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Sarah Palin to Librarian: Ban These Books Or You're Fired!

Gary sends me a link this morning to Time magazine about Palin’s time as mayor:

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.

Just what this country needs: a book-banning, anti-librarian, micro-managing martinet (or is that martinette?) as President.

Update: A Wild West commenter assumed incorrectly I was referring to a New York Times article. No, it it really is a Time Magazine piece. But hey, let’s look in the New York Times this morning… gosh and crackers, they’ve got an independently reported tidbit about Sarah Palin’s anti-librarian antics as well:

Shortly after becoming mayor, former city officials and Wasilla residents said, Ms. Palin approached the town librarian about the possibility of banning some books, though she never followed through and it was unclear which books or passages were in question.

Ann Kilkenny, a Democrat who said she attended every City Council meeting in Ms. Palin’s first year in office, said Ms. Palin brought up the idea of banning some books at one meeting. “They were somehow morally or socially objectionable to her,” Ms. Kilkenny said.

The librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, pledged to “resist all efforts at censorship,” Ms. Kilkenny recalled. Ms. Palin fired Ms. Emmons shortly after taking office but changed course after residents made a strong show of support. Ms. Emmons, who left her job and Wasilla a couple of years later, declined to comment for this article.

19 thoughts on “Sarah Palin to Librarian: Ban These Books Or You're Fired!”

  1. BufflowBill says:

    Let’s see, I’m not for Palin, but “Stein” was the former mayor whom Sarah Palin defeated in a hotly contested local race. The actual person he’s talking about, Baker the librarian, could “not be reached for comment”, even though the librarian sounds like she easily could have an axe to grind.

    A normal person might reasonably take Stein’s remarks with a grain of salt. The same article quotes his campaign manager: “…St. George worked on Stein’s campaign at the time, and while he says he has no reason to dispute Stein’s recollection of events, he doesn’t remember Palin’s conduct being beyond the pale….”

    The source (and proof for) the Times story seems a bit weak. Your repeating it as a statement of fact, ” Sarah Palin to Librarian: Ban These Books Or You’re Fired! ” is also pretty weak.

  2. Jim says:

    It’s a Time story, not a Times story. Time Magazine. And you forgot the bit where Time finds that Sarah Palin tried to have this librarian fired for bucking her martinette authority.

  3. BufflowBill says:

    Supported by this quote from the article?”…but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving “full support” to the mayor….”

    And that’s reports from the time, not Time.
    No source listed, vague reference, bad journalism.

    I’ll stick with all weak support, true fact or not.

  4. Jim says:

    Two stories now, Bill, the second with an attributed quote.

  5. J. Clifford says:

    BB, the article is from TIME magazine. But here’s another source: An article written in the Washington Independent:

    “In this role, Palin acted in a way that eerily foreshadows her recent actions while governor. Early in her tenure as mayor, the city council threatened to recall her over accusations that she fired the city’s police chief, Irl Stambaugh, and the library director, Mary Ellen Emmons, without warning. She accused them in a letter saying: “’I do not feel I have your full support in my efforts to govern the city of Wasilla. Therefore I intend to terminate your employment’ …”

    In a comment on that article, Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny wrote:

    “She’s not very tolerant of divergent opinions or open to outside ideas
    or compromise. As Mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t generated by
    her or her staff. Ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits, but on the
    basis of who proposed them.

    While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected
    City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from
    the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents
    rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin’s
    attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew
    her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the
    Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.”

    That’s a firsthand source, and many other sources refer to this attempt to fire the librarian and censor books in the library. The story is strong.

  6. Tom says:

    Ol’ BufflowBill seems to have a little problem with reality, like Sam. i can just see him watching the news with his fingers in his ears, saying “Yayayayaya. . .” loudly until the parts he doesn’t want to hear are over with.

    He may not be for Palin, but he probably doesn’t mind McCain (since he won’t see any dissent from outside the venue as being relevant or even on the mainstream news).

  7. BufflowBill says:

    What a bunch of suck-hole, ad-hominem nonsense.

    Oh, and accuracy police: I should have typed
    Time’s story, not the Times story. Another big deal (you’ve mentioned it twice now) out of nothing.

    Your first post was weakly supported, that’s all. You seem to have a huge chip on your shoulder. Looking at your writings, I can understand why.

    Now at least you’ve researched it a little better, although the quoted Kilkenny sounds a bit nutty:”…People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day..”

    I read the whole “comment” that was posted. Is it true? Was that the real “anne kilkenny”? That’s where you draw stories from, comment postings to a rag magazine? A person who has been hating her since 1996?
    I read the other article as well. Funny how the fired police chief and this librarian won’t comment. I guess they’ve all been either paid off or strong-armed. Hell, Sarah Palin probably threatened to kill them herself with her NRA-sponsored AK-47.

    I don’t necessarily agree with either her views or McCain’s for that matter, but the absolute trashing of her by media and liberals alike is just too, too funny (or sad) to watch.

  8. J. Clifford says:

    BB, who’s got the chip on the shoulder?

    What “absolute trashing”???

    She’s running for Vice President of the United States of America, in line to become President right behind the elderly John McCain, for goodness sakes!

    We’re not trashing. We’re examining her record, which is a heckuva lot more than McCain did.

  9. Jim says:

    “ad hominem nonsense”?

    Noting Sarah Palin’s pro-censorship stance and her penchant for using power to punish underlings isn’t ad hominem nonsense; it’s talking about what she’s done with the power of her office. That’s quite relevant to considering what she would do it she were president.

    Kissy kissy from your reliable suck-hole,


  10. Sam says:

    So…her hassling a libraian is more inportanat than Obama’s realtionship and direct influance by Bill Aires, a known violent anti-American terrorist…well….so much for progressives view of importance….

  11. Jim says:

    Aha! And so I see that you don’t care one whit about the massive collision destroying the Earth’s crust and forming the moon! How could you have failed to mention this event, known to be of greater significance to world history? Well, so much for your view of importance!

  12. J. Clifford says:

    Not “hassling a librarian”, Sam. Threatening a librarian with the loss of her job unless the librarian censored books that didn’t fit Sarah Palin’s extremist ideology.

    Are you for censoring books now too, Sam?

  13. BufflowBill says:

    The comments by “Tom” attacking me personally, “..watching the news with fingers in his ears..” is definitely ad hominem nonsense.

    And to the quote above, the Time article quoting her defeated mayoral opponent Stein, says “…because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them…” So was she answering to the majority in that town? Do you really know? The majority of our country still favors banning child pornography, although there is a definite minority that does think that adults sexually abusing children is “OK” behavior. That is an example of majority rule forcing their beliefs down the throats of a minority group. Are you for child pornography?

    Or do you at least support that child porno is a choice best left up to the individuals involved? If a 40 year old and a boy both agree to have anal sex and then film it, what’s the problem with that, as long as their are both in love and are willing? or at least willing?

    If you don’t support that, then you must admit there are extreme cases where the majority viewpoint of our citizens can block (or at least legislate against or ban) the freedom of choice for someone else, where most of them agree that this behaviour is reprehensible.

    If you don’t support the freedoms mentioned above, perhaps the members of NAMBLA would find your ideology “extremist”. It’s then just a matter of degrees. You might find the library’s books in question acceptable, the majority of the residents in a mostly conservative Alaska town might find them as objectionable as child porn.

    Or I suppose that only your opinion is valid?
    Welcome to NAMBLA!

  14. Jim says:

    Right. There was child pornography in the library, and if we don’t agree with you we must be members of NAMBLA.

    Uh huh. Boy, you sure have jumped the shark.

  15. J. Clifford says:

    BB the Troll. I get it. Here: You have my attention. Chew on it for a while. Savor it. Now, you don’t need to continue to say silly things such as suggesting that the librarian of Wasilla was promoting child pornography. You just want us to notice that you exist. Okay. I notice.

    Feel better, BB?

  16. BufflowBill says:

    I did not suggest the librarian was promoting anything of the sort; you must be having trouble reading, or perhaps in your mind you’d like to think that I did. I merely presented a scenario. People have different standards, and I presented an extreme example.

    So which is it for you boys? Does everything go, or do some people have choices of what they want to present in public as acceptable?

    Where is the line where disagreements on decency ends and censorship begins? Where does majority rule of law or standard end? Where does allowing a minority viewpoint become unacceptable? Do you have a concrete, logical viewpoint on that?

    Or just more nonsense?

  17. Jim says:

    Which is it, Buffalow Bill? Is the day when you prefer to breathe, OR do you like to breathe at night? Do you like all flavors of ice cream, or is only one flavor of ice cream acceptable to you?

    If you want to understand the role of majority rule versus liberty in American law, read the Constitution. If you want to figure out how to keep from reading a book you don’t like, ask a librarian how library cards work. He or she can help you to the dictionary, where you can look up the word “choice.”

    Funny you should talk about decency, Mr. “Suck-hole.” I choose to interpret your words as a sublimated come-on. It’s very flattering, but really, I’m taken.

  18. Sam says:

    Well…like I said before…if you use the articles from the NY TImes as gospel…(oops…God reference, sorry…) than anything I pull from Fox News has just as much weight….so, I say again…she may have hassled a libraraian for not allowing pron in the library…which, as a matter of fact we control in our libraries as well but it’s a non-story….

  19. Gary says:

    What *ARE* you talking about? You (Sam) and Buffalow Bill are the only ones with porn on their minds here. There are several stories from several sources reporting on this abuse of power, reports ranging from the New York Times and Time magazine to the local Frontiersman and the Anchorage Daily News.

    Are you being willfully ignorant or just ignorant?

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