This week, librarians in Citrus County, FL asked the county board to approve $2,700 annually for a digital subscription to the New York Times as a service to their 70,000 patrons (the library already has a subscription to the print version of the paper).
The Washington Post reported that members of the county board laughed out loud at the request.
One said the New York Times is “fake news.”
Where have we heard that before?
The same commissioner said he agrees with President Trump, and does not want the New York Times in the county.
Apparently, the members of the board forgot they are a non-partisan entity.
Another commissioner said, “I don’t agree with it, I don’t like ‘em, it’s fake news, and I’m voting no,” according to the Washington Post.
That commissioner added that he supports Donald Trump.
The commission’s chairman told the Citrus County Chronicle, “I don’t feel like the county is obligated to subscribe to every major newspaper or every point of view.”
The notion that an elected official doesn’t believe the county should consider viewpoints other than his own says a lot.
Another commissioner told the Chronicle that he supports President Trump. “I would say they put stuff in there [the New York Times] that’s not necessarily verified.”
That statement would be hilarious if it weren’t so infinitely sad. The implication, of course, is that it is better to accept without question the ramblings of a notorious liar than it is to consider reading a publication that may include information that conflicts with one’s political position.
The Chronicle noted that the four commissioners who agreed to be interviewed said that they did not read the Times.
Of course, there is no reason they would need to read it for themselves.
If their fearless führer says it is “fake news,” it must be so.
The chairwoman for the library’s advisory board told the Chronicle, “Someone’s personal political view does not have a place in deciding what library resources are available for the entire county. Libraries have to ensure all points of view are represented.”
What she doesn’t realize, of course, is that this only applies if we want informed, educated citizens.
If, on the other hand, we want citizens who blindly parrot whatever propaganda is spoon-fed to them by the ministry of disinformation, there’s no need to provide facts or different viewpoints.
If that is the kind of country we want, then there can be only one version of reality the one fabricated by the party.
Anyone who questions or contradicts this version will be branded a traitor and an enemy of the country (Some people seem to believe the terms “party” and “country” are interchangeable).
Life must be wonderfully simple for those who let others do their thinking for them.
That doesn’t mean it is a good idea. History provides plenty of examples that suggest it is not.