The Palin Fish Massacre of Aught Ten

As any long time reader will tell you, I’ve never been one of the adoring fans of the Wasilla Wildcat. In fact, I wouldn’t even qualify as a foot soldier in the Palinista Army. But when I awoke on Thanksgiving morning and began flipping through the news, I found myself having a Jon Stewart moment.

Stop making me feel sorry for the Palins!

The story which caught my attention had one of the more provocative titles I’d seen all week. Sarah Palin clubs to death a fish on reality show labelled ‘a snuff video’ by animal rights group. (And really, guys, couldn’t you spell check the title?)

Sarah Palin is under fire for clubbing a fish to death on her new reality TV show.

The Tea Party darling and her daughter Bristol, 20, were shown on a halibut fishing trip filmed for her new programme, Sarah Palin’s Alaska.

After catching a fish, Sarah is seen beating it with a club and Bristol later holds its still-beating heart in her hand, a sight Sarah called ‘weird’.

Now, first of all, I’ve been a volunteer and worker in animal welfare groups for most of my adult life. (Please note that I prefer the term “animal welfare” to “animal rights.” The entire concept of “rights” is a creation of humans which applies to us. Animals have no inherent rights other than those we choose to assign to them.)

But even with that background, I have zero use for PETA, ELF and the rest of their ilk, apparently including In Defense of Animals, (IDA) the group raising a stink over this non-story.

The language used in this report, rather than being alarming, actually set me to laughing. “Clubbed a fish to death?” And particularly, “holds its still-beating heart in her hands?” Is this a fishing trip or a mockumentary on Mayan Sun God sacrifice rituals.

Please, people. It’s a fish. Humans used their brains and technology to achieve apex predator status on this planet and the fish, well… they came in a bit further down on the food pyramid. We eat them. Get over it.

I’ve been a fisherman since childhood and have made a fair number of trips out to sea for the bigger species. One of the last times we went out we didn’t use a club on the large fish. We used a gaffing hook to drag them into the boat and gutted them while they were still moving. The fact is, you don’t want to eat a fish that died of “natural causes.” And with apologies to the IDA, the fish in question is destined for the dinner table, so lethal injection simply isn’t an option.

And so, for this fabulous bit of reporting and fauxrage, the Daily Mail and the IDA share joint honors in my Thanksgiving Turkey of the Week award. As for the rest of you, try to squeeze in a serving of fish along with your turkey today in honor of this supreme piece of journalistic tripe.

Happy Thanksgiving!