A few weeks ago I wrote about some clown who either couldn’t tell the difference between a library book ban and a Twitter protest or else was just a partisan hack who is paid to whine, not think. You can decide on that.
The protest in question was about a children’s book allegedly written by Rush Limbaugh that had made it to the finalist list for something called the Children’s Book Choice Awards. Angry tweeters wanted it off the list.
At the time, the Children’s Book Council people tried their best to disclaim any control over that list, because the finalists were chosen purely by sales figures.
The sales figures themselves were in question, because supposedly Limbaugh donated thousands of the books to various places, which counted as “sales,” because we live in a world where words don’t have meaning anymore.
The award givers made a big deal over the fact that when it came to actually choosing the books, it would be children’s votes and not sales figures, or even “sales figures.”
And now, according to CNN, “the kids have spoken.” Who won “author of the year”? Drumroll, please…none other than Rush Limbaugh!
Thus, we have solid proof that children of all ages prefer a right-wing book about Paul Revere than something called Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Dork Diaries. I bet Paul Revere was no wimpy dork! He was a MAN!
You can tell something about the quality of an award by how the group giving the award stands up for it. When the CBC put Limbaugh’s book on the list, it was merely driven by sales. Not their fault. They had nothing to do with it. Really. Just ask them.
And when it won? Well, the kids might not have spoken after all. The Associated Press account is slightly different than the CNN account.
According to the other story, “executive director Robin Adelson of the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader, nonprofit organizations that co-founded the awards seven years ago, acknowledged Thursday that adults could easily vote and vote multiple times, a problem not uncommon for Internet competitions.”
So maybe it was Limbaugh’s Pinheads (or whatever his fans are called) who voted for the book? Or just one who voted “multiple times”? Say it ain’t so, CBC.
It could be so. “An individual voter can vote multiple times and does not need to provide a verifiable email address or proof of his or her age.” Vote early and vote often!
Thus, it could be that this book was really so beloved by children that enough copies were bought to make a finalist list based on sales, and that then those children loved the book so much they voted Limbaugh author of the year.
Or it could be that the entire process was rigged from beginning to end. Could it be that the same people who complain about virtually nonexistent voter fraud around the country engaged in some themselves?
We’ll never know. But what we do know is that the CBC gave the award to Limbaugh while trying to evade responsibility for the award in any way possible.
I don’t care one way or the other, since I’m not going to read any of those books and I couldn’t care less about the award or about Limbaugh. I also know that a lot of book awards are rigged games anyway, often with a small group of writers choosing books by their writer friends to win.
However, the whole pitch of this award is that it’s chosen by the children, but then it turns out that’s not necessarily true.
When even the group giving the award acknowledges the supposedly democratic process is flawed and impossible to verify and tries to wiggle out of responsibility, maybe it’s time to change the process or quit giving the award.