Despite a controversy that erupted over the decision by the Children’s Book Council to put Rush Limbaugh in contention for its children’s book author of the year award, the radio talker did, indeed, win that honor during the group’s May 14 award ceremony.
Children’s Book Council (CBC) hosts an awards ceremony each year to celebrate the year’s most popular children’s books and with the publication last year of Rush Limbaugh’s first children’s book, Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, Limbaugh’s book was considered for inclusion.
“The Children’s Choice Book Awards,” CBC says, “is the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by kids and teens.”
“Young readers across the country voted in record numbers for their favorite books, author, and illustrator at bookstores, school libraries, and at ccbookawards.com, casting more than 1,261,000 votes,” CBC says in its awards announcement.
Limbaugh attended the award ceremony and gave a short, two-minute speech thanking the CBC, the voters, and his own staff for the success of the Rush Revere books.
“When the kids vote, it’s such great feedback,” Limbaugh said on his radio program on May 15.
“There’s a mission behind these books, he admitted. “And that is to teach the truth about American history to people. I love this county and I do wish everybody did… this country is worth appreciating and worth learning the truth about, and it’s getting harder and harder to do.”
Limbaugh said that he and his book staff have a passion about the country and having people learn about its history. He hoped the books would facilitate “as many people as possible to learn to love and appreciate the genuine profundity that is the United States of America.”
He concluded his comments on his radio program saying, “to be recognized like this, that to me was big.”
Limbaugh’s award as author of the year didn’t come without controversy.
In March the CBC made its announcement that Limbaugh was being included among those books and authors who were eligible to contend in the voting process, but immediately a campaign to have Limbaugh removed was launched by the talk show host’s detractors.
To CBC’s credit, though, Limbaugh was not removed from the voting process, with the children’s book group maintaining that his inclusion followed all the criteria. The CBC further stated that it would not alter its process in the middle of the contest just because some liberals were upset.
“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 in March.
“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 said on its website.
The CBC also insisted that it fully intended to avoid bias.
“This program has never been about CBC… endorsing finalists,” CBC noted. “It has always been about CBC… endorsing young readers and giving them a choice and a voice on a national scale.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.