Poor Todd Starnes. It seems that his book, "Godless America," which was enthusiastically pimped on Fox News, isn't universally acclaimed. A library in Alaska won't be putting his book on their shelves and our dear Toddles isn't happy.
In Starnes' recent column, he says that he just can't understand why anybody would reject "the writings of a gun-toting, Bible-clinging, son-of-a-baptist." He informs us that the librarian "tossed" the book because there weren't sufficient "professional reviews" even though, as Starnes also informs us, intellectual paragons such as Mike Huckabee, Sean Hannity, and his Aunt all endorsed his tome. He then whines about how, according to his local source, this Alaskan socialist book bastion contains works by Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, and OMG President Obama.
But always eager for an opportunity to slam those nasty liberals who make life miserable for the Jesus loving, homo hating Starnes, he saves his best whine for last: "But that’s how the tolerance and diversity crowd operates. They don’t burn books – they just ban them." (Don't ya love Todd's brilliant use of hyperbole!) In case any of his literate fans want to buy the book, Starnes provides a link "to the book that was turned away" from the library that's probably getting some nice Christian death threats as we speak.
It's no surprise that the book hasn't gotten any "professional reviews" because, based on the reaction from bloggers who did read it, it's pure, unadulterated, paranoid, partisan crap. So maybe the librarian did read it and was just trying to be polite.
Since our library is also under pressures and gift book sorters have many other duties, snap judgments have to be made. I’d probably put a brand new book in for consideration (yes, even if it was by Starnes). But I think it’s entirely likely that one of the higher-level employees would decide it’s not worth the time and materials to catalog and process a book that is likely to be of brief, limited interest, just like you said.
I read several of those four and five star reviews and immediately noticed how similar they were. Many had either gotten a free copy or only paid a dollar. They only negative opinions they had was how poorly written it was. I read the sample on Amazon and wondered when the “Southern humour” was going to come in. Awful!
Why isn’t Toodles haranguing his “loyal” viewers to go out and “do the right thing” and buy a copy? A library purchase doesn’t put nearly as much cash in Toodles’ pocket as a sale at a for-real bookstore. (Interestingly, either as a desperate measure for sales or even Amazon realizes it’s not worth the trouble, a Kindle copy can be bought for just $9.50—the SRP on the book is $24.95. And it’s obvious from the number of 5-star ratings what bunch of braindead, mindless sheep are buying it. From some of the reviews, these folks aren’t actually reading the book but rather stuff they’ve been told to write about it. I mean, if you’re really a Christian and you’ve been so badly mistreated and had your rights infringed, why would you need to read a book telling you of the troubles you’ve faced. A 1-star review is by a guy who says he’s gay but he doesn’t need to read a book telling him how badly he’s been treated because of his being gay.)
It’s so hypocritical of Toodles. While he (along with his fellow FoxNoise fiends) bemoan the dreaded socialist takeover of the US, he turns around and whines that a library won’t stock his book. Toodles, libraries are NOT required to carry every book. I’ve been disappointed when I’ve gone into libraries and can’t find a particular book because the library doesn’t stock it for whatever reason. But, then again, libraries have had their funding cut over the last number of years because they’re a low priority for cities and counties facing budget woes. And with fewer and fewer people visiting libraries (aside from low-income people, most of whom use library computers, rather than check out books), libraries increasing rely on donations from the public. So, it’s a bit of a Catch-22. The library in question probably has to pick and choose which books it can stock (selecting books that will have the most mass appeal—which largely limits books of political natures unless they’re by the BIG NAME right-wing blowhards, like O’Reilly, Hannity and Limbaugh, and Toodles isn’t quite up in that rank) and needs to rely on the public, but people most likely to buy Toodles’ crap are also less likely to donate it to a library (since donations to libraries—while they do count as charitable donations for tax purposes—don’t really provide big enough tax breaks to make donations worthwhile).
“In this book Todd Starnes combines his signature humor and award-winning investigative journalism skills to expose the left’s war on religious liberty.” —Sean Hannity