Saturday, September 06, 2008

I Thought Everybody Loved Librarians

In a long e-mail critical of former mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (and now vice presidential candidate) Sarah Palin circulating on the Internet, resident Anne Kilkenny complains that Palin mismanaged the city government in several ways. Most damning of these accusations, as far as sites like Warrior Librarian are concerned, is the claim that Palin pressured a Wasilla librarian to ban objectionable books. However, as Michelle Malkin objects, the accusation that Palin has harassed librarians has also become unfairly linked to a list of frequently targeted books, some of which were published long after Palin had her confrontation with the local librarian.

The e-mail itself is interesting, in that it observes a number of rhetorical conventions traditionally associated with the messages of whistle-blowers: credibility must be established through claims of expertise or proximity, and yet the sender must seem somewhat apologetic about coming forward; the complainant must seem not eager to be involved but merely observant of civic duty; and the opposition must be given its due.

Update: There is now a Facebook group called "Sarah Palin is not a 'sexy librarian'" to contest the description of Palin's appearance as a conservatively dressed former beauty queen.

Thanks to Jenny Cool for the link.

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