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Decoding 'Sarah Palin's Alaska': Doing Potentially Deadly Rugged Alaskan Things

Palinbuzz In every episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska," there's at least one moment in which someone goes on and on about the grave risk involved in whatever our heroine's going to do next, building viewer expectations so high you begin to wonder if she really survived filming the series, or if the final episode will reveal that the Sarah Palin seen in public over the last six months has actually been an android.

But then, inevitably, she does the Potentially Deadly Rugged Alaskan Thing in question and breaks neither sweat nor nail. At this point in the season, I'm beginning to feel a little ripped off; if she's never going to get mauled by a bear or crushed beneath heavy machinery, it's just not fair to keep teasing us. 

I kid, I kid! But seriously, last night's episode featured even more of those moments than usual, and offered a fascinating window into Palin's perception of danger.

Activity: Logging

Expectation of dangerous problems: High. Before Palin uses a chainsaw to cut into an enormous tree, we're warned that if she hits a knot, the blade could kick back into her face. Before said tree falls, we're warned that she could end up under it. Before she operates a shovel logger, we're warned that she could accidentally send the log flying right back through the window of the cab.

Why she conquered her fear and did it anyway: Because it's real Alaskan hard work, and if this show is about anything, it's about Sarah Palin showing her kids what it's like to put in an hour or so of hard work for the camera.

Actual dangerous problems encountered: 0. Zzzzzzzz.

Activity: Stock car racing

Expectation of dangerous problems: High. It's stock car racing. If that doesn't tell you all you need to know, watch as Willow dons a fireproof suit, then shimmies into the car and announces that she feels claustrophobic wedged in there. What if the engine explodes?

Why she conquered her fear and encouraged her unlicensed, 16-year-old daughter do it anyway: Because Willow's not competitive enough to want to crush her father like Sarah does. Seriously. Sarah tells Todd, who's already driven the course, “I don’t want her to crash, but I want her to go fast, because I want her to have a competitive bone in her body. I want her to beat you."

Actual dangerous problems encountered: 1. Sorta. After successfully competing three laps, Willow doesn't finish with quite as much aplomb, finally coming to a complete stop in a hill of dirt.

"Seeing Willow crash made the mama grizzly in me come out," says Palin in a later interview, but it's a little hard to swallow, given that she reacted to the "crash" by ambling down toward the car and (on finding Willow uninjured and giggling) hollering, "That was awesome!"

The dubbed sirens were a nice touch, though.

 Activity: Bear watching

Expectation of dangerous problems: High, especially because the guide carries no gun. Never mind his professional opinion that bear spray "tends to be more effective anyway"; we’re still treated to Palin rolling her eyes, mocking the dirty hippie guide, and acting terrified of venturing into bear country unarmed.

Why she conquered her fear to do it anyway: There was a camera.

Actual dangerous problems encountered: 0. When they run across bears, the guide calmly but firmly instructs the group to... sit down and watch them, this being an observation trip and all. (He even brought chairs, so they don't have to get their butts wet.) The only casualty we see is one unfortunate salmon, although Sarah predictably identifies ferociousness in the eyes of a mother frolicking with her babies.

"When I watch a mama bear in her natural habitat, protecting her cubs, I get it,” she tells the camera.

 Activity: Deforesting Alaska

Expectation of dangerous problems: Low

Why she has no fear: "The amazing thing about this industry," she explains, "is that when one tree is cut down, several trees will grow in its place." In other news, every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.

But seriously, there's no reason to worry about deforestation, because Palin is confident that faceless corporations will always do the right thing, for the right reasons. "Because these folks are so concerned with being good stewards of the land, they're ensuring the sustainability of their industry forever."

Also, stupid liberals are hypocrites! "Conservationists write me nasty letters because I support an industry like this," Palin complains. "They write me these nasty letters using their pretty little pencils on their pretty little stationery, not realizing: Where do you think your pencil and your piece of paper came from, people? It came from a tree that was harvested!"

Well, that point certainly makes one think. About who, apart from second graders, writes letters to elected representatives in pencil. But hey, this is Sarah Palin's Alaska, and the rules out here are different.

Actual dangerous problems encountered: Sob.

-- Kate Harding

Photo: Sarah Palin in "Sarah Palin's Alaska." Credit: Gilles Mingasson / TLC

Comments () | Archives (36)

I'm sure Palin has her nice side and moments, but I can't help but notice the frequency of her snipes and sarcasm towards her perceived enemies. Ironically, her put-downs aren't making these people look bad so much as it makes her look very petty. Not sure why TLC marketed this as a non-political show; it seems to be a vehicle for Palin to unleash all the grievances she's stored up the last few years.

Not the presidential candidate for 2012. I have never witnessed a more thin-skinned politician than Sarah Palin - and there is no political office that gets more public and media criticism than that of the president. She would be consumed with perceived insults and feuds from day one.

I'm not sure which is more amazing... Sarah Palin, or the over the top liberal fear she provokes. She renders what would be normally decent writers into snarky High School "mean girls" writing jibberish.

It's shocking every time!

What a piece of snarky eye rolling useless information is this article.

Who cares that you don't like Sarah Palin... you and your band of merry media snarks never bother to present any real problems with the woman, other than you don't like her voice, don't enjoy her hair, think her shorts are too short, etc.

Sarah held the highest governor approval rating by her own constituents ever in our nation. She was loved because of the gains she brought Alaska and Alaskans. She was the first governor to actually put money back into the hands of her constituents in Alaska, rather than have them taxed to death. She turned around the corrupt political environment by those who abused their power, and worked well to unite people across political lines. Her ideas regarding smaller gov't, and more power in the hands of the people are rock solid.

Ronald Reagan's son said many politicians have come on the scene with people stating they are the next Reagan... he has always disagreed, until Sarah Palin. He said her fiscally conservative views, and views regarding the flow of the American economy are what render her to be the person he finally can see to be a young Ronald Reagan in the making.

As for her adventures in Alaska as portrayed on this show, and her love of the great outdoors and a bit of a renegade spirit... I'm certain, had media followed Teddy Roosevelt around, chomping at the bit to cut the man down, you all would have HATED, mocked, and feared him in the very same ways. Very interesting.

The liberal disoriented reaction to Sarah Palin has become one of the most amusing sources of humor showing up on a large scale in our believed liberal media workers in our life time. Such hysteria, and rendering all of them into silly snarky fearful school girls. Amazing. Yes.... this woman yields power, to be capable of that! Not to mention the heavy influence she held in our last government changing election! It will be interesting to watch her and the effect she has in her future choices of work to put this nation back on it's feet after the ill effects of the liberals propping up their messiah, Obama.

I have said it before and I'll say it again: I don't think I can ever forgive John McCain for bringing this woman out of Alaska.

Bottom line....if you all hate the show so much, why are you watching? Watch something else!

What is so incredible is that there are STILL people out there bristling when anyone puts this woman down. They make vague comments about her popularity as governor (based on what source? One poll? We could say the same of Bush directly after 9/11 ) but Sarah's notoriety as half-term/ethics challenged governor will be remembered long after she is dead. She did not save the state any money when she left office, did not turn away more than 3% of Federal pork sent her way, did not take a stand for women or children, let alone special needs children (whose budget she personally slashed) and she did not remember her promise to advocate for Alaska. Her pipeline is still a pipe dream. Her children are brats, her DS son neglected, and she is a narcissitic opportunist making money hand over fist. What's to like, let alone promote?

I watch the show and begin to think that Sarah Palin really is a decent person with a nice family. Todd seems like a good guy. Her parents are salt-of-the-earth... Then, out of nowhere, she sneaks in a sarcastic comment. It almost seems like the show is a stage for her to get back at anyone who has ever dared to say anything that she does not approve of. She can't let it go.

I have also noticed that during each activity--except the fishing and butchering of the animals--Sarah mentions that this is the first time Piper or whomever has ever seen a glacier or the sled dogs, etc. So, Alaska is this great place where its citizens see these amazing things and have these unique experiences all the time. But viewing the spectacular geography or participating in the exciting activity is always a "first" for the Palin children--why is that?

As an Alaskan, I find reading various re-caps of this show much more rewarding than subjecting my own eyeballs (and hearing!) to the broadcast itself. This re-telling is particularly amusing. I sure hope most viewers don't think they're seeing anything real about Alaska (what little can be glimpsed beyond Palin's self-important mug, anyway).

Can I just point out that a poll out today found that 58 percent of Alaskans have a negative opinion of Palin? I don't know who those 33 percent who see her favorably are. Must be relatives of Palin.

Wow. You just can't give this woman a break. Personally, I've never seen this side of Alaska and find it fascinating. It's also impressive that a politician can actually "hang" in the wild. Name another. Nope. Didn't think so.

Posted by: pievegas | December 27, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Clearly, you have never been to Alaska. Come on... there are probably about 10 or 12 people there, all grouped around her with cameras, microphones, and, yes, guns, so that Sarah feels safe. If you find this fascinating don't forget that Scooby Doo is on later. I've been to Alaska about 15 times. Most Alaskans think that she's full of it and can't stand her. You, on the other hand, sit back in admiration, believing the whole load of you-know-what.

Nancy, You would be the ideal person to join a cult. You believe everything that Sarah Palin and her speech writers have spoon-fed you and will not listen to those who actually live in Alaska and who offer a different opinion. I live in Alaska and will tell you that Sarah Palin was not qualified to be our Governor. Those were NOT frivolous lawsuits or ethical complaints--Sarah Palin did a lot of dishonest or unethical things. The poll showing Sarah Palin's high popularity was taken at the very beginning of her term--President Obama had poll figures just as high at the very beginning of his Presidency. Her positive numbers in the polls dropped much faster than Obama's and just prior to Palin being selected by McCain, the polls showed that over 80% of the voters did not trust Sarah Palin. She was good at self-promotion and tooting her own horn--but poorly qualified to handle the responsibilities of higher office. She is all fluff and no fact. Your statement about her popularity among Alaskans and the false ethical claims is something that the voters in Alaska will tell you are outright lies. Palin was not the first Governor to give a check to each Alaskan resident--this has been done for many, many years before Palin became Governor. I would suggest that you check my statements against what is also posted on the internet--the newspapers will give you poll numbers, what amount each resident received every year etc.--you are just believing the lies put out by Sarah Palin and her staff rather than checking for actual facts.

Sarah Palin is an embarrassment to Alaskans. She makes Wasilla look like a town of hillbillies. Her show makes it look like Alaskans are so lazy that they charter a plane when they want to go hunting, and the plane just plops them down in the middle of a caribou herd that is roaming the tundra and she rolls her cooler over to the animal once it has been killed and cuts out the steaks and leaves the rest--all she wanted was pictures to show what a great hunter she was. Becker was more interested in the size of the caribou antlers than getting meat. Chuck Heath is more interested in bear skins and animal pelts for his trophy room. This behavior is disgusting to most Alaskans--why kill an animal just for the bragging rights? Sarah's argument about thinning out a herd would be more believable if she wasn't flying into areas where there were wide open spaces. She isn't eating these animals because she cannot get to a grocery store to buy organic meat--or because she doesn't have any money and has to live off the land. Sarah Palin is greedy and she is using exotic meats to reward the media who will write stories about coming to visit her in Alaska and eating moose hot hogs or caribou chili etc. She pretends that her family is fully supported by Todd, the commercial fisherman, when in fact he has a Native Alaskan fishing license shared by his family and he fishes for two weeks each year. What will she say next--that her daughter is a professional dancer and came in third place in a national competition. Last Sunday night, Nancy, Sarah Palin talked to Todd about how she hit the wrong key and the nation has given her credit for inventing the top new word for 2010. (Only problem, was that Sarah had used this incorrect word at least twice BEFORE in speeches and this had nothing to do with her accidentally hitting the wrong key. Why does Sarah need to tell these lies to make herself look more important?) Why did Sarah Palin need to lie about McGinniss peeking into Piper's bedroom? Why does Sarah Palin need to lie about what Michelle Obama said about desserts? Why does Sarah Palin need to lie about Rush Limbaugh's use of the R word for satire? Why did Sarah Palin need to lie about being criticized for allowing trees to be cut down? Why does Sarah Palin need to lie about why she quit being the Governor of Alaska?)

It seems like everyone on McCain's staff realized that Sarah Palin was a walking time bomb and a Diva who could not tell what was the truth and what was not. It seems like the majority of the Alaskans are screaming "don't trust Sarah Palin--she was a horrible Governor." And then there are people like Nancy, who don't want to hear about the truth and refuse to listen to anything about Sarah Palin unless it is positive. I am a Republican and hope that Sarah Palin and her family of grifters will just fade away--so that the Republicans can put their energies into finding someone who is electable and who has the skills and energy to unite our country. Sarah Palin is so divisive and polarizing and is not electable--she is all about self promotion, getting rich and becoming a celebrity.

palin has proved that compared to other cultures amerikaan women are much too agressive to become world leaders.
at least thier men have become more docile than decades past has shown.

This is a show about Alaska and Alaskans. It's a rugged country and there are dangers living and working in that environment that Palin is attempting to demonstrate. It's not surprising that liberals (who are overwhelmingly narcissistic) must think it has to be all about Sarah and therefore cannot imagine that she is showing the dangers others face, such as loggers and fishermen and the like.

Absolutely hilarious. Great job.

For all those who think Sarah Palin is the best thing since sliced bread: A poll taken this week shows that if Sarah ran in 2012, 70% of Alaskans would NOT vote for her. This states what every Alaskan has been saying forever--Sarah Palin was very unpopular as Governor because everything she did was all about Sarah. She cheated on her vouchers for expenses for her family and even lied and said that they had been invited to certain conferences. Every time vouchers were looked into, it turned out that Sarah was trying to submit expenses so her family could travel anywhere they wanted at the State's expense. She even charged the State for her donations to her church and for travelling to see Todd compete in the Iron Dog. She is ruthless when it comes to how often she will try to get someone else to pay her own personal expenses. If someone tells her "no--that is dishonest"--she calls it an unethical complaint and calls her stooge lawyer in Anchorage to try to intimidate or bully them into dropping the complaint.

I do not care much about Palin one way or the other. I think her show lacks realism and she stays way to clean. I have and do perform many of the task on the show and I usually end up filthy.

TLC has made the right decision to cancel Alaska since Sarah Palin has been made a "Persons of Interest" for her role in providing a political advertisement in June of 2010 run by Gifford's Tea Party Opponent that stated " Get on Target for Victory in November Help remove Gabrielle Gifford’s from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly".

Law enforcement is examining just how much knowledge Palin knew about the ad copy before providing financial assistance. They have also requested internet records and are examining the computer hard drive contents of the gunman, Jared Lee Loughery, for copies of images from these specific sites.

Sarah also faces scrutiny for her involvement in the website SARAHPAC.com where she showed a graphic of several states that had gun sites labels targeting several in congress including Gabrielle Gifford.

TLC has made the right decision by distancing themselves from Ms Palin in light of this horrible tragedy that has lead to the deaths of six Americans, most notably a nine year old girl, an innocent bystander in what has become a bloody civil war between Tea Party Extremist and The Liberal Left.

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