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Did He Cheat? Rush Limbaugh Children’s Book Award Win Raises Eyebrows

This week, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh added a new line to his résumé – award-winning children’s book author.

Beating out Wimpy Kids author Jeff Kinney for the top prize, Limbaugh won for “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims” a book, that while mostly ignored by book critics, has actually done very well on Amazon and earned its nomination on its sales alone.

When it was nominated for the Children’s Choice Book Award prize, some were puzzled and even accused non-profit organizations Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader of being in cahoots with Limbaugh to promote his conservative cause – something the organizations’ executive director resoundly denies.

“We’ve received some hate mail,” Robin Adelson said, pointing out that the nomination is based on book sales, not politics. “We’ve been accused of endorsing Rush Limbaugh and supporting Rush Limbaugh. We endorse and support children.”

The criticism only heated up after Limbaugh was announced the unlikely winner, leaving some to speculate that Limbaugh must have cheated to get so many kids to vote for his book.

As it turns out, voting can easily be manipulated for the children’s book award, which allows voting via the internet (which can easily be done by non-kids) and bulk votes from schools and librarians which have no real way of being verified as being from actual people at all. The widgets that collect the votes also allow multiple voting, which means a few people really enthusiastic about Limbaugh’s (or anyone’s) vote, can sway the tallies.

Every one of our finalists gets fake votes every year,” Adelson told The AP. “We like to think that’s the enthusiasm of adults who love children’s books.”

Adelson denies mass fraud is behind the Limbaugh win, though, pointing out that the vote was close and while the numbers of votes cast increased this year, it was not in large enough numbers to suggest something was amiss.

Still, many found it hard to believe that Limbaugh won after reviews declared his work “breathtakingly, laughably terrible,” and pondered if something is not wrong with the voting is perhaps something is really wrong with the American public and their literary choices.

Conservatives, however, have fought back, saying liberals just have sour grapes because Limbaugh won.

“When everything goes according to their grand plan, those on the left are just as happy as they can be. If you go along with their ideas, if you accept their version of what is ‘normal,’ if you push patriotism aside but ’embrace diversity,’ then all is good,” Bob Eberle said about all the ‘leftist’ hoopla over Limbaugh’s win.  “But when Americans do something that doesn’t fit the mold, they go nuts.”

Photo Credit: Cover Photo/Daily Beast

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.