For years, social conservatives 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.”
….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.”
Two things to note, briefly:
1) This could potentially be the explanation of the discrepancy I mentioned in the previous post — Emmons referring to an incident when Palin was still a councilwoman but no specific book challenge presented during that time period in the city’s accounting of such things. It’s still somewhat vague, though, and the implication here is that Palin herself had a direct concern where the Frontiersman story refers to some other challenge.
Regardless, the basic attitude shown by Palin here is not exactly pretty, setting aside whatever moral issues the book itself argues over (you can probably guess where I stand). Contrast this with the statement on censorship from the Wasilla city government which I’ve referred to a couple of times now — to quote a key section:
Many books are controversial and any given item may offend some persons. However, selections for this library will not be made on the basis of anticipated approval or disapproval, but solely on the merits of the material in relation to the building of the collection and to serving the interests of all readers. This library holds censorship to be a purely individual matter and declares that – while anyone is free to reject for himself books and other materials of which he does not approve – he cannot exercise this right of censorship to restrict the freedom of others.
Apparently Palin believes this might not always apply, though.
2. The ‘Ms. Chase’ referred to in the story is Laura Chase — and as the story describes her earlier, she was “the campaign manager during Ms. Palin’s first run for mayor in 1996.” Therefore, not exactly an enemy or opponent, clearly Palin and Chase already had a friendship in place beforehand, thus this book discussion incident.
The implication is somewhat obvious, given what I’ve quoted — if one’s own former *campaign manager* can mix pride with flatly stating one is a frightening person, it might be hoped one would want to maybe take a few things on board about oneself.
The rest of the story is well worth reading on other fronts. Personally I’d say if Palin has an assistant who calls around and bugs opposing bloggers that she might need to hire more people these days…
[EDIT — a quick non-library addition here: over at Andrew Halcro’s blog, he notes how there’s been a pretty ham-handed attempt to blame the Troopergate solely on ‘the Democrats,’ which is a ridiculous twisting of the facts regarding the nature of the investigation. The deciding vote on the subpoena yesterday was by a Republican, for instance, while the State Senate President who will okay the issuing of those subpoenas is also Republican. Halcro adds this killer touch in his post:
The committee who voted to support the subpoenas included four Republicans, all conservative, all McCain supporters. On my radio show following the hearing, Representative Jay Ramras (R-Fairbanks) said any allegations of partisanship were insulting.
“I’ve had a McCain sign in my yard since August 21 and I’m a proud supporter. My committee is comprised of staunch Republicans who also feel that this process is about getting to the facts.”
Ramras’s official page is here if anyone would care to go through it trying to find secret signs he’s really a Democrat, say. I suspect such a person might be wrong there, though.]