Don't want to get political.

ConversesBanned Books

Afegeix-te a LibraryThing per participar.

Don't want to get political.

Aquest tema està marcat com "inactiu": L'últim missatge és de fa més de 90 dies. Podeu revifar-lo enviant una resposta.

1quilted_kat
set. 2, 2008, 2:20pm

But I saw this:

"Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." The librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire her for not giving "full support" to the mayor."

from: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1837918,00.html?imw=Y

The library director was later told not to report to work anymore.

2absurdeist
Editat: set. 2, 2008, 5:00pm

Don't want to get confrontational. But...

"News reports" showed early on that John Kerrey was winning the 2004 election. Dang! We wouldn't be having this discussion and having to worry about that hot-librarian-looking VP candidate if the news reports had gotten it right then. Remember the media crucifying the mother of Jon Benet Ramsey who, posthumously, was much too late vindicated & proven innocent? How many times has the media launched a smear campaingn and completely gotten it wrong?

Can we maybe hear what this Mary Ellen Baker has to say for herself before we so eagerly jump on the bandwagon and begin grinding our own personal political axes under the guise of "Don't want to get political"?

And now that I think of it, what's wrong with being political anyway? Book banning, when it legitimately occurs, is a political issue isn't it? If what has been reported gets corroborated by the alleged victim, M.E. Baker, then yeah, this is a significant issue. Until then....I'm not so sure.

3quilted_kat
set. 2, 2008, 4:56pm

What do John Kerry and Jon Benet Ramsey have to do with book banning? The article wasn't by Mary Ellen Baker. It referred to her being fired for refusing to ban books for political reasons.

By all means be controversial. Book banning IS controversial. But try to make some logical sense when you do so.

4lilithcat
set. 2, 2008, 4:58pm

Book banning, by it's nature, is political.

> 2

I can't imagine a situation in which book banning is ever legitimate.

5absurdeist
set. 2, 2008, 5:16pm

The news media gets it wrong all the time. #1 reports that "Mary Ellen Baker couldn't be reached for comment". My point was let's wait and see, before condemning Pallin over something else, what Mary Ellen Baker has to say about these allegations. If they're true, I'm with you.

I gave two examples of the news media blowing it in the past; two examples that came back and bit a lot of people in the arse and negatively effected innocent lives. I didn't say that Mary Ellen Baker wrote the article, because, obviously, if she had, we'd then know right from Mary Ellen Baker's mouth whether she was indeed a victim or not. My "legitimate" comment, if you re-read, was in reference to the articles allegations -- was it a legitimate allegation or not -- I was not referencing the legitimacy of book banning, which leaves me aghast as well.

And Quilted Kat, c'mon, why title the thread "Don't want to get political" when it's obvious you do want to be political? I wrote "Don't want to get confrontational" -- and then got confrontational -- as a tease communicating who cares if it is political. Yes, book banning is political, who cares if you are political and piss anybody off. That's all. Meow.

6quilted_kat
set. 4, 2008, 1:05pm

My mistake, but an honest one. I didn't realize that this is a board in support of censorship.

Bless your little hostile heart.

7stephmo
set. 4, 2008, 3:26pm

>6 quilted_kat: Thanks for at least bringing up the topic. The fact that we have a mainstream political candidate that brought up the question of how to with regards to book banning is a very worrysome thing indeed.

We need to stop feeding into the "stop attacking the poor woman!" mentality that is coming out of Camp McCain where all media reports are to be immediately taken as false. You know, because Time Magazine is all National Enquirer-y like that.

For the record, if anyone had read the paragraph closely or done more research, you'd understand the reason they want to reach the librarian for comment is because she resigned and the question is whether she was pressured into doing so or not. The question of the banning inquiries is NOT a question - that is a reported fact. The local paper did report the pressure to be fired/quit, but obviously Time was worried about the sourcing on that point.

I didn't like it when Tipper Gore felt like CDs should be banned from stores for "dirty" lyrics (and started the PMRC to help her) and I certainly don't approve of Sarah Palin thinking that banning books is acceptable - that she's not some fringe group of 4 at a school board meeting and that she's running for the #2 spot in our government is a HUGE problem.

8jseger9000
set. 4, 2008, 4:22pm

Amen and thank you quilted and stephmo.

I do think the thread is a good one and probably didn't need the 'Don't want to get political' title.

This thread is political, but how can the Banned Books group not talk about a VP candidate that doesn't seem to mind banning books?

9PhoenixTerran
set. 5, 2008, 2:40pm

Here's the list, as I've seen it*:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
Confession by Jean Jacques Rousseau
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
Little Red Riding Hood by the Grimm Brothers
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lysistrata by Aristophanes
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
Pigman by Paul Zindel

Plus:

Anything by Stephen King
Everything by J.K. Rowling
Just about everything by Roald Dahl
Both of Mark Twain's major works
Most of Judy Blume
Most of William Shakespeare
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary

*received via e-mail from a politically aggressive friend--source not cited. Please feel free to confirm or correct.

10PhoenixTerran
Editat: set. 6, 2008, 10:30am

(The computer I am currently on was throwing a fit with the number of touchstones in the above post. I'll come back later to try to clean it up a bit when I'm on a faster computer.)

Update: I was going to try to fix the above, but wasn't able to easily. So I didn't. Apologies for wonky touchstones.

11stephmo
Editat: set. 5, 2008, 2:55pm

The list is unproven from what I've seen - It popped up in comments on a blog entry on librarian.net. People asked for proof from the poster and nada. Plus, some of the books weren't in print when she was mayor. It basically appears as if someone's circulating a "best of" list hoping that either a) if the list is wrong, the claims that she inquired will be wrong (complete non sequitor, but that's never stopped anyone before) or b) they wanted some notoriety in general...

http://www.librarian.net/stax/2366/sarah-palin-vp-nominee/

ETA - your list seems to have cleaned up the "not in print at the time" problem - you can see the list on librarian.net has the Harry Potter problem...

12PhoenixTerran
set. 5, 2008, 2:56pm

Thanks stephmo, I was wondering!

13clamairy
Editat: set. 5, 2008, 3:46pm

#1 - Oh, that's just great...
*sigh*

14Whatnot
set. 5, 2008, 6:01pm

#11- I was going to post a response stating that many libraries own books that are out of print. Then I realised that 'out of print' is not the same as 'not in print.' I'm posting this in case anybody is in a slightly addled state and confused by this. Unlikely.

Wether the list is accurate or not, it seems the basic claim is legitimate.

15stephmo
set. 5, 2008, 6:13pm

>14 Whatnot: Oh, don't get me wrong, I believe Time is accurate in reporting that she'd inquired into banning books from the local library while mayor.

Lists and specifics are between her and the unreachable librarian. Lists are not all that important - because this is about a public official who sought to remove books from the library.

The way I look at it, there was a laundry list of items that came out the other day - no one is actually denying that she made this inquiry while mayor. Oh, they're going after one of the Enquirer stories (supposedly), but not this one. One would think you'd at least want to talk about how you believe the 1st Amendment is the cornerstone of our great nation and the very idea that anyone would attack your character on such an issue is appalling...and yet it hasn't come up.

Very, very worrisome indeed.

16EncompassedRunner
set. 5, 2008, 6:16pm

>#4, lilithcat, when book banning or speech suppression issues (even site-related ones like flagging and removing comments, use of profanity, etc) come up, I almost always, if not always, agree with you. But I have an example of where I tried to get a book banned not from the entire library, but from the Young Adult section of the library, and I'd be interested in your thoughts about it.

The horrible, inciting, treasonous, antisemitic book is Imperium: The Philosophy of History and Politics by Francis Parker Yockey, which is often described as the neo-nazi Bible.

17Nickelini
Editat: set. 6, 2008, 12:04am

Snopes.com has verified a witness to the Sarah Palin-librarian story. I tried to cut and paste the relevant info here, but for some reason I can't.

If you want to see more, go to http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/soapbox.asp
and then Letter written by Wasilla . . . (near the bottom).

18JackFrost
set. 6, 2008, 12:31am

#17: I'm very happy to see that email verified. I read it and was impressed with how the author handed out praises due before being civilly critical. It almost seemed too well-written to be anything but a hoax. I guess in the age of rampant political chain mail I've become a bit cynical about everything that doesn't come from a highly reputable (and well-known) news source.

Now, if only the ex-Wasilla librarian would come forward to verify the attempted censorship claims and to shed a bit more light on the whole situation...

19Jesse_wiedinmyer
set. 6, 2008, 6:05am

Here's the letter.

20ESHLucky13
set. 6, 2008, 4:00pm

I'm interested in finding out what books Palin wanted banned. I'm not sure we'll find out since the McCain camp isn't scheduling Palin for interviews, though. The book list that is posted is odd to me. The Time Quartet books are Christian from what I remember.

21EncompassedRunner
Editat: set. 6, 2008, 4:18pm

"The BOGUS Sarah Palin Banned Books List

ETA: caps in BOGUS, as in BOGUS

22oregonobsessionz
Editat: set. 6, 2008, 4:46pm

>21 EncompassedRunner:

Interesting. This reminds me of the situation in 2004, when George W. Bush's absences from the Texas National Guard were under discussion. Someone handed Dan Rather a batch of fake documents just before air time, and Rather, who should have known better, went live with the information without investigating the documents. The documents turned out to be blatantly obvious fakes. In the inevitable uproar that followed, no one dared to even mention the real issue, which was that GWB's "performance" in the National Guard was typical for everything else he has done in life. A miserable failure, in spite of being generously funded by Daddy and his friends. Karl Rove's fingerprints all over that one.

Now, like the Bush guard documents, the book list (which is unattributed and is NOT included in any of the reports of Palin's behavior) is obviously inaccurate. You don't suppose someone is hoping to make so much noise about the fake book list as to obliterate the real issue, which is , as noted in the Anchorage Daily Times article quoted in the link at #21, that Sarah Palin actually inquired about banning books, then attempted to fire the popular librarian who resisted, and was forced to back off due to objections from the local community?

Edited to fix the usual typos.

23clamairy
set. 6, 2008, 4:55pm

#22 - "You don't suppose someone is hoping to make so much noise about the fake book list as to obliterate the real issue."

It wouldn't surprise me!

It could also be a case of someone finding a list of banned books somewhere on line and somehow attributing it to the Palin issue.

24stephmo
set. 6, 2008, 5:22pm

- 100% that's what's going on - float fake lists so that it becomes "the lists are fake, therefore the whole thing is fake" even though one has nothing to do with the other.

Multiple sources (aside from TIME magazine) are reporting "the librarian incident." The fake lists are being floated about so it obscures the issue. She was for using her office to inquire about how to go about removing books from the library.

Frankly, I could care less what the books were - I care that she's now a mainstream candidate that has gone so far as to ask these questions. The snopes article quotes a former resident's letter that's been circulating quite a few days. This is her relevant paragraph:

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

It's a SERIOUS problem.

Again, the titles don't even remotely matter. Would it be better if she were attempting to ban The Anarchist Cookbook over Huckleberry Finn? I don't think so...

25krazy4katz
set. 6, 2008, 7:57pm

So is the consensus that she did want to ban books, but either she never got around it, or she did but we don't know which books are on the list?

Just trying to get my facts straight. I also got a list of books that Sarah Palin tried to have banned (including Harry Potters and Farenheit 451 etc.). Just wondering how much if any is true.

26jseger9000
set. 6, 2008, 8:02pm

#25 - Yes, she did want to ban books. She was blocked by uproar from her constituents.

No, there is no official list. Any list you have seen is a prank that is muddying the waters.

27EncompassedRunner
set. 6, 2008, 8:44pm

>21 EncompassedRunner:, oregonobsessionz, I haven't been following the banned book deal when it comes to Palin, but have been following almost everything else about her, both written and the various videos, and the various attacks and so on and have found the other criticisms to be not only baseless, but sometimes total inversions of truth, making her to hold a position completely contrary to the one she actually does hold. All of her words that I've read and heard indicate that she's just staunch about protecting the Constitution and our freedoms, including speech.

28EncompassedRunner
set. 6, 2008, 8:47pm

>25 krazy4katz:, "consensus"? I don't think LibraryThing constitutes a representative sample (thank God)!

29stephmo
Editat: set. 6, 2008, 9:26pm

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

30krazy4katz
set. 6, 2008, 9:22pm

>28 EncompassedRunner:
I guess I meant a consensus by the "responsible" media (yes, I know - if such a thing exists).

31stephmo
set. 6, 2008, 9:32pm

Most everyone that wants to ban books believes they're following in the footsteps of Miller v. California - that's how you can ban AND uphold the Constitution.

Just an FYI for everyone that wonders why people even try that they think they can do this sort of thing in a country that promotes freedom of speech so heavily.

32clamairy
set. 6, 2008, 10:40pm

#27 - "and have found the other criticisms to be not only baseless, but sometimes total inversions of truth, making her to hold a position completely contrary to the one she actually does hold"

Interesting. Everything I've heard on NPR, seen on CNN and PBS and read about her online has made me think the opposite.

33oregonobsessionz
Editat: set. 7, 2008, 9:11am

Palin's sudden arrival on the national scene has left everyone scrambling for more information. Since this group is primarily about books, and not politics, I would suggest that future discussions of a political nature should be posted on one of the groups where political discussions are welcomed. However, I do want to respond to the post at #27, after which I will (much to everyone's relief I am sure) follow my own advice.

Disclosure: I am a Clinton supporter. I do have some issues with Obama, but I was already very unlikely to vote for McCain. However, as an extremely analytical person (I don’t buy a box of cereal – even a brand I have bought before – without reading the label!), I will continue to seek and evaluate additional information.

Definitely a great deal of baseless and even outrageous information is out on "the internets", but so far the quantity of vicious material on Palin is minuscule compared to what has been circulated about Obama. For example, the hottest Urban Legend page on Snopes contains numerous rumors about Barack Obama, most of them entirely unfounded. Everyone should read them, so we can focus on the real issues, and don’t have to waste any further time on allegations that have been totally disproved.

No doubt Snopes will soon have a page dedicated to Sarah Palin. Until then, FactCheck.org is a very good nonpartisan source for information. They have posted analysis of the statements made at both conventions, as well as in paid advertisements, and they don’t hesitate to point out exaggerations and outright falsehoods from either party.

Edited to correct a typo

34oregonobsessionz
set. 6, 2008, 10:51pm

>27 EncompassedRunner:

Sources please. I think we would all be reassured to know that Sarah Palin is …just staunch about protecting the Constitution and our freedoms, including speech…, but your statements will be more credible if you back them up with reference material, preferably from primary sources.

I don't want to be confrontational, but you have made several posts with bold caps, which are quite common in the more hysterical circles on of the blogosphere, but come across as SHOUTING among the relatively genteel user groups on LT.

FactCheck.org recently published a very helpful article titled That Chain E-mail Your Friend Sent to You Is (Likely) Bogus. Seriously.. A brief summary:

Often, the message itself includes major red flags that should alert readers that the author is not to be trusted. Here are just a few of what we’ll call Key Characteristics of Bogusness:
* The author is anonymous...
* The author is supposedly a famous person...
* There’s a reference to a legitimate source that completely contradicts the information in the e-mail...
* The message is riddled with spelling errors...
*The author just loves using exclamation points...
* The message argues that it is NOT false...
* There’s math involved...


(I would have added the use of all caps, bold text, and absolutes like “always” and “never”.) I would encourage everyone to take a deep breath, review this article, and remember these Key Characteristics of Bogusness as we roam the internet in our efforts to learn more about Sarah Palin.

35oregonobsessionz
Editat: set. 6, 2008, 10:53pm

>27 EncompassedRunner: (continued)

Over the past week I have looked at many websites, attempting to find information about Palin. Much of what I have learned so far, I find truly alarming, but we have 60 days for the initial frenzy to settle down, and more factual information to emerge. I have posted quite a bit of information on LT, primarily in the Pro and Con group. Wherever possible, I have tried to link to primary and non-anonymous sources.

The Pro and Con group is dedicated to vigorous debate between progressives and conservatives. I enjoy it, but I know that some LT users find it a bit too rough and tumble. Those who would rather discuss political issues with a less contentious group may prefer Political Conservatives or Progressive & Liberal!.

But please, let’s all remember the LT Terms of Use.
Use common sense. Be polite. Think before you post….
Comment on content, not on the contributor.


OK, that's all for me. I'm off to do battle at Pro and Con.

Sorry, edited to close italics.

36caitemaire
set. 7, 2008, 6:54am

I know some people hate to have what they want to believe confused with fact. the fact is that list has nothing to do with Palin. if you are really interested, here is the actual source of that list.

http://www.adlerbooks.com/banned.html

a book company article about books that have been banned somewhere, by someone, anyone over the years.

but make up enough stuff and throw enough of it and maybe just enough will stick. and that is the important thing right. true or lies...doesn't matter. just make it up if you have too and throw it out on blog and internet boards and e-mail it to your friends and before you know it the MSM is quoting you and peoples reputations are sullied....but that's ok, so long as you further your cause. Right?

37oregonobsessionz
Editat: set. 7, 2008, 9:14am

>36 caitemaire:
The book list that has been circulating is indeed a generic list of books that have been the subject of banning attempts somewhere, sometime. Probably no single person or organization has attempted to ban all of them.

Those with direct knowledge of the situation seem to be in universal agreement that Sarah Palin did not actually ban even a single book.

What has civil libertarians concerned is the existence of credible reports that, upon becoming mayor in 1996, Sarah Palin expressed an interest in banning at least some books, and inquired about the procedures for censoring books at the Wasilla library. Library Director Mary Ellen Emmons (now Baker), interpreted the requests as a direct interest in censorship. Palin did not deny that she had asked about censorship, but said later that her questions had been “rhetorical”. The issue generated enough heat to be discussed in city council meetings, and was reported in the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.

I will link and quote the Frontiersman article in a separate post.

Edited for typos. Must learn to keep my fingers untangled.

38oregonobsessionz
Editat: set. 7, 2008, 8:50am

Due to the number of media requests, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman has posted this article, which they originally published on December 18, 1996.

WASILLA -- In the wake of strong reactions from the city's library director to inquiries about censorship, Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin on Monday was taking pains to explain her questions about censoring library material were “rhetorical.”

Library Director Mary Ellen Emmons last week said Palin broached the subject with her on two occasions in October - once Palin was elected mayor Oct. 1 but before she took office on Oct. 14, and again in more detail on Monday, Oct. 28. Besides heading the Wasilla City Library, Emmons is also president of the Alaska Library Association.

The issue became public last Wednesday, when Palin brought it up during an interview about the now-defunct Liquor task Force. Palin used the library topic as an example of discussions with her department heads about understanding and following administration agendas. Palin said she asked Emmons how she would respond to censorship.

Emmons drew a clear distinction Saturday between the nature of Palin's inquiries and an established book-challenge policy in place in Wasilla, and in most public libraries.

“I'm not trying to suppress anyone's views,” Emmons said. “But I told her (Palin) clearly, I will fight anyone who tries to dictate what books can go on the library shelves.”

Palin said Monday she had no particular books or other material in mind when she posed the questions to Emmons.

Emmons said in the first conversation, before being sworn in as mayor, Palin briefly touched on the subject of censorship.

But on Monday, Oct. 28, Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. This was during a weak {sic} when Palin was requesting resignations from all¦nbsp; {sic} the city's department heads as a way of expressing loyalty.

Palin called Emmons into her office Monday to discuss the censorship questions again.


Edited several times, trying to close italics.

39oregonobsessionz
Editat: set. 7, 2008, 8:51am

A few things are clear from the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman article quoted above:
1. Sarah Palin and Mary Ellen Emmons were at odds from the beginning.
2. Palin asked about censorship on at least three occasions – October 1, October 28, and again on “Monday”, which would have been on December 16, as the Frontiersman article was originally published on December 18, 1996.
3. Palin had requested “resignations from all of the city’s department heads as a way of expressing loyalty”.

Leaving aside the fact that Palin seems to generate very strong feelings among her supporters and her detractors – no one seems neutral about this woman - since when do Americans express loyalty to mayors?

A recent article in Time Magazine gives an indication of the political climate at the time Palin became mayor. Wasilla was growing fast, and the population was changing. Some of the long-time residents were not comfortable with Palin’s introduction of abortion, the Second Amendment, and Republican party politics into a mayoral election that had previously been nonpartisan and focused on local municipal issues. With respect to the library issue, Time quotes former mayor John Stein, who signed the original petition when Palin ran for city council in 1992, but is no longer a Palin supporter.

An additional source on the library controversy is a local Wasilla resident named Anne Kilkenny. A private letter she had distributed to friends was posted on the internet without her permission, but she has acknowledged writing it. Interestingly, the website where the letter was originally posted disappeared on September 5, but the letter has been reproduced on any number of other websites, including here by the Anchorage Daily News.

Kilkenny has been interviewed by several newspapers. You can hear a brief interview with NPR here.

Edited, trying to close quotes from previous post.

40quilted_kat
set. 8, 2008, 11:12am

An article from the Anchorage Daily News that does give the library directors "side.": http://www.adn.com/sarah-palin/story/515512.html

Includes:
"In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her -- starting before she was sworn in -- about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose."

and

"When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there.

Like many Alaskans, Kilkenny calls the governor by her first name.

"Sarah said to Mary Ellen, 'What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?" Kilkenny said.

"I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, 'The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.'"

Palin didn't mention specific books at that meeting, Kilkenny said."

End quotes.

41MerryMary
set. 8, 2008, 2:57pm

Now, that sounds rhetorical - along the lines of "What are your ethics as a librarian?" I wouldn't be threatened by that question at all. I would figure she wanted to know what the policy was, what the procedure for handling such requests were, and what my personal beliefs were. I always had the answers to such questions at my fingertips. (I was a school librarian - I had to!)

42Amtep
set. 8, 2008, 3:03pm

"Will no one rid me of this meddlesome librarian?"

It's difficult to tell, especially 12 years after the fact, whether there was undue pressure behind a rhetorical question. I think we should give her the benefit of the doubt. Besides, there should be a statute of limitations on this sort of thing.

I don't at all understand this stuff about asking for letters of resignation as a sign of loyalty. Must be a cultural gap.

43absurdeist
set. 8, 2008, 4:10pm

This thread began under the false premise that Palin pressured the librarian to resign because the librarian was not okay with the idea of censoring should she be asked to do so. According to the Anchorage Daily News article, however, the librarian resigned in 1999, three years after Palin asked the librarian the hypothetical censorship question. There’s no connection between the librarian’s resignation and Palin’s censorship inquiry, according to this latest article. The fact that Palin asked the librarian the hypothetical censorship question does not prove she ever intended to ban a single book. Let me repeat that since many here it seems, perhaps wanting to discredit Palin due to her religious beliefs & conservative politics, don’t want to believe she could possibly be innocent of censorship even though there's no evidence to the contrary, but the fact remains -- that Palin asked the librarian the hypothetical censorship question -- does not prove she ever intended to ban a single book.

44PhoenixTerran
set. 8, 2008, 6:14pm

In case anyone is interested, Snopes now has an page addressing the lists that are going around (one of which I posted above before I knew better).

http://www.snopes.com/politics/palin/bannedbooks.asp

Actual lists have been determined to be false (as others have already mentioned here) but there was certainly some sort of inquiry on Palin's part into the banning of books. As EnriqueFreeque, and others, have pointed out--the details are somewhat murky and even lacking in parts.

45oregonobsessionz
set. 8, 2008, 6:24pm

Anne Kilkenny, whose letter is linked above, has stated that Palin attempted to exercise the letter of resignation she had demanded from the librarian, but the community resisted, and the librarian worked there for a few more years before resigning voluntarily. A few quotes from the letter:

While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

...

I am just a housewife. I don't have a job she can bump me out of. I don't belong to any organization that she can hurt. But, I am no fool; she is immensely popular here, and it is likely that this will cost me somehow in the future: that's life.

...she has hated me since back in 1996, when I was one of the 100 or so people who rallied to support the City Librarian against Sarah's attempt at censorship.


The letter is too long to quote here in its entirety. Kilkenny has a lot to say about Palin, both positive and negative, but the rest of it belongs in the political groups.

I respect many people who have strong religious beliefs and conservative political views, so long as they accept the fact that others may have different views. What worries me is that Kilkenny is not the only one who has suggested that Palin does not respect any opinions or belief systems other than her own.

46oregonobsessionz
set. 8, 2008, 7:30pm

The Anchorage Daily News has republished their original February 1997 article on the recall effort that resulted when Palin fired several department managers, including the police chief and the librarian. The recall effort was abandoned after Palin re-hired the librarian.

47KarmaChimera
set. 9, 2008, 6:26am

Anyone why cares about books and free speech should research Palin's statements and actions when she was personally offended by the ordinary policies of her local library. When her irrational demands for the removal of certain books and thinly disguised loyalty oaths were refused by the town's librarian, she had the librarian fired.

The fact that the librarian's dismissal didn't stand, only highlights how despicable Palin's actions were. Apologists for Palin, like the user MerryMary , seem to suffer under the illusion that freedom of expression is a culturally relative issue. She doesn't seem to realize that this is a right guaranteed to Americans by their constitution and bill of rights.

Palin does not believe in democracy, and that is what we need to remember!

48KCGordon
set. 9, 2008, 12:49pm

According to Newsweek & Factcheck.org (same statement) Palin did not try to ban books.

"She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term."

http://www.newsweek.com/id/157986

Seems that their saying that this was a theoretical "how would you handle it?" type question.

49absurdeist
set. 9, 2008, 12:58pm

I just finished reading the advance reader's copy of Dan Brown's, "Angels & Palins: The True Story Of An American Communist," (anyone else read it?) and that, combined with several sleepless nights of political analysis & research, has led me to a political precipice of sorts, and, and....I've leapt over.... For I simply cannot refute Palin's mayoral & gubernatorial totalitarian record of heinous political abuses any longer....The evidence is obviously clear: Sarah Palin, lover of Lenin, supporter of Stalin, exterminator of Eskimos -- there's a holocaust happening right now in Alaska and the press doesn't even care! -- also (be-leeeeve it) happens to be the Anti-Christ. Don't let her Christianity fool you. Read Dan Brown's latest novel, and clue yourself in to even more nefarious secret truths about satanic Sarah Palin.

50Whatnot
set. 9, 2008, 1:12pm

#48- The fact that the 'widely circulated list' is a fake has been addressed on this thread already. The fact that the list is a fake has nothing to do with the actual issue, or the actual incident. If Palin had asked the librarian such a question once, I might believe that it was meant to be rhetorical. However, according to more than one source, she asked her three times, on separate occasions.

I also don't quite understand how asking for letters of resignation is supposed to be some kind of loyalty test. Perhaps somebody could explain it?

The librarian did keep her job, but only after a public outcry and a brief mayoral recall campaign.

51TLCrawford
set. 9, 2008, 3:08pm

It is a sad commentary on education in the United States when even in a group like this people can not tell the difference between a left wing despot and a right wing despot.

52oregonobsessionz
set. 9, 2008, 6:35pm

>48 KCGordon:

I suspect the Newsweek reporter has not read the Anchorage Daily News article from 1997 that I referenced in #46. If nothing happened, then why the recall effort? And why was the recall effort dropped after the librarian was rehired?

53MerryMary
set. 11, 2008, 10:15pm

>47 KarmaChimera:: C'mon, Karma, where did I say that freedom of expression was not a guaranteed right? I said that rhetorical questions are part of the job interview, and I wouldn't be threatened by them. I would answer them fully and tell the questioner exactly what the policies were, and what my personally held beliefs were. (And what I said would echo nearly everyone here.)

Granted, it was the mayor that was new, not the librarian. But I've had new superintendents question me on policy before when they first started working our school. I was the one who had been there and helped set policy, and was glad to put them in the picture. (BTW, I was school librarian for 35 years all told, and never had a challenge to a book upheld. Never.)

As for being an apologist for anyone, I plead not guilty. I was simply trying to put another possible logical interpretation on the events we had heard about. When more details come out, we'll know what was really up. All I'm saying is that the question - on the face of it - has a possible non-lethal interpretation.

54Whatnot
set. 12, 2008, 7:40am

#53- That's fine, but more than one apparently reliable source has stated that Palin asked such questions of the librarian not once, but on three separate occasions, weeks apart. I stated a few posts up that if it had only been the once, I might believe that the question was rhetorical, but if it happened three times, I have a hard time believing that any of it was rhetorical.

I'm also still baffled by the supposed "loyalty test." Asking for a letter of resignation is supposed to prove the librarian's and others' loyalty to whom? And how? Are they being loyal to the mayor if they resign, or if they defy her and refuse to resign? Is it supposed to be a test of their loyalty to the town? It doesn't make any sense. It's absurd.

55ElementalDragon
set. 12, 2008, 8:51am

#54- My perceptions may be skewed, but that "loyalty test" reminded me of the biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son Isaac to show his faith in God.

56clamairy
set. 12, 2008, 8:55am

#55 - Same here, and I do not take any comfort in that thought AT ALL.

57inkdrinker
set. 12, 2008, 8:58am

#54
I'm not sure I want a person who thinks that way with that kind of power in her hands! Because, with all due respect to the Christian folks, that logic is CRAZY. It's like cutting off your nose to spite your face. The woman is way too full of her own righteousness. She seems to believe if she thinks then God wants it.

58stephmo
set. 12, 2008, 10:36am

It is bothersome that the news is now reporting the story as "and lists were widely circulated on the internet of books Palin supposedly wanted banned..."

When that was never the story. The story always was - she asked what one would do to go about getting a book banned. Just asking that - and asking more than once...but, no, now it's about the list.

The machine behind her is good - obliterate the real issue by ciruclating false lists and shifting the story over to the lists. The lists are wrong, so the whole story is wrong. Seriously, when did we lose the ability to spot a non sequitor?

59oregonobsessionz
set. 13, 2008, 3:03am

>58 stephmo:

That approach worked perfectly with the fake GWB military records, so why wouldn't they use it again?

60inkdrinker
set. 13, 2008, 8:33am

I think the ALA should make Palin the poster child for this year's banned books week. They could sell t-shirts with her face and a big circle with a line through it over her and a slogan like "Ban a Banner",

61nohrt4me
set. 20, 2008, 4:19pm

EnriqueFreeque, you really can't blame people for being suspicious. Palin has been affiliated with a Pentacostal and, now, Evangelical church. Churches within these sects have tried to ban books in the past.

When someone who is a member of sects that have not always been friendly to First Amendment rights begins asking questions about library book banning policies, then, I think, residents have a right to express concerns about where those questions tend.

However, what's also important to remember is that most pentecostal and evangelical churches operate independently--and not all pentecostal/evangelical pastors encourage their congregants to challenge books.

No books were taken off the Wasilla shelves.

Palin's dismissals of Wasilla city employees is really a separate issue involving whether she had grounds to fire those employees. Apparently she did; the police chief fought his dismissal in court, which ruled she could fire city employees, even for political reasons.

Palin rehired the Wasilla librarian for reasons that are not entirely clear, but may have something to do with the formation of the recall Palin committee that formed in the wake of the firings.

Once rehired, the librarian then quit and has refused to discuss the situation.

So, without information from the one person who could cast some light on the situation, it's my opinion that nobody really knows enough to truly interpret Palin's intentions.

62nohrt4me
set. 20, 2008, 4:26pm

inkdrinker, I'm not a Sarah Palin fan, but "ban a banner"?

Ouch! Doesn't banning a banner--and, by extension, his or her opinions--sorta defeat the purpose of the First Amendment?

The First Amendment guarantees your right, ironically, to say that the First Amendment goes too far and that certain books should be banned. You just can't actually go to the library and take them off the shelf without some sort of constitutional amendment.

Maybe just say "ban banning"?

And there's no evidence Palin did that or wanted to, so putting her face on a "ban the banner" poster puts her in a false light, which, if not strictly illegal, since she's a public figure, is certainly not exactly fair.

63TLCrawford
set. 20, 2008, 9:44pm

Putting someone predisposed to banning books one, very old, heart-beat from the Oval Office sorta threatens the First Amendment.

64inkdrinker
set. 20, 2008, 10:22pm

Exactly!

My slogan wasn't meant to say Palin doesn't have the right to express her ideas. It was meant to be a bit tongue in cheek. As in Ban her from office by voting against her in the up coming election.

I believe very strongly that if you are a supporter of freedom of speech then you have to be prepared to defend speech you hate. I will defend to the death Palin's right to make such a hideous request, but that doesn't mean I still don't despise her and won't do everything in power to make sure she never get's her way.

65absurdeist
set. 21, 2008, 4:55pm

Well said, nohrt4me. Point taken, and I completely concur. Refreshing too to see a response that doesn't go all pseudo-philosophically weepy on us and questions the alleged poor quality of a person's educational pedigree for (au contraire!) daring to espouse minority opinions.

66EncompassedRunner
set. 24, 2008, 1:31am

The website sarahbarracuda is helpful, both by its own posts and through its links, for exposing and debunking anti-Palin smears.

67TLCrawford
set. 24, 2008, 11:09am

Or there is www.factcheck.org for exposing and debunking pro and anti-Palin hogwash.

68stephmo
set. 24, 2008, 12:46pm

Refreshing too to see a response that doesn't go all pseudo-philosophically weepy on us and questions the alleged poor quality of a person's educational pedigree for (au contraire!) daring to espouse minority opinions.

I'm stepping out of this thread (as have the vast majority that understand the disturbing nature of this now framed "free speech" inquiry), but this has bothered me ever since you and nohrt4me posted this.

When you are an elected official, you are no longer the random lone nut showing up to the city council meeting expressing your desire to have something banned from the library. You are someone in power. Ms. Palin expressly had the singular power as granted under AS Title 29 to fire city officials.

To sit there and to basically see a reverse-Dixie Chick "ah-ha, let's see them not allow poor Sarah her free speech!" knowing she had this kind of power is beyond the pale. I honestly don't get how either of you understand the structure and power she had up there and give her a free pass... This is really a-okay behavior in an elected official?

Oh - as for the "debunking" site - you might want to edit it out of your response, EncompassedRunner. It's beneath you and includes "debunking" along these lines:

I don’t know if Kathy Griffin counts as a celebrity, but if so she’s joined the long list of famous people with seriously screwed up personal lives who hate Sarah Palin.

Really - this is supposed to be taken seriously? A site like Fatcheck.org is non-partisan and doesn't resort to ad-hominem arguments. You've always been an articulate and intelligent poster. You deserve better than that site.

69nohrt4me
set. 25, 2008, 9:11pm

inkdrinker (64), I would say that this pretty much reflects my own notions--you have to defend everybody's right to free speech--even if they express opinions that free speech should be curtailed.

However, Palin hasn't banned anything. She hasn't even challenged anything. The worst you can say about the library flap--and I was perfectly willing to believe the worst--is that she fired the librarian (to what end we don't know), and we can reasonably wonder whether she would LIKE to challenge books because she belongs to a sect that often does such things, though said sects are not monolithic on this issue.

I don't want to see Palin in public office, but not on the grounds of anything she's done to obstruct free speech.

I'm more concerned with her inexperience, her ducking the very transparency she says she supports with communications subterfuges (private e-mails to cut deals that affect the public sector), cronyism, and lying about, her record re the "bridge to nowhere."

Sorry that StephMo (68) decided to leave. In my view, one of the biggest threats to our freedoms is the unwillingness of participate civilly in public forums. If I said anything to offend, it was unintentional. I was simply trying to overview the facts as I understand them.

70EncompassedRunner
set. 25, 2008, 9:21pm

#68, stephmo, the bias of the sarahbaracuda website I mentioned in #66 is obvious as nothing more than "helpful," is obvious, that's what makes it so helpful, since when one hears of an accusation against her one can go there to hear the other side then exercise common sense and discernment n proceeding from there to investigate for oneself. Unfortunately that site is not kept up-to-date, which is why I mentioned that the site's links are also helpful.

Factcheck.org, on the other hand, because it gives the impression that it's non-partisan, is sort of dangerous, because one's inclined just to take what they say as face value, when in actuality it has been heavily criticized by many as very biased, even "unmitigated garbage".

71Jesse_wiedinmyer
set. 25, 2008, 9:52pm

I'm glad that Malkin offered such cogent substantiation of her claim.

72Unreachableshelf
Editat: set. 30, 2008, 3:24pm

>69 nohrt4me:

Free speech doesn't mean a freedom from the consequences of that speech, though. If Mayor Palin asked what she would need to do to get some books banned (regardless of whether or not she specified titles, regardless of if those books were removed from the library, and regardless of how much pressure was or wasn't put on the librarian), that tells us that she thinks banning books is an appropriate way to deal with certain ideas. Does she have the right to express that opinion? Yes. She is allowed to have that opinion, but I am allowed to consider that opinion of hers when I think about whether or not I want her a heartbeat away from the presidency.

It is possible simultaneously to defend the right for somebody to approve of banning books and to want that person as far away from any office that involves upholding the constitution as possible.

73inkdrinker
set. 30, 2008, 3:59pm

She can talk about banning everything she wants, but I can also talk about keep her from any power because she espouses those ideas. I'll fight to the death for right to talk about it but I'll also do everything in my power to keep her for acting on those ideas.

74richardderus
set. 30, 2008, 5:39pm

Why this woman elicits such passionate opinions is beyond me. Her running mate will be the President if the American people lose their collective minds in November, and age jokes aside, McCain will keep himself alive by any means necessary if he gets into the White House.

Lest we all forget, Cheney as the exception, the Veep slot "isn't worth a pitcher of warm spit," to quote FDR's Veep John Nance Garner...a quote so quotable that it's on a coffee mug.

Ewww.

75Whatnot
set. 30, 2008, 7:56pm

That might be the one thing that could put me off coffee. For about five minutes.

Off topic, I know.

76Unreachableshelf
set. 30, 2008, 10:09pm

>74 richardderus:

I could give you some passionate opinions re: Senator McCain, too, but they aren't relevent for a banned books group.

77oregonobsessionz
Editat: oct. 1, 2008, 3:10am

Well. It seems Palin is not a book banner after all. In another segment of the ongoing Couric interview, Couric asks Palin what magazines and newspapers she reads, and Palin responds, "Umm… all of them. Any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.".

Another blogger has enlarged a photo of Palin from a Wasilla city council meeting (somewhere between 1992 and 1996), and identified at least one magazine she has read.

Edited to correct the circumstances. Someone sent me a link to the Palin clip with a comment that it had been cut from the earlier Couric interview. Actually, it was part of the ongoing series of interviews and was aired on 09/30/08.

78EncompassedRunner
oct. 1, 2008, 2:47am

> 71, re: "I'm glad that Malkin offered such cogent substantiation of her claim."

I'm glad you found the article Malkin linked to helpful, yeah, but really Factcheck.org is prima facie suspicious once it's revealed that Factcheck is a project of the ANNENBERG Public Policy Center! Come on, wake up.

79oregonobsessionz
oct. 1, 2008, 3:13am

>78 EncompassedRunner:

If you don't like FactCheck, try Snopes or PolitiFact.

80inkdrinker
oct. 1, 2008, 11:01am

#77

I'll state outright that she never actually banned a book from the library. However, she was very interested in doing it and that's enough for me to never want to see her hold public office ever again... Unless she changed and turned against the idea of censorship/banning... and I would need some pretty hefty proof of that change.

Also, just because she reads magazines and books doesn't mean she wouldn't ban the ones she thinks are immoral.

81oregonobsessionz
oct. 1, 2008, 11:26am

>80 inkdrinker:

Yeah, I know. I was just being snarky about her voluminous reading.

82Nickelini
oct. 1, 2008, 12:07pm

Wow, Oregonobsessionz--interesting link. I find her answer truly bizarre. It's a perfectly legitimate question, and one that I'm interested in, not just from Palin, but from everyone. She really makes it look like she doesn't read, which I actually find impossible to believe, especially since she's a journalism major. But to jump to the "I'm being condescended to" defense--I just find that a strange reaction. If someone asked me what magazines and papers I read I wouldn't even think to answer "Just because I live in Canada doesn't mean I'm in some backwater. We get newspapers and magazines too." Instead I would give a list of what I read. Perhaps she thought that naming any specifics would look like an endorsement of one paper over another? If that was her intent, I think she made the wrong decision, because she came off looking like a bubble-head, yet again.

83inkdrinker
Editat: oct. 1, 2008, 12:13pm

Sorry Oregonob, I guess I'm a bit thick today.

ETA: Not to mention the fact that I'm a bit hyper-reactive when it comes to censorship.

84nohrt4me
oct. 1, 2008, 2:55pm

#72, "freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from the consequences of that speech."

Of course not, no argument there.

As a reporter, I printed a quote from a politician who used an ethnic slur in statement at a public meeting. People were mad at ME. I told them they should thank me for letting them know what their elected official thought about Italians.

However, I don't know EXACTLY what Palin asked about library book banning or why. Was she trying to clarify a policy at the library? Find out if there WAS a policy? Trying to figure out how to find a way around a policy?

Does anyone know for sure?

These are the kinds of questions you have to ask in order to try to be fair and accurate. They don't make you a Palin partisan.

And it's neither fair nor accurate to say Palin is a book banner, to say she WANTS to ban books, even if she belongs to a religious sect that has supported banning books.

85Amtep
oct. 1, 2008, 3:05pm

I think that if she were a "book banner", there would be a bit more evidence than some muddled reports of conversations held twelve years ago. Such an attitude would show up again and again. I'm in favor of a statute of limitations here. It's very difficult to determine intent from such testimony. If there's nothing more recent then I don't think it's relevant.

It would still be useful to ask her straight out, under the camera, under what circumstances she would try to get a book removed from libraries.

86MerryMary
oct. 1, 2008, 5:52pm

>84 nohrt4me: and 85: Thanks both of you, for saying much more coherently what I was trying to say back around 41 and 53. On the face of it, the question is not necessarily an endorsement of banning, or even a declaration of intent. And I like the idea of a statue of limitations on idiotic statements. We've all been guilty somewhere along the road.