Annoyed Librarian
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And the Winner Is…

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.

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Comments

  1. Walter Lessun says:

    No fraud. Just voters who were children or adults with the minds of children…

  2. The Librarian With No Name says:

    To be fair, the entire idea of having children voting for your book as a sign of quality is a pretty shaky idea. If you let kids choose their own reading material, I predict a clear majority of Garfield and Ninjago books.

    Kids are pretty dumb, is what I’m getting at.

  3. Frumious Bandersnatch says:

    So, checking the OPAC, our system owns more than one copy of this title. Number checked out to children? 0. Number checked out to adults? All of them. Just sayin’

    • just sayin says:

      A lot of parents check out books for their kids on their adult cards. Just because this book is checked out on adult cards doesn’t mean kids aren’t reading it. — Just sayin.

  4. Bookchick says:

    Interesting, that no one cares about the politics of awards until a conservative wins one. I was in the “front row” of the idiocy that was called publicity when Harry Potter came out. It was crammed down the throat of every man, woman and child that came in to the bookstore. The publishing industry is the same way. The review is dependent upon the political views of the commentator. Read a library journal or watch the news if you don’t believe me.

    • The Librarian With No Name says:

      To be clear, are you suggesting that Harry Potter’s popularity lacked a major backlash because Rowling is a liberal, or because the Harry Potter books were pushing liberal agendas? Because I have no idea what Rowling’s politics are, but the stories themselves struck me as pretty apolitical on account of them being mostly concerned with the goings on of a magical boarding school.

      If anything, the Wizarding World seems pretty conservative. Both sides of the conflict are controlled by old white guys, everyone pretends that computers don’t exist, and the economy is based on the gold standard.

      In all seriousness, I can’t imagine that a Michael Moore book for children about Che Guevara would fare any better in this situation. The problem isn’t the politics themselves, but the fact that it’s a fringe political commentator who embodies the least attractive aspects of his party publishing a tone-deaf attempt at political indoctrination for children. I think the whole CS Lewis v Phillip Pullman dichotomy shows that we’re okay with heavy-handed politics as long as they bother to have a little showmanship.

    • just sayin says:

      Good thought, book chick. If Howard Stern wrote a children’s book that was selected by CBC, this would not be a topic for discussion, even if said children’s book was a degraded as Howard. In alala land anything from the right is verboten. — Just sayin

  5. just sayin says:

    Careful Annoyed, your slip is showing. And, BTW Michael Moore could call blue – pink and no one would disagree with him. I don’t particularly like RL, I think he’s a blowhard. I wouldn’t call him fringe though. If the audience wasn’t there, he would be off the air. Just sayin.

    • D says:

      As much as I find the phrase “just sayin” annoying, “just sayin” is my new favorite commentator. I love how she ends each comment with the trademark saying, kind of like a snare drum report at the end of a joke. It’s got rhythm and it’s funnier as it’s repeated. Just Sayin, thank you for your opinions and your sense of style.

  6. Annoyed Librarian, really? The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom releases a list of the top ten banned books each year. It gets major press coverage. Hundreds perhaps thousands of stories. It is cited to justify this, that, or the other thing.

    It is also totally faked. One of the award winning authors essentially admitted that at a New Jersey Library Association meeting I attended. I taped it too. The tape is online at my site, at the link under my name.

    Another author told me ALA never provides the actual numbers, since the numbers are so low and ALA needs to trump them up, like by calling 4 times for 2010 #1 book And Tango Makes Three “dozens.” It’s not newsworthy that nationwide the most challenged book was only challenged four times. So ALA simply said “dozens.”

    The ALA’s fake list also harms the LGBT community by faking discrimination against it, and that only results in increased actual discrimination and suicides. Have you or Library Journal EVER made a peep about that?

    Kudos to ALA OIF for having a faked list of “banned” books foisted on the public year after year nationwide, but let Rush Limbaugh win a prize and you attack him, his readers, and the organization giving the award!!! A librarian! Attacking readers!

    HAVE YOU EVEN READ THE BOOK? “I don’t care one way or the other, since I’m not going to read any of those books….”

    I see.

    • me says:

      “The ALA’s fake list also harms the LGBT community by faking discrimination against it, and that only results in increased actual discrimination and suicides.”

      We’re blaming ALA for increase in discrimination and suicide of the LGBT community now? If that is a belief you actually hold, you are an absolute moron. There is just no other way to put it. What a ridiculous statement. The LGBT community isn’t “fake” discriminated against.

      I didn’t see where AL attacked the readers of this book. But hyperbole is much more fun than facts. Also, AL is plenty critical of ALA and the idea of “banned books” so you’re barking up the wrong tree.

    • @me:

      Attacking the readers:

      “So maybe it was Limbaugh’s Pinheads (or whatever his fans are called) who voted for the book?”

      “Could it be that the same people who complain about virtually nonexistent voter fraud around the country engaged in some themselves?”

      As to the LGBT matter, And Tango Makes Three topped the list FIVE YEARS in a row, once in second place, if I recall. The year I exposed it was a fraud — based on a call I made to the ALA OIF itself when I spoke to the author of the list Bryan Campbell (no longer with OIF) and he said four, not dozens — the book DISAPPEARED from the list in following years, and homosexuality disappeared from the list as well.

      Faking discrimination results in increased discrimination. Published studies say that. I’m just repeating it. You can attack me as you frequently do, but you can’t change that ALA OIF lied about its list likely for years and that likely resulted in increased harm to the LGBT community.

    • me says:

      “Published studies say that. “-Citation Needed. Librarian anyone?

      “So maybe it was Limbaugh’s Pinheads (or whatever his fans are called) who voted for the book?”

      “Could it be that the same people who complain about virtually nonexistent voter fraud around the country engaged in some themselves?”

      This was a children’s books. I doubt that children consider themselves “fans” of Rush Limbaugh. You could argue that this is making fun of right-wingers which they frequently deserve. But the targeted “readers” of this book…no. Also, I imagine that anti-gay marriage laws, the christian right, gay conversion therapy, and maybe 14,000 other things have a more negative impact then ALA does on the LGBT community. You know the group that just had a gay closing speaker at their PLA conference with a roundtable devoted to LGBT issues… etc. etc.

    • “This was a children’s books. I doubt that children consider themselves ‘fans of Rush Limbaugh.”

      Wow!

      ALA OIF argues kids should have access to inappropriate material because they are smart enough to know what’s best for themselves and parents should back off. But kids reading Limbaugh? Well you doubt they are fans of Limbaugh. They don’t know or care. They know and care about sexually inappropriate material from authors writing about sex with animals, but they don’t know and don’t care about American history written for children by Rush Limbaugh. I see. You have absolutely no clue, do you. Have YOU even read the book? Do you know that his readers are not his fans as you say? Do you know if children are clamoring or not for the next in the series?

      You have joined AL in putting down the readers simply because you don’t like the author.

      Librarianship is supposed to be a profession that provides information without imparting personal interests. You and AL evidence clear bias in this post and comments. I hope such views are minimal generally.

    • me says:

      I’m still waiting for that citation. Yes, I’m quite positive that children don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show which is the reason he is (in)famous. If parents do allow their children to listen to Rush (you know the same show/person that called a woman a slut for wanting birth control) than I question their parenting skills.

  7. new librarian says:

    Re: “me says:” Yes children do listen to Limbaugh – I have heard them call in. Apparently I listen too. And Rush called her a slut because she wanted me to pay for her birth control, not because she wanted to have it. Tax dollars support our libraries; are you making a value judgment about whether to spend the money on birth control or books? Someone has to – there is a limited amount of money as we all know.

    • Newer librarian says:

      So… to clarify, you’re saying he was justified in calling her a slut, because she wanted US tax dollars to help pay for birth control.

      Great role model for everyone, especially kids. *rolls eyes*

  8. c says:

    Just curious… How did this go from the CBC award to birth control? Everyone just needs to get over that he got the award, and focus on things that actually matter… Like how to actually educate kids to distinguish garbage from quality?

    • me says:

      Yeah, someone who millions of people listen to calling a woman a slut and essentially being a racist bigot is irrelevant. Not to mention the guy was a womanizer (I don’t know how considering he’s repulsive) who was addicted to Oxycontin. But yeah let’s get back to what’s important.

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