Allies of Sarah Palin have voiced anger over her screen portrayal in an upcoming HBO series.

The show, which sees Julianne Moore portray the ex-Alaskan governor on her rise up the political ranks, was branded "sick" and "worse than fiction".

Seven of Palin's former staffers held a news conference with the journalists in order to attack the show - which none of them have seen as it is not released until March

"We all know Palin sells and the dramatisation of Palin sells even more," said Meg Stapleton, Palin's former PR manager.

"This is sick, the media has gone too far," she added.

Randy Scheunemann, Palin's former foreign policy advisor, said the show, which features famous Palin gaffes such as her assertion that she can see Russia from Alaska, "gives fiction a bad name".

Palin became a polarising media figure in 2008 when she stepped in as John McCain's running mate, with her down-to-Earth 'hockey-mum' image causing many commentators to doubt her intelligence and foreign policy knowledge.

Such concerns were not helped by incidents such as Palin not being able to name a single newspaper she reads. She was also regularly lampooned by comedians, with Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock star Tina Fey regularly impersonating her.