To kill a rumorbird

After speaking Thursday at the Ebell Museum in Pomona about her role as Scout in the movie “To Kill a Mockingbird,” actress Mary Badham remarked in the presence of several attendees that “Mockingbird” was among the library books Sarah Palin allegedly tried to ban when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

As one attendee told me later: “Suddenly a gaggle of middle-aged women who overheard the statement huddled together and hissed, ‘We’ve got to tell David Allen!’”

And bless one for doing so. This correspondent offered me the “stunning revelation” about Palin’s alleged action. “Wow!!!” she concluded her tale.

An Internet search, however, proves the tale to be false. The short version is, there is a generic list of books perpetually questioned in the United States, and “Mockingbird” is on the list. But Palin’s “what if” comments to the local librarian apparently mentioned no titles specifically.

You can read a longer explanation at the rumor-debunking site Snopes.com.

Not that there aren’t plenty of other reasons to oppose Palin (wink, wink), but the book-banning thing has been overblown.

That aside, my source says Badham “was wonderfully received. A large and very appreciative audience included many high school students from throughout Pomona. Ms. Badham did an excellent job of relating old issues of prejudice and segregation to current events and contemporary political relevance.”

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  • Aunt T

    I read TKAM as required reading in high school back in the ’80s. I really identified with Scout’s character as I was quite tomboy as a young girl. Being somewhat of a Twilight Zone fan I remember Mary Badham appeared on at least one episode, “The Bewitching Pool.” Her character’s name was Sport.

    [From Sport to Scout! -- DA]