Palin poses with copy of John Birch Society magazine
Photo from the New York Times
Ben Smith of The Politico:
In a picture supplied by Sarah Palin's family to the Associated Press, Palin appears with some rather odd reading matter: The magazine of the ultraconservative John Birch Society.What sort of person gives out pictures of themselves with the John Birch Society Magazine? This wasn't some random snapshot. This is a photo her family supplied to the Associated Press. Did this magazine just happen to be there when the picture was taken? Was her family ignorant of what was in the picture when they sent it out? Is this some sort of dog whistle message of affinity with ultra-right wingers? Did Palin read this magazine regularly back then? Does she now?
The picture, dating to 1995, when Palin was a member of the Wasilla City Council, ran beside a profile of Palin in Saturday's New York Times. The magazine, The New American, is sitting on top of her calendar on her desk, unopened.
The current, and then-, president of the group, John McManus, confirmed that the cover fit the description of a 1995 issue of the magazine. The headline, "Con-Con Call," refers to discussion at the time of a constitutional convention. The headline appears above a picture of then-Utah Governor Mike Leavitt, who had floated the notion as a way of returning the balance of power back toward the states. But the author warned that the convention could actually be a devious ploy aimed at increasing government power.
There are all sorts of innocent explanations as to how she'd end up with such a publication in front of her. But why would she include it in a publicity photo?