Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is so in favor of book bans that its gets upset when efforts to fight them even appear in fiction. An Oct. 31 post by Dawn Slusher complaining that ABC's "The Connors" "dedicated 30 minutes to denigrating" the efforts of (right-wing) parents "to have a say in what books their children are exposed to at school" with a book-ban plotline. Slusher cheered that the father character noted that "some parents just want to have a say in what their kids are reading," then whined:
But they still proceeded to make it a “book banning” issue when no parents are out fighting to have books banned completely. I’ve also yet to see anyone fighting to ban “the classics.” However, these days if “The Scarlet Letter” or any other classic mentioned were in a kindergarten library, that would be a problem.
Today’s parents are out fighting against books that talk about how to “eat pu**y,” sexual activities, sexual assault, abortion. And hundreds of parents in Michigan spoke out against sexually explicit LGBTQ books.
Slusher further complained when one particular hot-button book hated by right-wingers was referenced:
Did you happen to notice a very non-classic book placed in front with all the real classics? How is Gender Queer a classic when it was published in 2019?
Looks like the writers knew all along this has nothing to do with “the classics,” book banning, or freedom of speech and everything to do with sexually explicit books that are inappropriate for children. Gender Queer is one of the most protested books by parents given its extremely pornographic and pedophilic contents. But The Conners wants us to believe it should be included in a school library?
That alone speaks volumes about this show and its agenda.
Tierin-Rose Mandelburg prudishly cherry-picked all the naughty stuff from one book in an Oct. 21 post:
If you’d like to learn how to eat pussy, head on over to a middle school in Oklahoma.
Onward Pioneers middle school in Stillwater, Oklahoma reportedly had a book called “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” in its school library, Libs of TikTok reported. According to a parent who called out the school at a meeting, the book talked about “how to eat pussy,” “how to eat a butthole” said “fuck” 79 times, “shit” 51 times, “dicks” 11 times, had 15 “pussy’s” and 9 “god damn’s,” all for thirteen-year-olds to read.
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” book is currently rated ages 14-17 on Barnes and Noble yet the general age of middle school children is 11-14 and in the Stillwater school district, middle school only covers 6th and 7th graders. That means that 6th and 7th graders have access to books with vulgar language sexually explicit content.
Mancenburg is lying by portraying the book as only about those things --and she knoiws it, because she refused to describe what the book is actually about, instead of going for prudish shock value. She concluded by making the bizarre leap to actually blaming this book for somehow inspiring sexual crimes: "The left wonders why we have rapists and sexual assaulters flooding our nation yet at the same time completely encourages this behavior starting with school aged children. It's repulsive."
Mandelburg went on to heer a right-wing anti-book stunt in a Nov. 3 post:
Warning: This blog contains rated R, sexually explicit content.
Earlier this week, a group of brave mothers stood in front of their school board to publicly condemn the books that the board allows in its school system. The books contained extreme, graphic, and explicit sexual content that has no place in a school library.
She’s right, the excerpts from these books were traumatizing to hear as a grown adult. I can’t imagine, or rather, don’t want to imagine what trauma kids who read stuff like this would and do go through.
Public schools are currently a s**t show and this is just another reminder of it.
Mandelburg curiously didn't name the titles of the books whose cherry-picked contents were gleefully reproduced by her for maximum shock value. She has clearly never heard of the Miller test, Mendelburg has clearly never heard of the Miller test, which is the Supreme Court's measurement of whether a work is obscene -- and one of those requirements is to judge the work as a whole.
Alex Christy complained in a Dec. 13 post that right-wing book bans were called out:
MSNBC host of The 11th Hour Stephanie Ruhle wondered if conservative attempts to “ban books” was the reason the FBI recently reported a raise in hate crimes. Instead of simply answering no, that’s ridiculous, former assistant director for counter intelligence Frank Figliuzzi says it is too soon to tell, but they certainly don’t help.
There was no attempt to explain what is in these books or justify the presence of sexually explicit material in school libraries or curriculum, simply that conservatives are bad and Republican politicians are bad for going along.
Tim Graham complained that false information about a targeted book was fact-checked in a Jan. 3 post:
On the front page of Tuesday’s Washington Post is a very passionate, very through defense of a novel with passages of two ten-year-old boys who “meet in the bushes after a church youth-group gathering, touch each other’s penis, and progress to oral sex.” That’s the description by Post education reporter Hannah Natanson.
The story went from the front page to the entire back page of the front section. How long was it? If you click "Listen," it says "17 minutes."
The headline was “2 moms, and misinformation led schools to ban a book: How false claims about pedophilia in ‘Lawn Boy’ fueled parents’ anger.”
What’s the “misinformation” here? Some parents -- like Stacy Langton in Fairfax County, Virginia -- wrongly claimed it was sex between a 10-year-old boy and an adult man, as opposed to “the book describes a man in his 20s meeting another man in his 20s and remembering the consensual sexual encounter they shared in the fourth grade.”
Earth to the Post: Couldn't just the graphic oral-sex scene be enough for parents to protest, even between boys?
Graham is clearly OK with misinformation if it forwards right-wing narratives. He went on to complain that "A positive book review in 2018 never found the sex stuff." Perhaps because that's not the focus of the book?
Graham churned out another attack on "Gender Queer," as well as its author, in a Jan. 5 post:
On Wednesday, NPR returned to the ongoing media party for Maia Kobabe, author of the comic-book memoir Gender Queer, celebrated throughout Liberal Land for having the “Most Challenged” book of 2021. Not only was there a seven-minute interview on Morning Edition with anchor Rachel Martin. There was also a Kobabe essay on NPR.org. claiming "Struggling kids told me my book helped them talk to parents."
The book came out in 2019, but NPR is doing a "Banned Books" series. Martin claimed: "The book has been praised in some circles for how it talks about identity, but it's also drawn a lot of rebuke from people who cite its sexually explicit nature and the illustrations. Gender Queer has been banned in more states than any other book."
This can be interpreted as “state governments banned this book,” not it’s been “removed from public libraries in more states than any other book.” The gender-queer lobby thinks books like these must be in taxpayer-funded libraries – as if they can’t be found on Amazon or shared at LGBT centers.
As usual, NPR won't explicitly explore what is "rebuked" by protesters, including depictions of Kobabe envisioning having her imaginary penis in mid-fellatio, as well as talk of masturbation and blow jobs. Twitter blocks these illustrations as sensitive content.
Graham then sneered at the author's preferred pronouns: "Unlike other supportive media, NPR completely avoided that Kobabe prefers the pronouns 'e/em/eir,' and Martin never used a personal pronoun, just the 'you.'" As if Graham actually cares what other people want to call themselves if it deviates from heteronormative tradition.
Graham didn't say a thing about how the efforts of himself and his fellow MRC subordinates and other right-wingers to censor books like "Gender Queer" may be creating a Streisand effect.