Salon falsely calls book banning a far-right practice

May 12, 2022

By Tim Worstall

Librarians are pushing back against book banning – and they should. Doctors against medical care would be an equivalent idea if they weren’t. However, Salon manages to make the leap to an insistence that it’s Republicans – you know, the “far-right” – who are behind all of this, in opposition to our Noble Librarians.

This is not true.

As proof of Salon’s views in their piece about librarians being those defenders of the faith, we’re told:

“The American Library Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and more than two dozen other organizations on Tuesday formed a coalition to fight the far-right’s record-breaking censorship barrage—wherein nearly 1,600 books were targeted for removal from public shelves and schools across the United States in 2021.”

Just in case we’ve not understood that it’s the Republicans who are that far-right, we’re also told that “[b]ook bans are part of the Republican Party’s broader war on public education.”

Now, much of this piece is in fact a rewrite with extensive quotations from a press release. But the pieces quoted above are those that Salon themselves have added – this is not from the librarians, nor the campaign.

This is exactly the part that shows Salon’s bias here. We have looked at that list of banned books before here at Accuracy in Media. One of the things we noted is that “Of Mice and Men” and “To Kill a Mockingbird” are in the top ten of books that have been banned. Yes, this is the same list of books that have been banned, this is a part of the same discussion.

It’s not the GOP – far-right or whatever – that chases those two books now, is it? As, in fact, that original report noted by ourselves pointed out.

Salon is listed in the top 100 media outlets for “law and government” and gains some 8 million visits a month as a result. In progressive circles, it is more important than that too. With power comes responsibility – or at least we’d hope so.

It is not true that book banning is wholly, exclusively, or even mainly, a Republican or even right-wing (far- or not) preoccupation in today’s America. A claim that it is must be categorized as either bias or a willful blindness to the subject under discussion.


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