State Watch

Florida county commission cites Trump in denying library New York Times subscription

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A county commission in Florida denied its libraries funding for the purchase of a digital subscription to The New York Times late last month, with one commissioner citing President Trump’s disdain for the newspaper.

{mosads}Members of the Citrus County, Fla., commission made the decision on Oct. 24, the same day that The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump instructed federal government agencies to not renew their subscriptions to the Times and The Washington Post.

All four of Citrus County’s libraries have the Times in print form, but the proposed digital subscription, which would cost the county roughly $3,000 annually, would give the county’s 70,000 library cardholders unlimited online access, county library director Eric Head told the Citrus County Chronicle.

However, when the proposal was brought forth to the commission, it received pushback.

“I don’t want the New York Times in this county,” commissioner Scott Carnahan said during the meeting. “I don’t like them. It’s fake news.”

Commissioner Brian Coleman added: “I support President Trump. I would say they put stuff in there that’s not necessarily verified.”

Days later, Carnahan defended his comments, saying that free press shouldn’t be “at the taxpayers’ expense.”

Coleman, however, admitted that the decision should be revisited.

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

Sandy Price, chairwoman of the Citrus County Special Library District Advisory Board, expressed her disappointment in the commission’s decision.

“Someone’s personal political view does not have a place in deciding what library resources are available for the entire county,” Price told the Chronicle. 

“Libraries have to ensure all points of view are represented.”

According to the local paper, the advisory board will hold a special meeting to revisit the decision sometime this month. 

Tags digital subscription Donald Trump Florida Library New York Times
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