In November 2008, fresh off the campaign trail, then-Gov. Sarah Palin ventured out to Triple D Farm and Hatchery in Alaska's Matanuska Valley. Her mission: Pardon a turkey. It was, by all accounts, the first time an Alaska governor had participated in a ceremonial turkey pardoning, but after a "rough fall," then-Palin spokesman Bill McAllister said the governor's office was hoping to organize a "lighthearted event." Controversy erupted after the governor was filmed speaking to reporters about state programs on the "chopping block" -- while behind her, Triple D employees butchered turkeys on camera. Palin's people got upset about the camera angle, some animal rights activists got worked up about the slaughter, and Triple D owner Anthony Schmidt spent a few days fielding phone calls from Americans on both sides of the Great Turkey Debate. In the end, though, the kerfuffle didn't seem to work out too badly for anyone involved -- with the exception, of course, of the ill-fated gobblers who shared the spotlight with Palin.
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"Sarah Palin's Alaska" started its eight-week run on TLC Sunday, Nov. 14. While the former governor gives viewers nationwide her own tour of the Last Frontier, Alaska Dispatch will take a look at the state as it's experienced by residents across the state -- urban and rural, young and old, from all walks of life. You've seen "Sarah Palin's Alaska" -- now welcome to Our Alaska.