Last week, a Democratic friend sent me the list of the books that Sarah Palin allegedly sought to remove from the Wasilla Public Library when she took office as Mayor of that Alaska city. Â That list included two Harry Potter books, both published afterÂ her alleged inquiry.
At the time, Palin “called her inquiries rhetorical and simply part of a policy discussion with a department head ‘about understanding and following administration agendas’.” When asked if any books were banned:
June Pinell-Stephens, chairwoman of the Alaska Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee since 1984, checked her files Wednesday and came up empty-handed.
So, while some lefty bloggers and their followers in the MSM are crying censorship, conservative bloggers and responsible journalists are investigating the story. Just like Ms. Pinell-Stephens, they’re coming up empty-handed.
Bob Owens uncovered the “official list of every book ever banned in Wasilla, AK” from the official source. The only book that was even close to banned was in 1986 (ten years before Palin took office). Todd Strasser’s Angel Dust Blues was moved to the newly-created Young Adult Section (Via Instapundit).
So, here we’ve got the MSM obsessing over an 12-year-old issue which doesn’t seem to have occupied much of the then-Mayor’s time. An issue which so concerned her that an overzealous media can find no evidence that she ever pursued the matter after her initial inquiries.
Palin would go on to serve as Mayor for another six years without ever again inquiring about removing books. As Ben Boychuk writes:
The worst one could infer is that Palin raised the censorship issue in an ill-advised effort to appease some constituents, met resistance and let the matter drop to pursue more mundane city business. Emmons and Palin’s political enemies are free to speculate and impugn motives all they want. But results matter. And the bottom line is, Palin didn’t ban anything. Not in 1996. Not in 1999 after the librarian resigned. Not in 2006 when she ran for governor.
I gotta admit. It was a dumb thing to try to remove books (even she even tried to do so–it seems she merely inquired about removing them). But, the record shows this was little more than a rookie mistake, made in the days right after her first election to executive office. Â
If this were a defining issue for her (as some on the lefty blogs seem to think), then how come she didn’t raise it again after she had established herself in local and then state politics?
The last time Sarah Palin inquired about banning books, Barack Obama had been associating with William Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist, for at least a year. Â Indeed, that association began before Palin’s mayoral election and continued at least through 1999 (three years after Palin’s last inquiry). Obama is the Democratic presidential nominee. Palin is the Republican vice presidential nominee.
And the MSM seems more interested a limited inquiry by Palin over a period of — at most — three months than in an ongoing relationship with Obama over a period of — at least — four years.