I HAD THE PRIVILEGE of living most of my life in a small town,” Sarah Palin told the Republican National Convention. “I was just your average hockey mom.” To John McCain’s supporters, his selection of Alaska’s young, reform-minded governor as his running mate felt like a feminine remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. But the media were determined to depict her as something out of Deliverance.
On August 31, two days after Palin joined the ticket, a hometown critic, Anne Kilkenny, sent out what became a widely circulated e-mail that claimed, among other things, that “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.”
Two days later, Time magazine repeated the tale, attributing it to John Stein, the incumbent mayor Palin had defeated in 1996: