Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Palin Book Banning Update

Palin Book Banning Update

A few days ago I wrote a post asking if Governor Sarah Palin tried to ban books from the local public library when she was mayor of Wasilla. The wonderful factcheck.org has come through with an article debunking some of the rumors flying about the mayor. You can find the full article by clicking on the title of the blog. You have to scroll down to find the book banning section.

According to factcheck.org:

"One false rumor accuses then-Mayor Palin of threatening to fire Wasilla’s librarian for refusing to ban books from the town library. Some versions of the rumor come complete with a list of the books that Palin allegedly attempted to ban. The story is false on several fronts: Palin never asked that books be banned; the librarian continued to serve in that position; no books were actually banned; and many of the books on the list that Palin supposedly wanted to censor weren't even in print at the time, proving that the list is a fabrication.

"It’s true that Palin did raise the issue with Mary Ellen Emmons, Wasilla’s librarian, on at least two occasions. Emmons flatly stated her opposition both times. But, as the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (Wasilla’s local paper) reported at the time, Palin asked general questions about what Emmons would say if Palin requested that a book be banned. According to Emmons, Palin "was asking me how I would deal with her saying a book can't be in the library." Emmons reported that Palin pressed the issue, asking whether Emmons' position would change if residents were picketing the library. Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny, who was at the meeting, corroborates Emmons' story, telling the Chicago Tribune that "Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?'

"Palin characterized the exchange differently, initially volunteering the episode as an example of discussions with city employees about following her administration's agenda. Palin described her questions to Emmons as “rhetorical,” noting that her questions "were asked in the context of professionalism regarding the library policy that is in place in our city."... We can't read minds, so it is impossible for us to know whether or not Palin may actually have wanted to ban books from the library or whether she simply wanted to know how her new employees would respond to an instruction from their boss. It is worth noting that, in an update, the Frontiersman points out that no book was ever banned from the library’s shelves."

I'm glad to learn that no books were banned from the library, probably because of the librarian's strong stand against doing so, however the impulse to ban may have been there.

I apologize for passing along inaccurate information.


Beth Yarnall said...

I imagine there will be a lot of false or misleading info on Palin in the next couple of months. Just as there was about Obama. You've brought up a good point that we should investigate each canidate for ourselves before deciding who to vote for. Her views (and Repubs. in general) on women's rights and oil drilling (Drill baby, drill!) are the main reasons I won't be voting for the McCain/Palin ticket. Their stands are just too conservative and not forward thinking enough for me. I'd like to see someone... anyone take on health care. A good solid/realistic plan to get us out of a war we should never have started and a way to boost the economy here at home would be nice. I personally don't feel that ANY of the candidates are in touch with the American people, the working class and poor. I thought maybe Obama would be the one to bridge that gap, but his choice for VP doesn't give me much hope. On appearance, Biden looks like business as usual and in politics appearance can be everything. Well, appearance and spin. Don't forget spin. This will certainly be an interesting election.

Rhonda/remlane 79 said...

I give you a lot of credit for running a clarification/correction in the main body of your publication. Big media won't do that. Props to you. :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Try the one today where she apparently billed the state of Alaska a fortune for staying a her own house during various conferences. (Washington Post)

Linda McLaughlin said...

Beth, yes, it's going to be an interesting and important election. I'm finding it hard to concentrate on anything else. Not good for my writing.

Rhonda, thanks, I'm trying to be a responsible blogger.

Patti, I'll check that latest info out. Don't know what to think nowadays. Sigh.


Linda McLaughlin said...

FWIW, Google "Palin billed Alaska" and you'll find CBS reporting that she did bill the state for nights spent at home and for travel to and from home, but officials say this isn't unusual. Her home in Wasilla is 600 miles from the capital in Juneau where the governor's mansion is located. I don't think this is an issue.


Anonymous said...

Linda, thank you for coming back with a correction that the library rumors that Palin was trying to ban books are not true. I was out of town and missed your original post. Like all of you here, I'm finding this election pretty entertaining. -Kathleen Rowland

Linda McLaughlin said...

Kathleen, I know what you mean. Politics can be good entertainment, but I'd be enjoying it a lot more this time if the stakes weren't so high.