Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Factcheck.org on bogus Palin claims

Factcheck.org has a section up on "Sliming Palin." Check it before forwarding on emails, and reply to the authors who are spreading falsehoods.

Palin didn't cut Alaska's "special needs" education budget by 62% (she tripled it), she didn't ask for any books to be banned, she was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party (though her husband was), she didn't endorse Patrick Buchanan for president in 2000 (she wore a Buchanan button as a courtesy when Buchanan visited Wasilla, but worked for Steve Forbes' campaign), and she hasn't tried to put creationism in schools.

UPDATE (September 16, 2008): Apparently one of the books that Palin had inquired about how to challenge and remove from the library was a book by a local Palmer, AK pastor named Rev. Howard Bess titled, Pastor, I am Gay. It does appear that there were some particular books that caught her attention which is why she made the inquiry.

UPDATE (September 16, 2008): Philip Munger of Wasilla says that Palin is definitely a young-earth creationist:
In June 1997, both Palin and I had responsibilities at the graduation ceremony of a small group of Wasilla area home schoolers. I directed the Mat-Su College Community Band, which played music, and she gave the commencement address. It was held at her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God.

Palin had recently become Wasilla mayor, beating her earliest mentor, John Stein, the then-incumbent mayor. A large part of her campaign had been to enlist fundamentalist Christian groups, and invoke evangelical buzzwords into her talks and literature.

As the ceremony concluded, I bumped into her in a hall away from other people. I congratulated her on her victory, and took her aside to ask about her faith. Among other things, she declared that she was a young earth creationist, accepting both that the world was about 6,000-plus years old, and that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth at the same time.

I asked how she felt about the second coming and the end times. She responded that she fully believed that the signs of Jesus returning soon "during MY lifetime," were obvious. "I can see that, maybe you can't - but it guides me every day."
Surely there must be other witnesses besides Munger to her creationist views who can provide confirmation.


AIGBusted said...

Sarah Palin did attempt to remove books from the library, and I can prove it. See:




(Remove Spaces)

tom said...

Why not go read the article in question, which, far from being refuted by the evidence in your link, directly addresses it?

Factcheck.org is a pretty careful & reliable nonpartisan site. They debunk half truths as well as full blow lies; your claim that Palin "did attempt to remove books from the library", as well as the widely circulated follow-up that she fired the librarian for standing up to her, are in the former category (along with most of the other points Jim mentions).

In case you have any concerns about my motives: I despise Palin and would not even consider voting for McCain, largely because of her. But let us be careful about our reasons for opposing this despicable politician: it's not as if there's a shortage of legit evidence motivating that position.

Jim Lippard said...

aigbusted: Your source says "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."

As Tom observes, that's what Factcheck.org said, and what I said as well. Asking how to do something is not the same as trying to do it.

I agree completely with Tom--Sarah Palin is an awful candidate for many reasons, so there is no need to attack her with half-truths and falsehoods. That's counterproductive.

AIGBusted said...

I quote from the NY Times Article:

"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."

Unless the NY Times can be proven wrong, I don't know a single reason not to trust them.

Jim Lippard said...

We're not disagreeing with what the NY Times said, we're disagreeing with what you said, which is different. You said "Sarah Palin did attempt to remove books from the library, and I can prove it." The article you cited doesn't say that she attempted to remove books from the library, it says she asked about it. The quote you're pointing to now doesn't say she attempted to remove books from the library, it says she fired a librarian from the library, but then changed course. Actually, the specifics are that the librarian received a letter saying that she was going to be fired, but the firing is what Palin changed course on.

As I've already said, there are good reasons to oppose Palin, and firing a librarian for personal reasons is one. But that's different from "attempt[ing] to remove books from the library."

USA Today also has an article about this controversy.

tom said...

One gets the sense that aigbusted still hasn't read the Factcheck piece we're discussing, if he thinks that his last post disagrees with it. It takes about 2 min to read; well worth the time of anyone who wants to have an argument on this subject.

I'm not trying to be flippant, but the disagreement here consists entirely in aig's misconceptions of what we're talking about and what the Factcheck piece is claiming.

Hume's Ghost said...

I posted something titled "Palin is a book banner" ... I may go back and qualify it but given I had already linked and quoted the Time piece saying that she asked a librarian about removing books then tried to fire her for insufficient loyalty, which I would have expected to provide the context for understanding why I would call her a "book banner."

FactCheck.org is pretty good, but I'm still annoyed with their crappy Bush yellocake page.