death struggles and spurting blood. If you can't bear to watch it, then you shouldn't be eating it in the first place.
Gawd. You guys are just too smart to hang out with me. I am laughing my ass off. Like when you laugh at a funeral laugh. I know it's wrong but I just can't help myself it's soooooooooo friggin' funny. Can't breathe. Eyes running. Side hurting. Gotta go laughing. I'm gonna watch it again.
I'm sorry, but this whole affair is hideous and hypocritical.

The point is not that we should be aware of where our food comes from or how turkeys are slaughtered. It's the fact Palin went to this turkey "farm" to pardon a turkey for a photo-op.

Any politician with half a brain would NOT have had this backdrop in a post-pardon interview.
Oh god. I'm sorry, and what happened to the turkey was terrible, but damn, that was hilarious. I can't stop laughing. I want to be all "let's analyze this" but damn, it was just classic.
Oh c'mon....why don't you barrel suckin' Dan'l Boone wannabees get off your high horse. "Most Americans don't know where their meat comes from" (!???) This video is hilarious just because it is so bizarre. Hilarious isn't the word for it. It's a great joke because SP is such a great joke. I loved that little fella looking over his shoulder at the whole affair. Perfect!
I don't think this was SP' "mistake" at all; she knew exactly what she was doing. This was a deliberate snub of elite, bleeding-heart arugala-snappin' liberals. This is Sarah saying, 'I know what I'm doing, and up yours!' Giving the finger to all us here at Salon, while we're feeling 'sorry' for her for being 'misused' by the media.
I'm not one to give Sarah Palin any breaks, but I wouldn't "blame" her for this. You're right it was the camera crew who did this knowingly.

But it is pretty hilarious. I think we'd be paying attention to this regardless of the politician. With Palin, it's slightly more funny because of her recent history in the public consciousness.
I don't care if it's Palin, Clinton, McCain, Obama, Biden, Dubya...footage of ANY politician giving a fluffy TV interview while a turkey is being slaughtered in the background is hilarious.

I know, I'm a bad bad person.
I don't think this was SP' "mistake" at all; she knew exactly what she was doing. This was a deliberate snub of elite, bleeding-heart arugala-snappin' liberals. This is Sarah saying, 'I know what I'm doing, and up yours!' Giving the finger to all us here at Salon, while we're feeling 'sorry' for her for being 'misused' by the media. -- Tom Bentley

Tom, you may very well be right. Fortunately, the lizard-brained Palin crowd is a minority of the electorate, so let Palin cater all she wants to them. She'll stay Governor of a remote, small state until, as must happen, she gets booted out of office.
I think she was very aware of what was going on and was supportive of it.
Palin haters are behaving towards her just like the right
wing did towards Hillary, and making about the same
This female has set back what has taken women worldwide decades upon decades to secure; the smallest amount of respect. What a mare she is, night and day. Oh, the absolute horror. Just go away quietly Sarah. Please.
I'm not usually on Gov. Palin's side, but all the fuss the commentators have made over the backdrop only shows that they are city boys who have no idea where the turkey they probably stuff themselves with comes from. Why else would a turkey need to be pardoned, if it weren't otherwise slated for slaughter!
I think this is great!

Most of the people on Salon hate her. She doesn't care what most here think. She could never get you to vote for her if her angel wings popped out.

Most of America eats meat. By being their with that in the background does two things.

First it keeps her in front of the public. Remember, there is no bad publicity.

Second, it shows she is an average person. She knows how much milk and diapers cost, and she knows where our food comes from. She isn't like Kerry who went hunting and without the cameras around came back with a duck. Did he dress it and cook it? I'll bet he didn't even know what kind it was much less shoot it.

This was a great piece to make sure people realize she can relate to Joe 6-pack and not those who have their nose stuck up.
Found this piece that was done in September of this year. I thought it was a good piece that will explain what is going on behind Palin. Seem most of you don't know what is happening and why. Sorry for 2 posts.

Hello again to all:
I have received a lot of questions concerning "Turkey Killing Trauma" and want to
respond. There have been many truths and mis-truths posted about the
realities of slaughtering. First of all, THE most humane slaughter is
the Kosher slaughter which I detailed HERE:
http://back40forums.com/index.php?topic=263.0 on August 14th. This
method pertains to ANY type of poultry.

While slaughter is never what I would term "fun", it does not have to be
terrible either. First, any knife used to cut the jugular vein must be
VERY sharp. You need a good carbon steel knife to start with and a good
STEEL to keep it sharp. A sharp knife will go through turkey wattles
with no problem. Follow the instructions in my tutorial, especially the
part about pulling the skin tight. If you don't the wattles will just
move back and forth as you try to slice through.

The bird should always be contained in a killing cone, or for large
turkeys, a 5 gallon plastic pail with a "head hole" about 5" around cut
in the bottom. The actual killing can be a one or 2 person job. One
can do it if they are strong and wrap a bungie cord around the legs and
and to the bucket to keep the bird in the bucket. The bucket should be
securely nailed to a 2 x 4 or large piece of would that can contain the
birds muscular contractions.

These contractions are NOT because the bird is in pain. As others have
said the bird loses consciousness soon after the vein is slit. The
contractions are nature's way of squeezing all of the blood out of the
muscles. The reason the vein is cut rather than using a axe or hatchet
is that the brain needs to tell the heart to keep pumping so the blood
is literally pumped out of the meet. That eliminates excess blood
residue in the meat and a resulting bloody bag. When the brain is
disconnected the heart just sort of quivers and does not pump the blood
out, it just drains by gravity.

The bird should never be allowed to thrash around the yard as this can
cause serious bruising of flesh, especially wings and thighs. Please
go and read the tutorial at the link above and print it out to refer to
in the future. Be assured you are not alone in your feelings, over 400
people have printed the tutorial in the last three weeks.

Here are a couple of lines that may console you:

Now, a few words about emotions: Taking a life of any type, even
harvesting vegetables, is a very serious event. First, in the case of
your birds, you are in the unusual position of going from a caregiver
who's goal is to give your bird the most natural, healthful bird life
you can. Then you turn to the job of honoring that bird's life by
slaughtering it in a humane way and honoring it's life by turning it
into the best tasting, most healthful meat for you, your family or your

I always hold the bird a little while before putting it into the
killing cone, and speaking in a soft voice, thank the bird for sharing
it's life with me and giving up it's life to nurture others. We did
this in our commercial operation by having a short ceremony before
slaughter began. If you ever come to a place that slaughter is just
another day, get a glass of tea, go sit in a shady, quiet place and
think about your role in the web of life. It's o.k. to shed some

Also, as far as getting someone else to do it: That is just a cop out.
You have given your bird the best life it could have. You should honor
that life and show your appreciation and how much it's life has meant to
you by giving it your personal attention and to think back upon that
life when the turkey nourishes you and your family.
Herman Beck-Chenoweth
good post - you definitely generated a lot of discussion.

first of all, I don't think it's a great, big deal and like most things, will be filtered through whatever lens one sees Ms. Palin.

however, it is pretty freakin' hilarious for Palin to stand there in her wool coat, heels, Burberry scarf, and holding her Starbucks cup to speak of:

"the brutality of the whole campaign"

"how much fun she was having doing this"
"this was fun"
yada, yada, yada

For the record, my Thanksgiving turkey comes from a local, organic farm. And, yes, more Americans should know where their meat comes from and how it gets to the table. But, I don't imagine a whole lot of them would think it was "fun".

To me, this whole episode just underscores the ridiculousness of the idea that we should take Palin seriously. Her words continue to be nonsensical regardless of the backdrop.
oops, forgot to close the italics
that should do it
(Sarah, put down the gun. We're using a camera for this show.) Imagine how Katie Couric could spin Palin's turkey-farm shoot, which Palin said she participated in to add something light and fun to the news - we'd better not even think about where Palin would take us for something grizzly. The slaughter behind Palin looked like a mom-and-pop operation, but if Katie takes us to an industrialized turkey slaughter house, how much of it will the video editor have to blur out to protect us? Given that we don't talk turkey, Katie might also interview Temple Grandin, the autistic author who designed a humane slaughter house for cattle and who might envision a kinder, gentler way to kill turkeys, from the turkey POV. Katy can also let us in on little known facts about the turkey personality. For instance, I once drove past a ranch where the guard dog running the fence line and barking at the car had a turkey sidekick who ran with him and made warning turkey noises. Who knew a guard turkey might protect property as well as lives? And finally, a little known factoid - make of it what you will: The United Nations is built on land where a cattle slaughter house once stood. As a child, I watched from my aunt's apartment in Tudor City as cattle marched up a ramp from the boats that delivered them and disappeared into that building.
This mess isn't about journalists making their interview subjects look good or bad. But photographers and producers are responsible for what's in the background. Rather than dogpile the comments here, I wrote a short poston my own blog. I think many people are missing the bigger picture here. Check the link if you're not already tired of hearing about this.

Palin is only governor because this is America.

Sara Palin represents almost everything that is embarrassing about America.

We need the media to do much more to expose how stupid and ignorant this creature is. There are Americans--God, this is so embarrassing--who respect Sara Palin, for crying out loud.

Let us educate and inform our people, we have to catch up with the rest of the world. It is 2008, and people like Palin exist, and still vomit deamons in paper bags.

Let Sara Palin go away. Do not encourage ignorance.
Palin will return to bite us. "...while the more slickly-produced candidates regain the spotlight." She may not be slick now but she will be taught and groomed. She has already shown herself to be an adept crowd-pleaser (manipulator) and a quick study.
I have to thank Herman Beck-Chenoweth for his post on how you “properly and humanly” harvest your food. I say harvest as that is what we humans do be that we are decadence of hunters and gathers, only now many of us now pay for others to do it.

For a couple of decades I did raise much of our own food on our small “ranch”. This included meat and poultry. Thus I did my own butchering and harvesting. When very occasionally asked by some of my City friends how I could do this my response was to point out that at least that which ended up on our table was given a good life and how do you think that which you have put on your table ended up there.

However, on to this video. This piece continues to bring the question Sarah’s judgment and sensibilities. I suppose I have spent far too much time around people like Sarah who exhibit a sense of entitlement rather than an interest in acquiring the overall skills to assume the position she feels she is entitled to hold.

Those skills are an acquisition of knowledge, compassion, sensibilities and wisdom. Only by exposing yourself to the influence of those who may very likely have life and experiences be very different from your own experiences. You need not necessarily agree with them but you should be open to learn something from them. Sarah appears to not to be interested in such a quest for knowledge.

A short time ago I posted “A Parable of Power”. If others are interested in this Parable I will let the preamble for the post explain it. http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=45569
DakiniDancer and Tom Bentley got it right. The media ended up with egg on its face, not Palin.

I notice with some interest that negative comments about Palin are almost always non-substantive--just a lot of name calling and ridicule. I'm no apologist for the lady, but I am fascinated about reactions to her. The common thread seems to be jealousy, whether based on her good looks, humpy husband, dedication to principle, and honesty. I would think that those truly interested in evaluating this woman, who by all accounts could figure prominently in our country's political future, would concede her impressiveness and then engage her on the issues rather than resort to comments that say much more about the commentator than they do about Palin.
Various Americanisms kept leaping to mind as I viewed this occasionally hilarious set-up. "Turkey shoot" was the one that stood out - as in the set-up the camera crew had to be in on (they must have been wetting themselves and trying to keep a straight face until the end of the interview). Let's get real, how often do you see an interview shot in side-profile? I wonder if the turkey slaughterer was slipped a few bucks for his cameo role, or if he was in on the gag? Actually, "turkey-shoot" is the best title for any interview with Sarah Palin these days as she is now a "slow-moving target" and a bit of a turkey too. The brunt of a lot of good humor - if nothing else - she is certainly good entertainment of the jocular kind. Thanks for the "heads-up" - I love a giggle or a "good titter" and I got both from this one! She sure is a standout!
I agree with the overarching idea here; the news media is a bust, but...

I actually think this was funny only BECAUSE Palin is such a buffoon. If she were not, it would not have any significance. It's sort of like Dubya's lingual 'flubyas'; their real significance is that they recall his general buffoonery, not that they are news-worthy.

Pardon the pun, but you really can't blame the turkey.
Heather I get your point but I disagree. First of all it's doubtful the local media went out of its way to make her look foolish and secondly it's not their job to manage her image.

Palin doesn't get a pass because she's smug. The interview made news because she is on a self-righteous rampage assaulting the national media...."They'll probably make news out of this too". No sweetie...they'll probably make entertainment out of it because you can't get out of your own way.

Some people see Palin as a woman with gumption, some have gone as far as charming but I see her as an opportunist who lacks grace. She's a Christian woman who spent months stirring hate in this country for her own gain and who is now vomiting all over the very people [McCain] who gave her a voice...for her own gain.

Since her first interview with Katie Couric she has been a caricature of herself and entertainment for the world. And as long as she lacks the grace to act like an adult the media will feed on her. She's really no different than Brittney Spears.
What a ridiculous hub bub over nothing.

I lived in Wasilla for over 10 years and Sarah Palin was my mayor, though I never voted for her, because I disagree with her politics. Though disagreeing with her doesn't make me feel the need to denigrate her. Odd, that.

People like to think of her as a moron, and insult her left and right over her religious beliefs. But yet, there she is, in the lime light. A man as respectable and honorable as John McCain thought she was good enough to be his running mate for the most important office in this country. And people find a silly little video like this and try to flag it as something bigger than it is.

What a sad statement on our own lives that this is even 'news'.
Did Kerry get a break when he dressed up to look like a 6 foot tall sperm for a biohazard facility tour? No. Definitely not!

Palin wants to play with the big boys, so she doesn't deserve to get coddled like a fragile, little girl.

She sets us all back.
God forbid any girl should try to play with the boys. She'll be characterized either as a bitch or a dumb whore. What's really funny is that it's not even the men that star in that kind of persecution. She's like Clinton I think- it won't faze her, & more power to her. I'd like to see her or Condi running against Clinton. :) that would be a satisfying election for me. Unpopular opinion, but I really don't care.

All due respect...it's ludicrous to compare Palin to Clinton or Condi Rice two of the most educated women in this country and I suspect most women feel that way. The reason it's women torching Palin is because she's bad for women. There are plenty of really qualified women in this country she's just not one of them...she was a gimmick it didn't work...now let it go.
As I wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle last week, "Forget Sarah Palin. She's been bagged, tagged, and released back into the wild."

Earle Jones
Portola Valley CA
It's OK - those turkeys had been been suspected of pallin' around with terrorists.

The blame should lie with her staff. The same staff who let Palin tbe pranked by 2 dj's from Cananda. Her more "civilized" staff should have forcefully intervened on her behalf.

Since she does hunt and field dress her own kill, she naturally has less sensitivity (or more familiarity) with the process and wouldn't necessarily perceive the shock value to most of the folks watching the tube.

If she wanted to pardon a turkey...(which is what the "president" usually does), they should have brought the poor bird to her in her office not her walking into a slaughter house. Anyway anybody that would shoot a wolf from a helicopter, is not a sportsman.

If they ever decide to do a reality remake of Green Acres and Hooterville, we know exactly where to send the cameras.

Gobble Gobble
Harry Knapp you obviously have no respect for me (or most likely any other woman that's not 'owned or controlled' by you) so the only thing I'm going to let go of is the need to respond to you...right, uh, right after this post.
Palin's like Dan Quayle now. If she does something smart, it'll be considered a fluke. And if she does something dumb, it will be another nail in her public image coffin.

They say you only have one chance to make a first impression. Palin blew hers with that horrific interview with Katie Couric. And then she kept on reinforcing the bad impression she made on people by doing stupid things like claiming the first amendment protects her from criticism from the media.

So, now that she has a certain image in the public eye, every single time she does something that reinforces that image, people will say, see, I told you so. And if she does something that counters that, people will say, oh, it's a lucky fluke.

It's what people do. For example, as a Chargers fan, I'm sitting here saying, jeez, the Chargers are just so damn unlucky. They've lost four games in the last 30 seconds of the game.

That's easier than saying, you know, they're just not that good this year for whatever reason.
that was reality and good shit to boot. God help us if they ever have a doctor performing abortions in the background.
The guv'nor said, "Turkeys, I'll pardon
Just one. For the rest, keep your guard on
And pray to your god,
For this man has a rod
And slaughtering gives him a hardon."
All I know is that - despite our cultural attention deficit, we're still talking about Sarah Palin. I think if she ever had any worries about becoming merely a trivia answer, she can relax.
As for the turkey slaughter in the background, it seems most people feel the graphic violence needs to go back where it belongs - in their teen's videogames & movies.
I think Gov. Palin generates more comments than anything other single subject on OS, even sex and nudity. Personally, I'm hoping she can go back to being governor and we won't have to deal with the daily Palin news frenzy.

I've written about hosting our Sunni Muslim neighbors for Thanksgiving last year. If you're interested, you can check it out on my blog.

On another subject, you can be part of OS history by having your profile photo/image included in a poster we are working on. Anyone can participate and I'd love to have you be part of it if you think you'd enjoy that. If you're interested in being on the poster and other merchandise, check out Skeptic Turtle's post about it here:

Open Call: OS Avatar Collage -- version 2.0

Paws up (rated).
Your analysis overlooks the fact that Alaskan society and culture is VERY different from the lower 48. A large percentage of people hunt, trap and fish. For the most part, people actually eat the animals and fish they kill or catch. There is a much greater knowledge of where our food comes from and a sympathy with butchering and eating wild game as a way of life. If it weren't for laws, the native peoples around the Arctic Circle would still hunt whales. They do hunt seal, moose, bear, and most other native species large enough to put in a crock pot. Hunting and fishing are also a large source of tourist revenue for the state of Alaska.

Their sensibilities don't always translate to the lower 48 in a positive way. That Sarah Palin looked at the backdrop for her interview and didn't give it a second thought shouldn't really surprise us, and it is patronizing and condescending (at least from the point of view of many Alaskans) to think there is anything wrong with seeing the processing of turkeys or that local politicians might not find anything wrong with such a backdrop.

My family will be eating turkey and standing rib roast today for dinner. That means two animals were slaughtered for my family's consumption and pleasure. I can live with that. I think the brouhaha over this story says much more about us and nothing new (or bad) about Sarah Palin.

For the record, I hate her anyway.