Liberals are in an uproar over a contest for the most popular children’s book author because conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been chosen as one of the contestants.
Each year, the Children’s Book Council (CBC) sponsors its Every Child A Reader program, allowing kids to vote for the year’s most popular children’s book author. The entrants are chosen from a list of authors of top selling books, and this year, with Rush Limbaugh’s new children’s books hitting the best seller lists everywhere, the conservative talker is one of those authors kids can vote for.
Last year, Limbaugh published his first children’s book, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans. The book instantly landed on best seller lists across the industry. This year, Limbaugh published his second book, Rush Revere and the First Patriots, and it, too, quickly hit the top selling list, appearing as number five on The New York Times bestsellers list for the week of March 23.
Consequently, along with three other authors, Limbaugh’s momentous book sales landed him in the CBC’s Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards author of the year contest.
Liberals cried foul, demanding that the CBC remove Limbaugh from the contest. The book group, however, is refusing to bow to demands to excise Limbaugh from its list of popular authors.
In a public letter about the controversy, CBC notes that it has used the exact same criteria for picking the top children’s authors for years, and Limbaugh legitimately fit into that scheme.
“The Author of the Year and Illustrator of the Year finalists are determined solely based on titles’ performances on the bestseller lists–all titles in those categories are listed as a result of this protocol,” the group said.
CBC said that some complainers insist that Limbaugh can skew the results of both the best sellers list as well as the CBC contest with his millions of fans from his nationally syndicated radio show. CBC said that it may take such thoughts into consideration in the future but that it would not change its criteria this time.
The group also pointed out that it is kids who vote and kids are the final arbiters, not them.
“Ultimately, kids and teens (over one million of them if as many vote this year as did last year) will decide who wins in all 6 Children’s Choice Book Awards categories on May 14, so encourage them to vote starting March 25 at ccbookawards.com. We have procedures in place to eliminate duplicate, fake, and adult votes during the voting period as much as possible,” CBC writes.
There is also another concern that CBC wants to avoid: turning the contest into one built on bias.
“This program has never been about CBC… endorsing finalists,” CBC sternly notes. “It has always been about CBC… endorsing young readers and giving them a choice and a voice on a national scale.”
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