It's official. Some people will complain about anything when it comes to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The latest complaint comes from environmentalists who are criticizing Palin's new television special, "Sarah Palin's Alaska," airing this evening on TLC.
Environmentalists in Alaska are now condemning what they describe as Palin's "flagrant irresponsibility by fishing too close to protected brown bears." The Guardian reports:
John Toppenberg, director of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, said scenes in an online trailer for the programme appeared to show the former Republican vice-presidential candidate breaking the rules of Wolverine Creek, a famous spot where bears – and humans – come to fish. "It's clear from the video that she violated the guidelines," he said, calling her actions "a travesty".
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.
On the contrary, I'm thinking Palin's outreach to the nation from Alaska, presenting the beautiful state, will do quite a lot to help the "bear-viewing industry" and Alaska's tourism industry in general.
The preview clip also shows a bear jumping into the river near the Palins. Palin recalls dramatically to camera later: "So I'm thinking we are going to get stuck there, the anchor is dropped and there is a bear coming towards us."
But this enraged Toppenberg. "She implies that she is somehow in danger or being brave. That's complete nonsense," he said. "Wolverine Creek is the one place in Alaska where the bears are tolerant and completely habituated to the presence of people and boats. But the guidelines are there for a reason."
For being an "environmentalist," Toppenberg seems blissfully unaware of how dangerous bears are. Further, if Palin hadn't have reacted with a bit of fear (which all humans should around bears, mind you), I predict Toppenberg would then complain that the former governor was putting people in danger by not warning them of how dangerous bears are. If Toppenberg thinks wild bears are so "habituated," let him be the first to approach one without fear.
Seriously, Palin can't win with these people.
Fortunately for the rest of us, she doesn't seem to care.