"Palin Derangement Syndrome strikes again." -- M. Malkin September 6, 2008 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Jessamyn linked by Michelle Malkin. Congratulations may not be in order, but it's interesting how fast this spread.

The only reason I saw this, incidentally, was that the banned book list was forwarded to me and I googled it. Second result is Malkin, fourth is Metafilter's own jessamyn. (Too bad about the order.)
posted by voltairemodern to MetaFilter-Related at 9:23 AM (98 comments total)

Oh, and if you don't want to give Malkin any hits, this is the post she links to.
posted by voltairemodern at 9:26 AM on September 6, 2008


My only problem is that Malkin is trying to spin this into a "She never banned a book, so the story is all lies dreamed up by liberals!" when really, it's that no one disputes that she talked publicly at a council meeting and privately with the head librarian about how to remove books, but never went through with it. Also, some anonymous commenter* posted a fake list, but that doesn't undercut the truth of the story.

Never going through with banning books does not equal "the entire story is a smear fabricated by The Left"


* not to get all indymedia truther about it, but you could see how someone could make a fake comment like that which gets refuted instantly and propagated through the rightwing noise machine to take the meat out of the story and let the book banning story be changed into "it never happened so she never did it and is innocent" -- I really wonder if the IP on that comment is from a campaign/congressional/news organization but I'm sure they've learned to cover that as well and just use a random cable modem somewhere.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:36 AM on September 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


Damn. I'd already clicked.
posted by Stewriffic at 9:36 AM on September 6, 2008


In related news, me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:42 AM on September 6, 2008 [13 favorites]


In related news, me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream.

For some reason, I always picture this man when Manson is mentioned.
posted by djgh at 9:45 AM on September 6, 2008


Cortex: I'm more into Timothy McVeigh's ice cream.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 9:46 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


this man...stupid link doing stupid things because of a stupid user...
posted by djgh at 9:46 AM on September 6, 2008


cortex: In related news, me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream.

Giant donut ice cream?

That picture will always return to haunt you, damn hippie!
posted by Kattullus at 9:48 AM on September 6, 2008


God, I hate politics and this political/internet pundit crap. Sorry to turn this thread into a Palin thread, but this is classic Karl Rove bullshit where you spin a huge story with multiple facets into a negative for your opponent by attacking one very minor tidbit that relates to one facet of the larger story, and you not only do that to take the wind out of the story but you claim it was done by the other campaign's attack dogs.

Sorry I fell for the bait, but I really hate the way Malkin writes these bullshit polemics.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:48 AM on September 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Not only that, but she called concerned librarians "hysterical."
posted by hydrophonic at 9:51 AM on September 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


Hitler liked schnitzel. What does that say about YOU?
posted by blue_beetle at 9:56 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ewww, getting linked to by Malkin is like having a rabid toy poodle run up to you out of nowhere and spray you with its mouth foam while it barks in your face.
posted by The Straightener at 10:01 AM on September 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


In related news, me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream.

Sir, step away from the piglet, NOW.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:02 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


At times, reading through the comments on that thread was like punching myself in the face.

And I have to say, I had the same thought mathowie did.
posted by inigo2 at 10:08 AM on September 6, 2008


On the bright side, at least O'Reilly wasn't a complete jerk in writing his post-interview opinion of Obama. I was astounded.
posted by voltairemodern at 10:16 AM on September 6, 2008


In related news, me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream.
posted by cortex at 12:42 PM on September 6 [2 favorites +] [!]


EGAD!!! I never pegged cortex as a Tori Amos fan! yay!!!!
posted by matty at 10:21 AM on September 6, 2008


The real lowdown on the library censorship business is to be found in a link from a comment by hydrophonic, and I think it's actually worse than any of the rumors:

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.
posted by jamjam at 10:24 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't blame me - It would never occur to me to connect Gov. Palin with books. Her son is off to become cannon fodder at 19 - no college? Her 17 year old daughter will be a teen age mom - will she finish high school? And this temple of intellect is to be a 72-year-old heart beat away from the presidency? This NRA member might have control of the nuclear stockpile? What are Republicans thinking?
posted by Cranberry at 10:34 AM on September 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


In related news, me and Charles Manson like the same ice cream.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for the new 'Blood of the Innocents' ice cream.
posted by jamjam at 10:35 AM on September 6, 2008


I'd just like to take this moment to say "Fuck Michelle Malkin." Worst trashy right-wing asshole ever.
posted by nevercalm at 10:50 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Really? Worse than Coulter?
posted by Brittanie at 10:55 AM on September 6, 2008


Never going through with banning books does not equal "the entire story is a smear fabricated by The Left"

in the real world among rational people, yes, but in electoral politics it does equal exactly that -- it's not a rational business, it's all about boiling things down to very basic, crude terms; did she ban any books? no, she didn't ban any. period. the fact that she may have wanted to doesn't cut it. and attacking someone with a lame weapon inoculates them against subsequent attacks on the same issues. that's why the Obama campaign seems to be extremely wary of going on the offensive with Palin, because they understand this rule.

as of now, the "censorship" line of attack is a limp noodle. the more you wave a limp noodle while growling, the sillier you look. Malkin -- as most Republican operatives do -- understands this game very well.
posted by matteo at 10:56 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Her son is off to become cannon fodder at 19 - no college?

Many, many people join the military expressly to take advantage of the GI bill and let the military foot their college costs. I almost did, and I'm a bright guy. Not that you could tell by some of my comments here, but that's another story. I ultimately decided that I didn't want to spend four years of my life beholden to some organization with no escape clause surrounded by the sort of people I never really cared for in high school.

I have no idea what the salary for an Alaska governor is, but I haven't gotten the impression that the Palin family is independently wealthy. Her son might genuinely need to go through the military to afford college.

That's probably not his motivations at all, but that doesn't mean it's not possible.
posted by Caduceus at 10:59 AM on September 6, 2008


Really? Worse than Coulter?

Depends. Evidence points to Coulter being a huge ol' hypocrite, while Malkin seems to genuinely believe her bullshit. So you really have to pick whether faking trashy rightwing assholishness for the cash and the fame or totally meaning every crazy word they say is worse.
posted by Caduceus at 11:05 AM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for an enterprising reporter to ask Palin straight out "Did you want to ban books in that library, and if so, which books?" And if she says "No", then the followup is, "So why, when you became mayor, did you ask the librarian if she'd be comfortable banning some books?" It would be nice to hear also from the librarian, who has been on vacation this week. Maybe Jessamyn can get hold of her for the scoop.
posted by beagle at 11:26 AM on September 6, 2008


I'm waiting for an enterprising reporter to ask Palin straight out "Did you want to ban books in that library, and if so, which books?" And if she says "No", then the followup is, "So why, when you became mayor, did you ask the librarian if she'd be comfortable banning some books?"

if you're really waiting, you'll need a lot of coffee.
posted by matteo at 12:06 PM on September 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


as of now, the "censorship" line of attack is a limp noodle. the more you wave a limp noodle while growling, the sillier you look. Malkin -- as most Republican operatives do -- understands this game very well.

Hasn't it ever occurred to you, matteo, that you attribute to "Republican operatives" approximately the same level of power in the world the ancient Israelites did to Yahweh, and that you are by far the most (hysterically) dedicated worshiper of the American far right Metafilter has ever seen?

I mean, really, hasn't it?
posted by jamjam at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2008


I'm reassured to see that Malkin wrote "West has done the right thing". I'm sure that will help Jessamyn sleep at night.
posted by lukemeister at 12:28 PM on September 6, 2008


Hasn't it ever occurred to you, matteo, that you attribute to "Republican operatives" approximately the same level of power in the world the ancient Israelites did to Yahweh

Seems to me that getting Bush reelected in '04 had to have taken about the same level of power as the ancient Israelites attributed to Yahweh.
posted by Caduceus at 12:29 PM on September 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


Seems to me that getting Bush reelected in '04 had to have taken about the same level of power as the ancient Israelites attributed to Yahweh.

I followed the 2004 US elections quite closely, but never once did I see a burning bush.
posted by daniel_charms at 12:50 PM on September 6, 2008


with no escape clause surrounded by the sort of people I never really cared for in high school.

Joining the military never entered my mind. Not something I'm interested in and not my lifestyle. But I've lived in a military town and been around the military my entire life. It's composed of people of all kinds. Yes, I understand the type you're referring to, but they're simply the loudest, and your generality is unfair to many in the military.

Shorter version: You would only be surrouned by the sort of people you never cared for in high school only if you cared for no one.
posted by justgary at 1:01 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hasn't it ever occurred to you, matteo, that you attribute to "Republican operatives" approximately the same level of power in the world the ancient Israelites did to Yahweh

Speaking of hyperbole ... I'm just sayin'. I mean, Yahweh's awfully BIG.

Wow. This is even more hilarious than that time Maglalang thought Rachel Ray was a terrorist.

Ever since Fox News fired her, Maglalang keeps bringing the crazy home, bigger and better, every time. I really wouldn't be surprised to hear some day that she's gone on a rampage and shot up a school or a mall or something.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:03 PM on September 6, 2008


Dude almost killed himself with a pretzel. He'll set himself on fire eventually.

I wish with all my heart that one of Bush's daughters were the lesbian instead of Cheney's daughter. The burning/flaming Bush jokes would write themselves.
posted by Caduceus at 1:05 PM on September 6, 2008


"Not only that, but she called concerned librarians "hysterical."

I would say this was pot calling kettle, but Jessamyn, and most other librarians I know, are about far from hysterical, whereas Michelle Malkin... I mean, I guess she has the right to say whatever she wants, but it seems a more appropriate platform for her ideas would be standing in the back corner of a parking lot screaming at a trash can.

And it utterly nauseates me that this will be spun to make that chapter in Sarah Palin's history go away. That they're going to use a mistake to craft a lie.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:07 PM on September 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


well, unlike the Lord, there is definitive proof that the Republican party does in fact exist -- 7 Presidential elections won in the last 10 contests are there to prove it. one hopes it doesn't take them to go up to 8/11 to make their existence evident to even the densest among us -- like you.
posted by matteo at 1:10 PM on September 6, 2008


8/11. Wear your flag lapel pin with hono(u)r.
posted by nevercalm at 1:18 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


8/11 NEVAR FORGET
posted by Rumple at 1:33 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had to close that thread at librarian.net because i'm having a birthday party tonight. What does it mean when MM says you're doing something right?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:44 PM on September 6, 2008


It means happy birthday Jessamyn!
posted by Sailormom at 1:48 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I had to close that thread at librarian.net because i'm having a birthday party tonight. What does it mean when MM says you're doing something right?
posted by jessamyn at 4:44 PM on September 6 [+] [!]



Sign of the apocalypse?
(I kid, I kid....)
posted by konolia at 1:53 PM on September 6, 2008


My favorite comment in Malkin's thread: "As am I. Palin’s acceptance speech brought a tear to my eye. For once after 2 years of oppressing democratic rule, I have hope for something better."

That's just ten pounds of head-'splode-worthiness right there.
posted by WCityMike at 2:03 PM on September 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Happy birthday, Jessamyn! Enjoy your party. I hope you have a hysterical time.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:14 PM on September 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


For once after 2 years of oppressing democratic rule

She speaks truth! Democratic rule has indeed been oppressed.
posted by lukemeister at 2:24 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joining the military never entered my mind. Not something I'm interested in and not my lifestyle. But I've lived in a military town and been around the military my entire life. It's composed of people of all kinds. Yes, I understand the type you're referring to, but they're simply the loudest, and your generality is unfair to many in the military.

Excuse me, I misphrased. I should have written "working with" instead of "surrounded by" and "didn't get along with" instead of "didn't care for."

The only people I actively don't care for are Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and people who get a stick up their ass over sub-optimal wording in a comment that is defending people who choose to go into the military.
posted by Caduceus at 2:27 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


As am I. Palin’s acceptance speech brought a tear to my eye. For once after 2 years of oppressing democratic rule, I have hope for something better.

Wow. Oppressing democratic rule, huh? That is really depressing to read.
posted by voltairemodern at 2:34 PM on September 6, 2008


JW+MM=BF4EVAR
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:36 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


What does it mean when MM says you're doing something right?

It means that 'trying to be fair' inevitably empowers the 21st Century Fascists whose goal is to be anything but.

But if MM is getting crazier, does that mean Mr. Malkin isn't writing most of her material anymore?
posted by wendell at 3:32 PM on September 6, 2008


It means you're so awesome even the crazies who wouuld usually never notice awesomeness notice your blindingly awesome awesomeness.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:40 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or maybe the MetaFilter Contrarian Society arranged for it as their birthday present to Jess.
posted by wendell at 3:53 PM on September 6, 2008


she called concerned librarians "hysterical."

Hysterical Librarians would be a great band name. Seriously.
posted by jonmc at 4:51 PM on September 6, 2008


Hysterical Librarians would be a great band name. Seriously.


Jessamyn and the Hysterical Librarians.

A novel band you want to book.
posted by Rumple at 4:56 PM on September 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


A novel band you want to book.

Or ban, if you're a governor from Alaska.
posted by inigo2 at 5:00 PM on September 6, 2008


Or unpublish, if you're the governor of boingboing
posted by Rumple at 5:00 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hysterical is a sexist term

bitches
posted by Mister_A at 5:19 PM on September 6, 2008


A novel book you want to burn?
posted by Mister_A at 5:19 PM on September 6, 2008


So you turned 40 and got called out by the Wicked Witch of the West the same week. Daaaaamn.
posted by Mister_A at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2008


This is almost like getting called out by a Stormfront or similar site. I feel dirty for having clicked on that deranged bigot's link.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2008


Jessamyn and the Hysterical Librarians.

A novel band you want to book.


I hear they do a lot of hard covers.
posted by jonmc at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


The more important question is: what does My Friend Amy think about this?
posted by brain_drain at 6:10 PM on September 6, 2008



Jessamyn and the Hysterical Librarians.

A novel band you want to book.

I hear they do a lot of hard covers.


But do they do first editions?
posted by Sparx at 6:16 PM on September 6, 2008


Well played, sparx.
posted by jonmc at 6:23 PM on September 6, 2008


Jessamyn and the Hysterical Librarians.

A novel band you want to book.

I hear they do a lot of hard covers.


PS3545 E8315Z88
posted by Rumple at 6:28 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


she talked publicly at a council meeting and privately with the head librarian about how to remove books, but never went through with it.

Matt, you're missing a big part of the story. Palin did indeed send a letter of termination to the librarian, as well as the police chief, leading local residents to threaten a recall campaign soon after her election. Andrew Sullivan posted excerpts from the relevant 1997 Anchorage Daily News article:

Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin fired the city's police chief and the library director without warning Thursday, accusing them of not fully supporting her efforts to govern. Irl Stambaugh and Mary Ellen Emmons said letters signed by Palin were dropped on their desks Thursday afternoon telling them their jobs were over as of Feb. 13 and that they no longer needed to report to work.

(The story is corroborated in that letter making the rounds from longtime Wasilla resident Anne Kilkenny.)

Of course, Palin lied when asked about the firings, denying she'd fired anyone:

Stambaugh's response was to read part of the letter given to him. ''Although I appreciate your service as police chief, I've decided it's time for a change. 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. . . . '' ''If that's not a letter of termination, I don't know what is,'' he said.

Kilkenny says it was only after outcry from local residents that Palin rescinded her letter of termination and allowed the librarian to stay. It's a shame the fake banned books list is drawing attention away from the truth of the episode, because what actually happened - a preemptive firing *absent* even a remotely specific cause, say, an objectionable library book - reveals Palin to be an absolute shitstain on library issues.

The list is fake, yes, but the Palin-as-autocrat-moralist-asshole story remains very, very, very real.
posted by mediareport at 6:30 PM on September 6, 2008 [4 favorites]


More details in this Boston Herald article:

In December 1996, Emmons told her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman, that Palin three times asked her -- starting before she was sworn in -- about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose. Emmons told the Frontiersman she flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship. Emmons, now Mary Ellen Baker, is on vacation from her current job in Fairbanks and did not return e-mail or telephone messages left for her Wednesday.

When the matter came up for the second time in October 1996, during a City Council meeting, Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla housewife who often attends council meetings, was there. "Sarah said to Mary Ellen, ’What would your response be if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?" Kilkenny said.

"I was shocked. Mary Ellen sat up straight and said something along the line of, ’The books in the Wasilla Library collection were selected on the basis of national selection criteria for libraries of this size, and I would absolutely resist all efforts to ban books.’"

Palin didn’t mention specific books at that meeting, Kilkenny said. Palin herself, questioned at the time, called her inquiries rhetorical and simply part of a policy discussion with a department head "about understanding and following administration agendas," according to the Frontiersman article.

Were any books censored 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...Books may not have been pulled from library shelves, but there were other repercussions for Emmons.

Four days before the exchange at the City Council, Emmons got a letter from Palin asking for her resignation. Similar letters went to police chief Irl Stambaugh, public works director Jack Felton and finance director Duane Dvorak. John Cooper, a fifth director, resigned after Palin eliminated his job overseeing the city museum.

posted by mediareport at 6:42 PM on September 6, 2008


Wouldn't surprise me to find that the fake list was concocted by Palin backers to try to finesse the censorship issue the way the disputed letter about Bush's military service did that issue.
posted by jamjam at 6:46 PM on September 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


The new Repub tv commercial is already out there...
posted by inigo2 at 6:51 PM on September 6, 2008


It's a shame the fake banned books list is drawing attention away from the truth of the episode

What a coincidence.
posted by mlis at 6:52 PM on September 6, 2008


does anyone have a list of banned scarfs for miss scarfbat?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:11 PM on September 6, 2008


A novel band you want to book.

Or ban, if you're a governor from Alaska.
posted by inigo2 at 5:00 PM on September 6 [+] [!] [quote]Other [2/3]: «≡»


Or unpublish, if you're the governor of boingboing
posted by Rumple at 5:00 PM on September 6 [+] [!] [quote]Other [3/4]: «≡»


Or craft under pseudonym, if you're the governer of GiveWell.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:57 PM on September 6, 2008


And this temple of intellect is to be a 72-year-old heart beat away from the presidency?

Hey, the USA gave the "CEO President" a chance. That edumacation thing didn't turn out so well for the country now, did it? Once burned, twice shy: clearly, it's just plain safer to leave the country in the hands of an n00b luser.

Maybe all y'all can get her to agree to hire an administrator to do all the real work for her. I hear there's a guy who used to do community organization shit that might be good at the job.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:21 PM on September 6, 2008


fff: CEOs are not necessarily brilliant. I was one. But people who have been taught to think and analyze are better candidates for running a country.
posted by Cranberry at 11:23 PM on September 6, 2008


It seems to me the librarian-firing fits in with the overall theme of Palin's action in office: she fired a shitload of people with the goal of replacing them with loyalists and cronies.

I believe this is known as the "Good job, Brownie" philosophy of leadership.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:27 PM on September 6, 2008


Could not read the I'd just like to take this moment to say "Fuck Michelle Malkin." link. Read the other entirely. Does MM at least mention that someone posted the list, and almost instantly people suggested it was fake? Hystercial my cheese-eating ass.

I don't think anyone is going to ask Palin about this, because as far as I know she is still not doing unscripted interviews.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 1:48 AM on September 7, 2008


Who is Michelle Malkin?
posted by telstar at 2:08 AM on September 7, 2008


What are Republicans thinking?

The only plausible guess I've managed so far is that they're thinking: distraction, distraction, distraction. By turning their own side of the campaign into a total three-ring circus, all the media attention moves to them. If you create enough noise, most people won't even notice the huge sucking sound made by the vortex of the memory hole.

Since Palin burst on the scene, how much coverage is former media darling Obama actually getting? Nowhere near as much. Given that one of his key skills is the power of his oratory, reducing the public's exposure to that will surely work against him.

Palin may well be a trainwreck, but as long as she's a spectacular trainwreck, the election continues to get fought more by showbiz than on policy. Given the incoherence of most of the Republican policy positions, this can only help their chances.

It's change we can belie... ooo, shiny! Leave Britney alone!
posted by flabdablet at 6:58 AM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


What I think people may be missing in all this commotion is that the police chief of Wasilla has the best first name ever. Irl!
posted by voltairemodern at 8:01 AM on September 7, 2008


Also, Telstar, I was really hoping for more of a biography or, I don't know, a story about MM's past. That really doesn't tell me much about "who she is."
posted by voltairemodern at 8:04 AM on September 7, 2008


I feel dirty for having clicked on that deranged bigot's link.

It was the first time I've ever ventured onto a right-wing site that allows comments. Aren't they peculiar people?

There's a guy there who just keeps on insisting that everyone is an evil collectivist member of the hive mind. Any attempt at civil conversation with people who disagree with them appears to be impossible because they're so threatened/angry. And while I'm usually the last person to call anybody racist, they sure do seem to be obsessed with some percieved threat posed by Mexicans, and miss the days when a book like Huckleberry Finn (oh, excuse me, that should be The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- like any of those people have actually read a real book since they closed The Fountainhead at college) could call a black man a nigger with impunity.

Some FrootLoop was even bemoaning the passing of indentured servitude and I couldn't help wondering if it was a coded cry to bring back slavery.

I felt as though I'd boarded the Tardis and landed in some Bizzaro parallell universe. Not because I disagreed with them. Simply because they're all so furiously angry and retarded at the same time.

Must suck to be them.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:01 AM on September 7, 2008 [2 favorites]


voltairemodern, actually Alex Jones (who's that?) expresses quite eloquently and loudly much of what you need to know about Michelle Malkin in the linked video.
posted by telstar at 3:47 PM on September 7, 2008


Alex Jones is one of the few people who can make Michelle Malkin look sane. If you've seen the ranting guy in Waking Life - that's Alex!
posted by lukemeister at 3:57 PM on September 7, 2008


Palin may well be a trainwreck, but as long as she's a spectacular trainwreck, the election continues to get fought more by showbiz than on policy.

That would make it completely different to every US presidential election in living memory.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:02 PM on September 7, 2008


matt writes: * not to get all indymedia truther about it, but you could see how someone could make a fake comment like that which gets refuted instantly and propagated through the rightwing noise machine to take the meat out of the story and let the book banning story be changed into "it never happened so she never did it and is innocent"

The identical post is turning up on progressive websites all over. One person posted it to HuffingtonPost in two different threads today using an identity that's never commented before. So I don't think you're out there at all, I suspect that that's just exactly how it's being played.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:52 PM on September 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you've seen the ranting guy in Waking Life - that's Alex!

Would this be something I'd need a TV to know about?
posted by telstar at 2:39 AM on September 8, 2008


Actually Waking Life was a strange movie directed by Linklater in 2001. Probably worth a viewing if you haven't seen it yet, but mostly for its (very strange) style rather than substance.
posted by voltairemodern at 4:48 AM on September 8, 2008


I was going to post a fake "best wishes on your birthday Jessamyn — Michelle Malkin" comment on the birthday card that NotOnDisplay set up, but I realized that was too sick to be funny.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:39 AM on September 8, 2008


There seems to be a genuine story here, but I don't think the links to the bogus list of books Palin supposedly tried to have banned should be on the front page. Mods, please delete it and let someone post a good FPP on this topic.
posted by orange swan at 5:48 AM on September 8, 2008


A little google is a dangerous thing; click on more than one or two links, or taste not the Googleplexian spring: there shallow linking intoxicate the brain, and getting an actual clue sobers us again.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:51 AM on September 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does anyone actually read MM's insipid little blog?
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:31 AM on September 8, 2008


Has the librariansagainstpalin blog been linked yet?
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 7:54 AM on September 8, 2008


Now that my crazy weekend is over, here is a little more reflection from me.

I made that post on Tuesday sometime I think. It was trying to be a fairly flat [as in very little editorializing] post about an interesting article form Time magazine about Palin and the library thing. When I was a kid, Time magazine was, you know, a news magazine. So I figured linking to it was a fairly "safe" way to go. My personal politics are no secret, but I find it not particularly useful or tactical to start tossing them around on my blog. So.

The thread took off and early on there was that "these are books that have been banned..." comment which was pretty obviously BS. To me anyways, this was obvious. To many people, I don't know if they were hopeful or hateful or what, it wasn't at all obvious or it was a part of a larger agenda-laden story. I decided to leave the comment and figured, sort of MeFi-like, people could hash it out in the comments section. I left a few comments on blogs that I saw early on who linked to that comment saying I didn't think it was accurate. Then it got weird.

Not that this was entirely surprising but people started using the comments section for general fighting about Palin and dragging out the old "libtards" and "Nazis" and other freakout namecalling. People seem to enjoy the "hysterical librarian" stereotype for one. I was harangued both in my comments section AND over email to delete the incorrect comment because other people were linking to it as fact. I said that was their problem and not mine though I did, once the whole thing really caught fire, add a disclaimer to the post. Then I was harassed because the disclaimer wasn't strong enough. Both sides of the debate issued SHAME ON YOU emails and comments. I have a few people who sort of follow me around my blogs and comment with their own agenda-filled responses and they all came out. It was like the anti-birthday party.

I got totally sick of it about Saturday -- while also dealing with the Palin thread and MeTa commentary on this site -- and decided to close comments something which I pretty much never do. The thread is still filling up with trackbacks and I'm no longer going to other people's blogs to set any records straight. I'm really unhappy at how the whole thing has blown out of proportion. I'll be writing a post for librarian.net later in the week about what this teaches us about fact checking and the importance of people able to get accurate information and assess the information we DO have, but I'm really just sad that people are such incredible assholes about this topic generally and can't (or choose not to) separate fact from fiction and truth from hype.

It's easy to speak cautiously about what's going on in an effort to be seen as generally truthful and at least somewhat neutral, but that doesn't have as much cultural capital as calling people names and fanning the flames of the latest controversy. I'm happy Michelle Malkin wasn't yet another person calling me an idiot or an asshole just because I linked to an article on Time Magazine, but jesus this is one of those weeks where I despair for the American public's (including librarians, bloggers, reporters, etc) ability to deal with difficult issues in a sensible manner. It's probably just the cake hangover talking.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:14 AM on September 8, 2008 [11 favorites]


Here's the actual list of books she tried to ban.
posted by euphorb at 8:23 AM on September 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here's the actual list of books she tried to ban.

Man, I was sure that was going to be a rickroll.

That's awful, Jessamyn. I hope some happy stuff happens soon to take the taste out of your mouth.
posted by languagehat at 8:52 AM on September 8, 2008


What's so awful about the taste of cake?
posted by Rumple at 8:57 AM on September 8, 2008


Man, I was sure that was going to be a rickroll.

I was expecting a BarackRoll.
posted by homunculus at 1:06 PM on September 8, 2008


Damn, jessamyn, I wouldn't have wished a week like that on my enemies, and thanks for standing up for reasonable discourse & truth.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:01 PM on September 8, 2008


I was expecting a BarackRoll.

Jeebous, the Youtube comments. It hurts. My. Brain. The world is just full-up with stupid.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:08 PM on September 8, 2008


Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra and then suddenly it flips over, pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:08 PM on September 8, 2008 [3 favorites]


That's, like, so true, man! Except that with me, it was the same thing but there was also gasoline dripping onto my face, and the battery was sparking a little bit.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:50 PM on September 8, 2008


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