Palin and book banning, redux

PALIN AND BOOK BANNING, REDUX…. I’ve been following the story about Sarah Palin’s book-banning efforts pretty closely, and noticed that the New York Times profile on Palin’s governing style had some additional insights on the subject.

For years, social conservatives [in Wasilla] had pressed the library director to remove books they considered immoral.

“People would bring books back censored,” recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin’s predecessor. “Pages would get marked up or torn out.”

Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.

But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book “Daddy’s Roommate” on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

“Sarah said she didn’t need to read that stuff,” Ms. Chase said. “It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn’t even read it.”

“I’m still proud of Sarah,” she added, “but she scares the bejeebers out of me.”

The line from the McCain campaign has been that Palin never had any interest whatsoever in banning library books. Palin herself has described this as “an old wives’ tale.” The evidence to the contrary is pretty overwhelming.