The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Rush Limbaugh wins Children's Choice Book Award, but did kids do all the choosing?

  • Print

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Rush Limbaugh has won a children's book prize designed to be chosen by kids themselves.

But that doesn't mean all of his voters were young people.

On Wednesday night, Limbaugh received the Children's Choice Book Award for author of the year, defeating such superstars as Veronica Roth, Rick Riordan and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" writer Jeff Kinney, the winner in 2012 and 2013. The conservative commentator won for "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims," a book that landed high on the bestseller lists of Amazon.com and other outlets despite limited mainstream coverage.

From the moment Limbaugh's nomination was announced, in March, conservatives were delighted, liberals angered and others simply puzzled — emotions only amplified by Limbaugh's victory, which raised his book from No. 71 on Amazon the day before to the top 10 Thursday.

Nominees are selected by the most objective method possible, sales, while the winners are supposedly picked by kids, who vote online. But executive director Robin Adelson of the Children's Book Council and Every Child a Reader, non-profit organizations that co-founded the awards seven years ago, acknowledged Thursday that adults could easily vote and vote multiple times, a problem not uncommon for Internet competitions.

"Every one of our finalists gets fake votes every year," Adelson told The Associated Press. "We like to think that's the enthusiasm of adults who love children's books."

Adelson cited three ways that people can vote: a widget that can be embedded in such popular kids' websites as www.poptropica.com, a link on the awards website (http://ccbookawards.com) that allows individuals to vote and a link on the awards site that allows teachers, librarians and others to submit bulk votes on behalf of their institution.

Adelson said she doubted that parents or other grown-ups were voting through Poptropica, but acknowledged the awards site was more likely to be manipulated. An individual voter can vote multiple times and does not need to provide a verifiable email address or proof of his or her age. Bulk voters are required to submit a verifiable email, but there is no guarantee that a given teacher or librarian is really expressing the wishes of others.

"We send emails and make phone calls. A lot of manual labour goes into verifying (bulk voters)," Adelson said. "Do we catch them all? Of course not."

Limbaugh has touted his nomination on his radio show and on his website, www.rushlimbaugh.com . Adelson said Limbaugh initially enjoyed a wide lead, but that voting tightened considerably in the final weeks and the outcome was "fair and close."

"It's not as if he received millions of votes and everybody else and received 10," she said. "It was far, far closer."

Adelson said total votes this year only increased modestly, from 1.1 million to 1.2 million, and added that voting has generally gone up each year. She emphasized the awards have no mission beyond encouraging kids to read.

"We've received some hate mail," she said. "We've been accused of endorsing Rush Limbaugh and supporting Rush Limbaugh. We endorse and support children."

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Key of Bart - Take It Easy

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A baby Red Panda in her area at the Zoo. International Red Panda Day is Saturday September 15th and the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be celebrating in a big way! The Zoo is home to three red pandas - Rufus, Rouge and their cub who was born on June 30 of this year. The female cub has yet to be named and the Assiniboine Park Zoo is asking the community to help. September 14, 2012  BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
  • Hay bales sit under a rainbow just west of Winnipeg Saturday, September 3, 2011.(John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Should the city grant mosquito buffer zones for medical reasons only?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google