Palin's animus toward books

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Overblown stories of Palin's book-banning desires are circulating, and it's time to set the record straight:

Sarah Palin never officially ordered that any books be removed from libraries, although she did fire a librarian who was not sufficiently enthusiastic about Palin's "hypothetical" censorship questions. (The librarian was reinstated after public outcry proved too embarrassing for Palin.)

An interesting incident is revealed in this NYT article about Palin's penchant for secrecy and rampant cronyism in office:

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."

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 [Palin's campaign manager] 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."

Palin's attitude is all-too-typical of the Right's animus toward books: learning is scorned, ignorance is preferred to curiosity, and dogma is exalted over knowledge.

Look, I know we liberals badly want to win this election, but let's not start acting like Republicans by circulating bogus emails. We don't need to lie to win, because the truth is more damaging to McCain and Palin than anything else.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 14, 2008 1:20 PM.

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