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Sarah Palin hunting: Why the world shakes when she shoots a caribou

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The idea that hunting and a pioneer mentality is morally wrong "is a mindset that's gaining in currency as people move to the cities and try to impose new ideas on top of ideas that have been tried and true historically for as long as can ever be remembered."

In that light, adds Lawson, "Palin has almost become a Rorschach test for how people feel about different kinds of cultural issues, which are often founded in the differences between where people live."

Mr. Sorkin's statement that Palin's caribou shot was akin to NFL quarterback Michael Vick killing dogs showed that ideas about husbandry have changed dramatically in the US.

Though surely aware she'd face attacks for the segment, Palin seemed perplexed by someone with Sorkin's weighty pop culture influence – he most recently wrote the screenplay for "The Social Network," a movie about Facebook – drawing a parallel between hunting and dog fighting.

“So a left-wing Hollywood producer thinks there is no ‘distinction’ between harvesting healthy, wild organic protein to feed my family and engaging in dog fighting?” Palin wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press. “I didn’t know anyone ate dogs, tanned the hides, and made boots out of them.”

Yet even some hunting defenders say Sorkin missed the opportunity for a more substantial critique of Palin's tundra hunt.

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