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Friday, September 5, 2008

Did Palin attempt to have books banned?

There has been huge interest in the assertion made by several people, and publicized in TIME Magazine, that Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin attempted to have certain books banned from the Wasilla City Library. So, is the claim true?

According to the New York Times for September 2, 2008, it is. Ann Kilkenny, citizen of Wasilla, told a journalist that Palin brought up the idea of banning some books at a meeting. "They were somehow morally or socially objectionable to her," she said.

The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, pledged to resist all efforts at censorship. Forthwith, Palin fired her, but changed course after residents strongly objected. Emmons left both her job and Wasilla a couple of years later. (She has since married, which accounts for the difference in her name in the TIME Magazine article.)

The full story, straight from the horse's mouth at the Anchorage Daily News, has just been posted on the internet site of the Boston Herald:

"Back in 1996, when she first became mayor," the story begins, "Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring books."

The commentary from the public, which follows the story, and which has appeared so rapidly that it is yet another testament to the timeliness and interest of the topic, makes very interesting reading.

For still more on the controversy, including a very interesting dissection of her career by one of the comment-writers, see:

The Obama campaign has reported that in the hours following Palin's speech they received over eight million dollars in internet donations.

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