Palin and Book Banning
Yesterday, I blogged on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s interview with The Anchorge Daily News, where she reflected on her time on the campaign trail.
There’s an exchange I didn’t mention then that I think is worth noting. Early on, Palin says she is frustrated that the media didn’t correct mistakes made about her record.
What kind of corrections weren’t made?
I thought Palin might try to defend herself against stories that she had billed the state for her children’s travel. Or the story The Los Angeles Times broke about how she hired a lobbyist to get federal earmarks for Wasilla.
It was the Harry Potter smear that went uncorrected!
The media reported that Palin had fired her local librarian after a discussion about book banning. I was the first reporter on the scene in the offices of the local paper, The Mat-Su Frontiersman, to check out the newspaper’s archives. Here on The Streak we were one of the first outlets to run a copy of the book-banning story.
The news was also included in the in-depth story that The New York Times ran on Palin’s time as mayor.
It was an anecdote that spread far and wide, but, as far as I know, no mainstream outlet accused Palin of successfully banning books, but just what had been reported at the time — that she broached the subject as mayor.
The accusation that Palin banned the Harry Potter series was part of an anonymous email making the rounds. I recall several people asking me if the email was real.
For Palin to say that the story was “reported” is a stretch. And it distracts from the story actually reported — that she did look into the possibility.
Update: I’m surprised. The press actually did hit back against the Harry Potter ban claims. A story in USA Today points out the the email circulating was in fact a fake.
I should also note that I said Palin had not directly responded to questions about her inquiries into banning books. The story includes a comment from a Palin campaign spokesman:
“Sarah Palin has never asked anyone to ban a book,” Griffin said. “It shouldn’t be surprising that the new mayor of a city that had seen recent protests over books and was in the process of re-evaluating the book-challenge policies at its library would ask the librarian what those policies were.”