The country's leading radio personality, Rush Limbaugh, won the prestigious “Author of the Year” at the Children’s Choice Book Awards (May 15, 2014). Limbaugh’s book is titled “Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans.”
The Associated Press fretted, “From the moment Limbaugh's nomination was announced, in March, conservatives were delighted, liberals angered and others simply puzzled.”
According to the Daily News, “Limbaugh’s nomination for the prize sparked controversy in the world of children's literature. The book, which was published last year, was critically panned. One reviewer on Kirkus called the tale about a time-traveling substitute teacher as ‘really, breathtakingly, laughably terrible.’"
Daily Kos whined, “Rush didn’t have the most book sales. He would never win a real popularity contest among children. There are no children begging to read the infantile musings of a talk show host about a time-travelling horse. No kids are asking for Rush’s books. It’s his adult fans who are buying them. So why did Rush win the award? It’s simple. It’s the conservative bias of the media…By targeting 10 year-olds, Rush can finally write at an intellectual level that doesn’t strain his abilities.”
Daily Beast also got down in the mud, “Rush, by contrast, has never shown any signs of being a serious or thoughtful or earnest guy. He is a degenerate rodeo clown—a toxic provocateur who, while undeniably entertaining for like-minded adults, should be kept as far away from kids as possible."
Nominees for the prize are picked by sales. The actual winners are picked by votes of children. It’s as objective as the sponsors can manage. But Al Sharpton, who knows a bit about cons, promptly jumped in with hints that Rush had stolen the award. His partner on the show Abby Huntsman agreed: “Absolutely, 100 percent, the kids did not vote for Rush Limbaugh….Rush may have bought half the books himself.’”
As esteemed members of the mainstream media, these pundits proudly missed every point there was to miss.
First of all, our public schools don’t teach much history. It’s a glorious vacuum waiting to be filled by anybody who knows the difference between 1776 and Party Like It’s 1999.
You think kids in today’s public schools know who William Bradford is? What the Mayflower Compact is? Where the Pilgrims came from, or why, or where they went when they got there? Do they know who Paul Revere is?
So Rush is telling them and making another million. Let’s turn that around. The public schools are refusing to do their job but still grabbing another billion. Why aren’t they ashamed?
What is American history but hundreds of really exciting stories? Anybody who tells these stories is guaranteed a huge audience. Go for it, liberals.
Meanwhile, guess what Common Core (thank you, Bill Gates) makes children do? Here it is: Close Reading of boring non-fiction text. That means they read it not once, which is bad enough, but three or four times, to make sure they learn everything there is to learn in an air-conditioning repair manual. They also learn to hate reading.
So there you have it. No history taught. No exciting stories from our nation’s past. It’s a desert of epic proportions. Rush Limbaugh didn’t ask the schools to create the desert. He’s merely watering it. And in the process, he showing our public schools what they should be doing. Teach history.
Furthermore, what is Rush’s competition? Do you know what the big bestsellers in public schools are? Books such as “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” and “Dork Diaries.” This Is almost embarrassing. These are books that feature snarky whiny adolescents and virtually no intellectual or academic content. So, poorly educated children can understand them for the most part, and read them if the school requires that a “book” be read.
Most frightening of all, public schools have become the Land of the Barely Literate. Reading is taught in the worst possible ways (for example, high-frequency words, Whole Language, etc.). There are many children in 6th grade who have never read a book. You have students graduating high school who are functionally illiterate. So what can these people actually read? Not much. Their grandparents, 60 years ago, read real books like Ivanhoe and Treasure Island.
So the real message here is none of the things the media talk about. The real story is all the really dreadful things happening in our public schools that have, inadvertently, made Rush’s success possible.
MAIN PROBLEMS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS / a video (3:15 minutes)