Huntress Brenda Valentine Hits Mainstream Media

Wednesday, October 8, 2008 - by Women's Outdoor Wire
<i>Brenda Valentine</i>
Brenda Valentine

The following article is courtesy, The Women's Outdoor Wire

We've known and watched Brenda Valentine for years. She's been hunting, as she says, "since before she knew how to walk" and has taken that lifetime of hunting experience and turned it into a career. She regularly spends 150 days a year in the field filming hunts, and was the first woman inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame.

After that lifetime of achievement, it seems Brenda's become an "overnight celebrity" in mainstream media. Last week, she was one of the focal points of a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal about women emerging as a force in hunting and the outdoors.

The appearance in the WSJ, however, caught the eye of the "mainstream" and Brenda became the "go-to" guest on women and hunting. Sunday morning, she was a featured guest on Fox and Friends on the Fox News Network - again, talking about women and hunting - but a focus shift to a Saturday Night Live skit, again featuring Tina Fey in her dead-on imitation of Sarah Palin.

Brenda came through it all with flying colors, but we wanted to know how the week seemed through her eyes.

Today, it's "A Few Minutes With…Brenda Valentine"

WOW: It's been a heckuva past week for Brenda Valentine. Front page of the WSJ, Fox News, all that "stuff" - what are your impressions?

BRENDA: In one week I probably came in contact with more people either directly or by some form of media than ever before in my life. There have certainly been some once in a lifetime opportunities to touch those outside of the hunting community.

WOW: Do you see the difference in the mainstream and outdoor media, I mean in facilities and resources?

BRENDA: Oh yes, there is a huge difference in the approach and attitude as well as the facilities. Like I told the audio guy at the Fox News station when I was getting miced up, I usually do this in a treestand, not a studio.

WOW: Was there a curiousity about what you do?

BRENDA: There certainly is. The limo driver who was sent to pick me up and the hair & makeup artist told me they'd worked with almost every movie star, politician, professional athlete, country music singer, etc. but this was their first "hunter". After they figured out I was a friendly every-day kind of person, there was a flood of questions coming at me from every direction.

It's amazing how many folks actually have a positive view of hunting but are afraid to voice it for fear of not being politically correct.

WOW: Any hostility?

BRENDA: Not at all. Everyone was very professional and some were even downright nice.

WOW: OK, some quick questions: Is the mainstream somewhat in the dark knowledge-wise about the outdoors?

BRENDA: Very much so. Just as Kevin Helliker, senior editor from the WSJ told me when we first spoke on the phone, "I cannot even imagine your world so would it be possible for me to come there and experience it for myself?"

WOW: Were they totally in the dark about firearms?

BRENDA: All most of these people know is what they watch or read and unfortuanately very little of that is ever positive.

WOW: Maybe equally out-of-touch with your definition of "average" American?

BRENDA: These people are a couple of generations away from what I call "average".

WOW: And...the big finish question has the past week changed your impression of the mainstream?

BRENDA: It made me realize once again why I hardly ever watch these networks.

WOW: A general impression - is that a world with which the outdoor press is out of touch?

BRENDA: Very much so. It is two totally different worlds.

WOW: Is it different than you'd imagined today?

BRENDA: I guess I figured mainstream media might be a tiny bit more knowledgeable about anything to do with the outdoors than they were. In speaking with newspaper and network contacts I discovered most of these people live and work in high-rise apartment buildings and rarely coming in contact with dirt or grass much less forests and wild animals.

WOW: And the curve ball - a last-second shift in the questioning- was it really last-minute?

BRENDA: I don't think this was planned at all but the result of a "Saturday Night Live" spoof and other last-minute Palin attacks. In fact, the last thing the network told me was that it went great and they might want me to be on again.

In the earlier brief I was told they'd probably ask for a description of today's hunter, stats on hunters voters & gun owners, the importance of gun and sportsmen's issues in our presidential vote, what I thought of Obama's snide comment about insecure gun owners clinging to their guns, and several more along this line. While in the dressing room I got a call to let me know there might be questions concerning the SNL segment about Sarah shooting wolves from a helicopter or a new line of Sarah pink compound bows as well as a few other fresh negative media angles. This all set my mind to racing trying to anticipate the questions and to have a good reply ready. Then when the camera was rolling the questions just seemed to randomly come off the top of the interviewers heads but thankfully no real curve balls.

WOW: Thanks, Brenda.

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