Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Palin--Against Freedom of Expression?

I already had plenty of reasons to think that Sarah Palin was a less than inspired choice for Republican vice-presidential candidate. This Time magazine article gave me yet another reason to oppose her candidacy. As mayor of tiny Wasilla, Alaska, Palin ordered city department heads not to talk to reporters without her permission. According to John Stein, her predecessor, defeated by Palin in the mayoral race, "as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. 'She asked the library how she could go about banning books,' ... 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." Banning books is hardly a new phenomenon, but it seems more important than ever that librarians support freedom of expression by participating in the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, which this year is September 27-October 4.

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