In this interview with former New York Mayor Ed Koch, CNN anchor Carol Costello goes after Koch and the New York Times on the story that then Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin sought ways to possibly ban books at the local public library.
Costello says that CNN has disproved the story and that the New York Times was wrong. Was Costello up to date on the latest?
This was from a page one profile of Palin by Jo Becker, Peter S. Goodman and Michael Powell in yesterday's New York Times:
The new mayor also tended carefully to her evangelical base. She appointed a pastor to the town planning board. And she began to eye the library. For years, social conservatives had pressed the library director to remove books they considered immoral.
"People would bring books back censored," recalled former Mayor John Stein, Ms. Palin's predecessor. "Pages would get marked up or torn out."
Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.
But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book "Daddy's Roommate" on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.
"Sarah said she didn't need to read that stuff," Ms. Chase said. "It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn't even read it."
"I'm still proud of Sarah," she added, "but she scares the bejeebers out of me."
CNN can't just diss a story and say it's not true in an offhand way interviewing Ed Koch.
Where is the CNN story stating that the pressure that Palin allegedly exerted to have Daddy's Roommate removed from the shelves of the Wasilla Public Library was fabricated?
The New York Times offered witnesses. Is CNN saying that they are lying? Do they communicate this through a chatty response to Ed Koch?
Carol Costello said that CNN found that story to be false -- but I find nothing in CNN's archives to show that that is the case.
New York Times correspondent Michael Powell is not a fabricator or spin artist. Ironically, the last time I saw Michael Powell was in CNN's Grill in Denver.
Carol Costello needs to give us an update. She spent a lot of time knocking back Koch for his take on the New York Times piece.
She either owes us more of the story from CNN -- or she owes Koch and the rest of us an apology.
-- Steve Clemons publishes the popular political blog, The Washington Note
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