Is Mama Grizzly willing to kill just to improve her "Sarah Palin's Alaska" ratings?
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals thinks so.
The activist group believes the ex-Alaska governor is spending so much small screen time clubbing halibut and quartering caribou because she is trying to improve her TLC show's numbers.
"Sarah seems to think that resorting to violence and blood and guts may lure people into watching her boring show, but the ratings remain as dead as the poor animals she shoots," PETA's Vice President Dan Mathews said in a statement on Monday, following an episode in which Palin shot and graphically took apart a caribou.
Though "Sarah Palin's Alaska" premiered with 5 million viewers -- the highest program launch numbers in TLC history -- its second episode, in which the politico and her daughter Bristol clubbed halibut, only reeled in 3 million.
But Palin appeared to cash in on the negative press surrounding the halibut episode - which In Defense of Animals labeled a "snuff video” – ramping up controversial tweets surrounding her hunting escapades.
"Tomorrow-'Sarah Palin's Alaska' we slay salmon. A bunch of 'em. (Watch the Left's reaction to that, if harvesting halibut freaked them out!)," she tweeted on Nov. 27.
The tactic seemed to work as the TLC show's numbers rose to 3.5 million in the third episode.
Palin's most recent tweet, on Friday, appeared to bait PETA into responding to her expedition with her father.
"PETA: yes, that is responsible hunting you see in 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' video tease for Sunday night. Remember - we eat, therefore we hunt," she tweeted ahead of the episode's air date.
"Tonight's hunting episode of Sarah Palin's Alaska "controversial"?" she added later on Facebook. "Really? Unless you've never worn leather shoes, sat upon a leather couch or eaten a piece of meat, save your condemnation of tonight's episode. I remain proudly intolerant of anti-hunting hypocrisy.
The tweet seems to subtly confirm a blog post by Tim Heffernan of Esquire.com that suggests Palin is using hunting as a political act.
"[It's] simply a fact of modern American life that hunting, in part as a subset of Second Amendment activism, is a politicized act," he wrote on Monday. "The 5 percent of Americans who hunt belong to communities where Sarah Palin is most popular, which is why every shot she lands on SPA, every fish she hooks, will draw her tighter to their hearts -- and further from the mainstream."
Read more: 'Sarah Palin's Alaska' appears to be using animal hunting controversy to improve TLC's ratings