May 16, 2014

Kids Today: America’s children choose Rush Limbaugh as their favorite author

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Rush's brand of patriotic tea coincidentally features the same characters as his Rush Revere books. Image and following quote from www.TwoIfByTea.com. "Fellow Americans, hold on to our exceptional values, stand up against those who want to suppress your individual rights and above all take pride in being an American! While you’re at it, join me in drinking a bottle of my tea as we admire the great United States of America and the military and law enforcement officials who fight to defend our freedom every day. Thank God, yes God, for the blessings of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and of course, this wonderful drink - Two If By Tea!"

Rush’s brand of patriotic tea coincidentally features the same characters as his Rush Revere books. Image and following quote from www.TwoIfByTea.com.
“Fellow Americans, hold on to our exceptional values, stand up against those who want to suppress your individual rights and above all take pride in being an American! While you’re at it, join me in drinking a bottle of my tea as we admire the great United States of America and the military and law enforcement officials who fight to defend our freedom every day. Thank God, yes God, for the blessings of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness and of course, this wonderful drink – Two If By Tea!”

Do you believe the children are our future? Do you believe in teaching them well and letting them lead the way? Well, I’ve got some bad news for you. Rush Limbaugh has won the “Author of the Year Award” at the Children’s Choice Book Awards, organized by Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader. Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans beat out the other finalists in Limbaugh’s category: Veronica Roth for Allegiant, Rachel Renee Russell for Dork Diaries 6: Tales From A Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker, Rick Riordan for The House of Hades,” and Jeff Kinney for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck.

How did the nominations and the final result come to pass? 

Four finalists for the award were chosen because of their places on bestseller lists, and the winner was chosen by children’s votes. In response to concerns about the list of finalists announced in March, the prize organizers—Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader—had released a delicately worded statement: “This program has never been about CBC or ECAR endorsing finalists. It has always been about CBC and ECAR endorsing young readers and giving them a choice and a voice on a national scale.”

More than a million votes were cast, and the internet might give us a few clues as to where some of those votes came from. Limbaugh himself, as of course he had every right to, spent some time lobbying his radio audience. A transcript of his show from March 24, aired for his 20 million (presumably adult) listeners, is on RushLimbaugh.com.

RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, the Children’s Choice Book Awards is the only national book awards program where the winners are selected by the kids and teenagers, the people who read the books. Voting opened today and is through Monday, May 12th. That’s March 25th through May the 12th. We have a link at RushLimbaugh.com that’ll take you straight to the voting page.

If you go to the home page of the Children’s Book Council, CBCbooks.org, you’ll then have to hunt and peck and keep clicking on links to get on the actual voting page. We are saving you some time and trouble. So if you go to the web, right there at the top of our home page you’ll find a link to the voting page for the Children’s Choice Book Awards. It’s only been around since 2008.

We’ve covered Limbaugh’s Rush Revere (as well as Limbaugh himself) before—you may remember back in September, when Dustin Kurtz took a heartbreaking look at all we lost when the book was published, Seven jokes ruined by Rush Limbaugh’s new book for kids, or when Alex Shephard presciently noted that “we already have a prize for best book in this country. It’s called the top of the bestseller list.”

The reviews for Rush Revere were, let’s say, not always kind. Booklist had some complaints, including factual inaccuracies and cross-branding with Rush’s Two if by Tea brand of, yes, tea. Kirkus offered a succint assessment, “Exceptionally bad.”

But of course, the award isn’t concerned with how adults feel about the book. In his acceptance speech, Limbaugh had this to say (he played it twice during the show, in case anyone missed it or, more likely, wanted to hear it again):

I love America.  I wish everybody did.  I hope everybody will.  It’s one of the most fascinating stories of human history, this country and what it has meant to the world and what it means to citizens who live here.  And it’s a delight and it’s an opportunity to try to share that story with young people so that they can grow and learn to love and appreciate the country in which they’re growing up and will someday run and lead and inherit.

So I want to thank everybody that’s made this possible.

Thanks, everybody.

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Julia Fleischaker is a former director of marketing and publicity at Melville House.

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