Friday, September 23, 2011

Banned Books Week: Jonah Goldberg Claims It’s Just ALA Propaganda







Last week while I was working on a post about Banned Books Week 2011 (September 24−October 1), I came across an op-ed that Jonah Goldberg had written for USA Today titled Banned Books Week is just hype. It really got my dander up—so I wrote a criticism of Goldberg’s column for Jonathan Turley’s law blog on Sunday. The title of my post was Banned Books Week: Just a Lot of Propaganda Says Jonah Goldberg.

Goldberg took issue with my criticism of his op-ed and wrote a blog post at the National Review Online (NRO) titled Banned Books B.S. Cont’d. In it, he said that my attempted rebuttal of his column was “underwhelming.” He wrote:

Elaine Magliaro, a guest blogger at Jonathan Turley’s site, comes to the rescue of the Banned Book Week crowd and the effort is entirely underwhelming. There’s a great deal of nonsense here. I’ll focus on just a few points. A big chunk of her response restates my op-ed while casting her incomprehension as if it’s a rebuttal.

Goldberg claims that cases of challenged books reported to the ALA “are little more than disputes over whether a book is age-appropriate.” He adds that such disputes “don’t end in books being pulled from shelves.”

Goldberg was kind enough to answer a question that I had posed in my Turley blog post. He wrote: Oh, and to answer Magliaro’s question, my answer is Yes, I think it might be a good thing if there were more challenges to librarians’ judgment about what books kids should be reading.

I must admit that I have to wonder why a published book author and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors thinks that Banned Books Week is just propaganda and thinks it would be a good thing if there were more book challenges every year.

I’d appreciate feedback from anyone who reads my Turley blog post and Jonah Goldberg’s USA Today op-ed and NRO post.

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At Wild Rose Reader, I have a post title Cleaning House and Discovering Old Poems. (I also have some new pictures of my granddaughter Julia Anna.)

Anastasia Suen has the Poetry Friday Roundup at Picture Book of the Day.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

what next, trying to reason with ann coulter? jonah goldberg and the entire staff of the NRO are acknowledged by basically everyone to be complete trolls. arguing with them is probably not a great allocation of anyone's time!

laura erzen said...

Let me just say that I had no idea that there was a "banned books" week. Now that I know there is one, I say more power to the person who invented it! Literature may be innapropriate for certain reading groups, but it should by no means be hidden or be pulled from every shelf in the stores. For some reason I always here our first constitutional right to freedom of speech when I see a list of banned books.

On the other hand, authors like Phil Pullman (Golden Compass) might actually appreciate their books being banned. Why? $Ka-ching$ big money baby! Remember when And Tango Makes Three came out? I can't believe how many teachers I saw talking about the book, and searching for it, just because it was banned!

Anonymous said...

While I appreciate and understand Banned Books Week, I'm not sure I agree with all of the posters and goodies that scream "Read a Banned Book!" Why can't we focus more on the right to read and less on promoting the books that tend to be challenged more than others? I know that the idea is that many challenged titles contain ideas that will open a reader's mind, but sometimes I wish that the BBW t-shirts and posters would focus on reading what you want (and teaching the public about their Amendment rights). Just because a popular book is banned doesn't mean that everyone will want to read it.