February 04, 2009

Gov. Sarah Palin vs. Defenders of Wildlife: Who's Winning?

Defenders of Wildlife is receiving a lot of attention for a new online video it produced about threats to Alaska’s environment.

The reason? Sparring between the ad’s spokeswoman, the actress Ashley Judd, and its target, Gov. Sarah Palin, condemned in the video for a state policy permitting the aerial hunting of wolves.

“Back in Alaska, Palin is again casting aside science and championing the slaughter of wildlife,” Ms. Judd says in the video, as a gunman leans out of a helicopter to shoot a wolf running on the snowy ground below. “Palin even proposed a $150 bounty for the severed foreleg of each killed wolf … It is time to stop Sarah Palin and stop this senseless savagery.”

The video is part of a new campaign by Defenders of Wildlife, called Eye on Palin.

Ms. Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, lashed back in a statement, saying “these audacious fund-raising attempts misrepresent what goes on in Alaska.”

“Shame on Defenders of Wildlife for twisting the truth in an effort to raise funds from innocent and hard-pressed Americans struggling with these rough economic times,” she said.

Ben Smith, on a Politico blog reminds readers that the sparring has been “great” for both sides.

“The Defenders of Wildlife attack was, as Palin notes in her official statement on the matter, an ‘audacious fund-raising attempt’ cashing in on Palin’s polarizing celebrity; her eagerness to engage such attacks is more or less the mirror image of the same thing.”

What do you think of the video — and the buzz it has generated — as a fund-raising effort?