Florida officials deny New York Times subscription to county library in support for Trump

Marcus Livius

Former Staff
Sep 2017
Apparently there was such an outcry by the people that they choked and did renew the subscriptions.
Fake news. They will vote on it on November 19.

Citrus County libraries already subscribe to the print version. The digital version was a proposed add-on that cost thousand of dollars.
Feb 2006
Thanks for the update!

Former New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was frustrated when he called Citrus County’s library office Wednesday morning.

He had read about local commissioners saying they would not pay $2,700 for digital subscriptions to the New York Times for 70,000 library cardholders. “Fake news,” the commissioners had said, professing their support for President Donald Trump.

Fine, Alderson thought. I’ll pay for it.

“Honestly (I) was outraged by the attempt to censor responsible journalism, and the idea of not making the New York Times or frankly any newspaper available to library members was ridiculous,” said Alderson, who lives in St. Petersburg and is a special adviser for the Oakland A’s. He said he reads the New York Times and considers himself an independent voter. He declined to say whether he voted for President Trump. The people at the library, he said, made note of his name and said they would get back to him.

“I’m sure there are many people who felt the same way,” Alderson said.

He was right.

Citrus County has received so many emails about the controversy that its computer servers temporarily crashed, according to spokeswoman Cynthia Oswald.

“Never happened to little Citrus County before,” she said. “Nothing like it.”

Word of the commission’s decision took off with help from Trump himself as he shared stories on Twitter about the move and subsequent backlash.

For several days following the council’s Oct. 24 meeting, commissioners received a relative trickle of feedback, mostly from residents. Some of those emails are excerpted below, just as they were written.

“Thank you for canceling the NYT (New York Lies), its at the top of the list for fake news,” wrote a man from Crystal River.

Commissioner Scott Carnahan, who had spoken most strongly against the New York Times, replied: “Your very welcome and with a price tag of $2700 dollars a year is outrageous. Plus we have enough fake news in this country.”

Not everyone was so supportive.

“Mr. Carnahan, you in particular, stated that you did not want ‘the New York Times in this county’. Should we expect some goons will come to our house to check our devices? Are you that afraid?” a couple from Lecanto wrote. “Ugh. Anyone who fears knowledge should not hold public office. You are not leaders, gentlemen. What a shame.”

Carnahan responded, “I made my decision solely on fiscal responsibility. It’s not the taxpayers’ responsibility to pay $2700 for a online publication. They can use this money in other place to enhance our great library system.”

When the Tampa Bay Times and Washington Post picked up the story from the Citrus County Chronicle, the debate ratcheted up even more. The conversation in the commissioners’ inboxes devolved.

“Shame on you!” more than one person wrote.

“Kiss my tourism dollars goodbye. You’re nothing more then redneck a*******. Don’t bother f****** replying, turds,” another wrote.

Oswald said the county’s tourism office has received emails from people threatening to stop visiting Citrus. An author who writes about sports car racing called the commissioner’s actions “disgraceful” and said, “I am encouraging people NOT travel to your county via my social media sites.”

One person didn’t explicitly mention the controversy but wrote: “Now that I have to boycott Citrus County, and can't return to the beautiful Homosassa, where is the next best place to see manatees?”
Mar 2013
Middle Tennessee
My question is, did they cancel ALL digital subscriptions ?? If so then they are within their rights. IF however, they've ONLY canceled the NYT because of their personal politics then they are in direct violation of the first amendment.