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Homosassa Springs Library, part of the Citrus County library system

The library system in Citrus County, Florida, asked the county commission to approve an entirely routine expenditure: $2,700 a year for a digital subscription to the New York Times. The library already gets the print edition, but two of the branches only get the Sunday edition, and access to the digital version would be available to more library patrons. As the Citrus County Chronicle pointed out, the subscription would have allowed library patrons full access to the Times from their home computers with their library login, with no stingy paywall limits.

Unfortunately for any eggheads and subversive America-haters who use the socialist public libraries, the request was killed by the county commissioners, who laughed at the very idea and said they support Donald Trump. So there'll be no FAKE NEWS made available to the 70,000 patrons who use Citrus County libraries, at least not at the county's expense.

Here are the wise Florida Men of Citrus County sending a very important message to the library: You keep your filthy Newspaper of Record lies out of our good patriotic county, you!

Citrus County Florida Commissioners reject NYT digital subscription for Library. Call it Fake News. www.youtube.com


Commissioner Ron Kitchen Jr. couldn't believe what a stupid idea it was. "Do we really need to subscribe to the New York Times?"

Other commissioners snorted in laughter at the very idea. Scott Carnahan, who had seconded a motion to hear the request so he could explain what a bad idea it was, agreed with Kitchen, at great length.

I actually was going to say that. I'm gonna be votin' no for this. Fake news! I agree with President Trump. I will not be voting for this. I don't want the New York Times in this county [...] I don't agree with it, I don't like 'em, it's fake news, and I'm voting no.

Another commissioner, Brian Coleman, who'd introduced the budget item, pointed out the library had requested it, not him. Carnahan said he knew that, but darned if he was going to spend any money on the digital version of that rag. "I understand, but they can take that money and do somethin' else with it." He did not move to appropriate money for anything to replace it, we should note.

Addressing Library Director Eric Head, Carnahan continued that anyone who wants to read such filth (he didn't say filth but he was thinking it) "can subscribe it and have it come to their homes," because what is "public" library anyway? "I support Donald Trump," so there. More chuckles.

Kitchen said he just couldn't see wasting $2,700 of the taxpayers' money on a service that he didn't think many people would use anyway. Chuckling, Coleman withdrew his motion, and Carnahan withdrew his second. At that point, Commissioner Jimmie T. Smith returned to the dais, probably after doing something disgusting, as Great American Donald Trump would say. Informed of the other commissioners' votes, Smith weighed in, asking "Why the heck would we spend money on something like that?" Which prompted Carnahan to once again exclaim "fake news!" Then an eagle flew through the window, punched an atheist and an ACLU member right in the nose, and perched on his shoulder, as everyone applauded.

In a follow-up interview with the Chronicle, library director Head said patrons really had been asking for more digital subscriptions, including the Times, because what century is this anyway. Some commissioners, however, worried about creeping communist influence:

Commissioners Brian Coleman and Chairman Jeff Kinnard said approving a subscription to the New York Times could open the door to requests for subscriptions to radical publications.

"I don't feel like the county is obligated to subscribe to every major newspaper or every point of view," Kinnard said. "At some point you draw the line."

The Fake News Washington Post pointed out the library's request was rejected on

the same day the Trump administration announced plans to cancel federal agencies' subscriptions to the Times and The Washington Post. While there's no apparent connection — the Citrus County meeting began several hours before the Wall Street Journal broke the news of the new edict — the controversy unfolding in central Florida highlights how politicians nationwide are parroting the president's disparaging rhetoric about the media.

See? The Great Man has the fake news media running scared! The Post also noted that the commission voted, without a hint of irony, to declare October "Friends of the Library Month."

After the story blew up online, some commissioners backpedaled a tiny bit. Carnahan insisted that despite all his declarations of fealty to the Great Leader, his real reason for turning down the funding was fiscal restraint, don't you see.

"I'm open to a free press," he said. "Not at the taxpayers' expense."

He isn't censoring nothing, you dirty fake news advocates. Commissioner Coleman, on the other hand, said maybe things got a little out of hand at the meeting.

"Do I think I made a mistake? Yes," Coleman said. "Our decision should have been impartial, instead of having it become a personal thing."

You know how it is: First one guy yells "fake news," and before you know it you're voting to buy everyone in the county a t-shirt saying "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required." These things happen.

As of now, Donald Trump himself hasn't yet called for all libraries to cancel their subscriptions to the Times or the Post, but give it time to make its way through the rightwing news ecosystem. "Fox & Friends" will probably be praising the brave county commissioners and calling for "saving taxpayers' money" on pricey leftwing subscriptions by the end of the week.

[WaPo / Citrus County Chronicle / Citrus County Chronicle / Columbia Journalism Review]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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