AP: Palin 'Makes New Enemy' in Ashley Judd

"Sarah Palin Makes New Enemy: Ashley Judd," reads a February 5, 2009 AP headline.

But in truth, there's hardly anything new about the controversy in question save for a celebrity chiming in to resurrect the issue of aerial wolf hunts in Alaska:

It's not the first time Defenders of Wildlife has targeted Palin. Last fall, when Palin was John McCain's running mate, it ran ads in several states denouncing Palin and the predator control program, and raised more than $1 million. Judd had campaigned for President Barack Obama during the campaign.

Far from Palin making a new enemy, this is a new twist on an ongoing complaint by animal rights activists about the state of Alaska's wildlife management policy, which allows for limited, licensed aerial hunting of wolves in remote areas difficult to access or traverse by ground.

From the Alaska Department of Fish & Game Web site (emphasis mine):

Currently, five wolf control programs are underway that comprises about 9.4% of Alaska's land area. The programs use a closely controlled permit system allowing aerial or same day airborne methods to remove wolves in designated areas. In these areas, wolf numbers will be temporarily reduced, but wolves will not be permanently eliminated from any area. Successful programs allow humans to take more moose, and healthy populations of wolves to continue to thrive in Alaska.

A more accurate headline might read "Actress Judd Condemns Alaska Wolf Hunting Policy," but that doesn't have that same sensationalist punch that the AP furthers by painting Palin as the pugnacious party in the controversy.

What's more, it's hard to imagine the AP framing the matter similarly -- "Actor And Animal Rights Activist Wants An End To Alaska's Predator Control Program" reads the subheader -- were the controversy say 2nd Amendment rights, the target Vice President and gun control advocate Joe Biden, and the celebrity rock star Ted Nugent.

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