Monday, September 8, 2008

Celebrate Banned Books Week with Sarah Palin: Sept. 27 - Oct. 4

Don't believe everything you read. Sarah Palin is not a book burner or banner, but she does tend toward small town cronyism. Reporting by the Boston Herald gets to the heart of the matter: Palin was willing to fire an employee for not complying with ideology and sent requests for resignation to administrators as "just a test of loyalty."

This morning I received an email sent and resent half a dozen times purporting to list books Sarah Palin wanted to ban from the Wasilla Public Library. Over four days the email has whipped up concern among intellectual freedom fans, book lovers,liberals and Obama supporters.

Looking like required reading for high schoolers with titles like A Clockwork Orange, Canterbury Tales, and Huckleberry Finn, the presence of a dictionary, Little Red Riding Hood, and Tarzan of the Apes suggest the list is fake. These just are not typical book banning choices for prudes or evangelicals.

But could it be true? Reporting by Time Magazine inspired the email rumor.

According to Time, former Wasilla mayor John 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." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor."

With that, the blogosphere was off and running, spinning yarns about lists.

Housecleaning with a new administration is standard procedure, but public librarians are not political appointees. They are civil servants who conform to professional standards and abide by ethics set forth by the American Library Association.

Maybe this is what ultimately qualifies her to be McCain's running mate: she's a political creature who values loyalty above professional standards and qualifications. If this is the case, the McCain Administration really could be Bush's third term.