Aaron Sorkin on Palin’s Hunting

Aaron Sorkin gets "happy" when hunters accidentally kill one another.

That Aaron Sorkin isn’t a fan of hunting is no secret.  A powerful early episode of his too-short-lived “Sports Night” was devoted to the topic.  But his expletive laden rant on Sarah Palin’s exploits doesn’t do his cause any favors.  Especially this line:

I get happy every time one of you faux-macho shitheads accidentally shoots another one of you in the face

Seriously?  I’m not a hunter and sympathize with his distaste of killing animals simply for sport.  But hunting is not only a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of mankind but a vital part of maintaining our ecosystem.

And by what moral calculus is killing lower mammals an outrage but the accidental death of one’s fellow human beings a source of amusement?

On a happier note, here’s a clip from the aforementioned “Sports Night” episode:

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, US Politics,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. John425 says:

    Of course, the fact that the Palins( and most Alaskans) actually, EAT the game, is besides the point when leftists go on the attack.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    I insist on shooting my own meat.

    They get very upset at Ralph’s when I come in and blast the meat coolers or the deli counter, but I like to stay connected to the whole hunter-gatherer process.

    Plus 00 buckshot will totally tenderize a tough strip steak.

  3. PD Shaw says:

    Somewhat apropos:

    “The state of Wisconsin has gone an entire deer hunting season without someone getting killed. That’s great. There were over 600,000 hunters. Allow me to restate that number. Over the last two months, the eighth largest army in the world – more men under arms than Iran; more than France and Germany combined – deployed to the woods of a single American state to help keep the deer menace at bay. But that pales in comparison to the 750,000 who are in the woods of Pennsylvania this week. Michigan’s 700,000 hunters have now returned home. Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia, and it is literally the case that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world.”


  4. John425 says:

    For the Uninitiated- Venison Ravioli


    4 cups dry white wine
    3 stalks celery, including leafy part
    1 carrot, peeled and then shredded into thin strips
    1 sweet, yellow onion, quartered
    2 whole cloves
    2 bay leaves
    2 sprigs fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
    1 sprig fresh thyme
    5 juniper berries
    1/8 teaspoon or so freshly grated nutmeg
    Salt and pepper to taste

    2 pounds venison round steak or elk
    Ravioli Filling:

    3-4 ounces mascarpone cheese
    1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
    5-10 dried figs, chopped
    1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
    1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground peperoncino or cayenne pepper
    Freshly grated nutmeg
    Pinch of salt

    2 extra large sheet of fresh pasta, cut into 5”-6” wide strips and rolled paper thin
    1/2 cup water
    1/2 cup flour

    Fresh parmesan cheese, grated
    Fresh flat Italian parsley, chopped (optional garnish)

    Mix all the ingredients of the marinade in a sauce pot and bring to a boil and allow to boil, not too rapidly but gently, for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes and then place in a container which will subsequently hold the meat and the marinade. Once the marinade has cooled for about 15 minutes, add the meat, cover the container and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

    Remove the meat from the marinade and discard the marinade. Cut the steaks into cubes and process through a meat grinder for ground meat. Once you have ground the meat, brown in a sauté pan until all pink is gone. Remove from heat and set aside to allow it to cool.

    Mix all of ingredients for the filling making sure that all ingredients are thoroughly mixed and relatively smooth.

    Mix the water and flour together in a small bowl; this is used as“glue” for the ravioli. Place a strip of pasta on a lightly floured surface. Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the filling on the strip about 2” apart leaving about 2” at the end of the strip. Dip your fingertips into the water and flour mixture and then brush, with your fingertips, the edges of the pasta strip and then in between the balls of mixture. Place another sheet of pasta on top and press the edges of the two strips together, also, press in between the balls, pressing as much of the air out as possible. Using a pasta rolling tool, cut into individual ravioli. This tool will securely seal the ravioli. Place the individual ravioli under plastic wrap or simply moisten a dish towel and place under the towel. If using the towel, make sure it is NOT totally wet, but merely moistened. You only want to keep the ravioli from drying out while making the remainder of the ravioli.

    Bring 3 quarts of water to a slow boil, salt the water after it has come to a boil. Add as many ravioli as you can without overcrowding them, and boil for about 2 minutes – it will not take the fresh pasta long to cook. Drain and place on a warm platter or bowl. Repeat this process until all the ravioli is cooked.

    Cover the ravioli with your preferred sauce, I prefer using my gorgonzola cream sauce, grate fresh parmesan on top, garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

  5. Mr. Prosser says:

    Sorkin sounds like a nimrod. I didn’t see the Palin show so I don’t know if they showed who packed out the carcass, field dressed it, skinned it and processed it. Meat hunting is damned hard work and there’s a reason not many do it anymore. PD Shaw’s numbers notwithstanding hunting is fading and most of those hundreds of thousands under arms are brigades of heart attacks and strokes waiting to happen. Oh, and just to PO a bunch of people I say trophy hunting sucks.

  6. mantis says:

    Wow, what a douchebag. I’ve never watched Palin’s show and don’t really care one way or the other about that, but this is just ridiculous:

    I eat meat, chicken and fish, have shoes and furniture made of leather, and PETA is not ever going to put me on the cover of their brochure and for these reasons Palin thinks it’s hypocritical of me to find what she did heart-stoppingly disgusting. I don’t think it is, and here’s why.

    Like 95% of the people I know, I don’t have a visceral (look it up) problem eating meat or wearing a belt. But like absolutely everybody I know, I don’t relish the idea of torturing animals. I don’t enjoy the fact that they’re dead and I certainly don’t want to volunteer to be the one to kill them and if I were picked to be the one to kill them in some kind of Lottery-from-Hell, I wouldn’t do a little dance of joy while I was slicing the animal apart.

    So you’re willing to eat meat, but you think getting the meat, which involves killing, is evil and sadistic? How does that make any sense? That is exactly the definition of hypocrisy, Sorkin. How do you think the meat arrives on your plate? Meat trees? Do you think butchers and livestock farmers are evil maniacs? What an idiot.

  7. Neil Hudelson says:

    It’s tilted language aside, from what I can tell this article is spot on about hunters: http://dailyreckoning.com/right-to-hunt-vs-animal-rights/ $700 million a year goes to wildlife rehabilitation, and habitat preservation just from hunting licenses and taxes. Another $300 million in private donations. All hunters I know are very dedicated to the idea that you only hunt what you can eat, and you do all you can to preserve the wildlife you enjoy so much.

    I love Sorkin’s shows, but he’s being idiotic on this point.

    Anyone who criticizes hunters, but eats meat, I always point to this passage from Ken Kesey’s “Sometimes a Great Notion.”

    “…Not that I’ve ever had much patience with the kind of pantywaist who says, ‘Oh, how can you kill the cute little deer? How can you be such a brute and a coward?’
    …I don’t have much respect for this sort of do-good thinking because it’s always seemed to me a whole lot more cowardly for a man to have nothing to do with the meat he eats except picking it up out of a supermarket meat section all sliced and boned and wrapped in cellophane, looking about as much like a pig or a cute little lamb as a potato does…I mean, if you’re going to eat another living creature, I figure you at least should know he was once living, and that somebody had to kill the poor devil and chop him up…”

  8. Pug says:

    I don’t have any problem with hunting but I would like to see more of a fair fight. Luring deer to a deer stand by feeding them corn then blasting away seems a little unfair.

    A real hunter would use only a knife and drop down on the deer from a tree limb and slit its throat. That would be sport.

  9. mantis says:

    A real hunter would use only a knife and drop down on the deer from a tree limb and slit its throat.

    Let’s see Dick Cheney do that!

  10. narciso says:

    Sorkin admitted his best writing which was a Few Good Men, was when he was doped up, he needs to get back to that.

  11. matt says:

    Several parts of my family were out there deer hunting adding to the numbers 😛 No one got anything spectacular though 🙁

  12. matt says:

    I don’t really believe Palin hunts. Have you seen her handle a gun? It’s like a foreign object to her and she clearly wasn’t holding the gun properly in the one clip I have seen of her shooting..

  13. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***Plus 00 buckshot will totally tenderize a tough strip steak.*** Rock salt tenderizes and flavors…

  14. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***A real hunter would use only a knife and drop down on the deer from a tree limb and slit its throat.***

    A real hunter would kill it in the most efective way at hand. Your talking about a sportsmam.

    lol, and, ain’t nothing fair about the law of the jungle.

  15. John425 says:

    PETA–People Eating Tasty Animals.

  16. Chris says:

    I proudly display my bumper sticker that reads “I LOVE HUNTING ACCIDENTS”!