PALIN’S BOOK-BANNING EFFORTS, REDUX…. Here’s what we know about Sarah Palin’s interest in banning books. Time reported last week that Palin asked the Wasilla librarian, Mary Ellen Baker, about the process for banning library books. Baker was reportedly “aghast” at the question. Soon after taking office, Palin, according to a New York Times report, fired Baker, and news reports from the time indicate that Palin thought Baker hadn’t done enough to give her “full support” to the mayor.
Palin reversed course on Baker’s dismissal after a local outcry, and later said the discussions about banning books were “rhetorical.”
Yesterday, ABC News’ Brian Ross moved the ball forward a bit, with an interesting report.
Ross emphasized an angle I previously hadn’t heard much about. Palin was elected mayor thanks in large part to the strong backing of her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, which, right around the time Palin took office, “began to focus on certain books available in local stores and in the town library, including one called ‘Go Ask Alice,’ and another one written by a local pastor, Howard Bess, called ‘Pastor, I am Gay.’”
Palin became mayor, her church was interested in censorship, and soon after, Palin asked a “rhetorical” question about how books might be excluded from the public library. When the librarian resisted, she was, at least initially, fired.
The line from the McCain campaign has been that Palin never had any interest whatsoever in banning library books. That seems increasingly difficult to believe.