- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Cancel culture, politics, the Democratic mindset and the news media have been very busy in the past 48 hours as the work of a certain children’s book author is reexamined. Here is the sequence of events:

Step 1: On Sunday, media coverage suggests that Loudoun County Public Schools in Virginia advised teachers that Dr. Seuss books were “no longer the emphasis” during the upcoming National Education Association’s annual Read Across America Day. A 2019 academic study which maintained that the books had “racial overtones” was cited as a motivation for the decision.

Step 2: President Biden follows suit Monday, and omits mention of the Seuss books in his recognition of the reading event, which was Tuesday.

Step 3: Also on Tuesday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announces its decision onto cease publication of six particular titles, including “If I Ran the Zoo” and “Scrambled Eggs Super.”

Step 4: Dr. Seuss leads the national trends on Twitter, and the prices on eBay and Amazon of used copies of the dropped Dr. Seuss books go through the roof.



Yes, a pre-owned hardcover volume of “And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street” was priced at $20,000 on eBay by midafternoon Tuesday. Another seller hoped to fetch $10,000 for the same book, Meanwhile, a used copy of “Scrambled Eggs Super” was going for $5,000, according to a brief examination of the offerings by Inside the Beltway.

The price inflation made the business pages of the New York Post.

“The prices of six Dr. Seuss titles exploded on eBay after the beloved author’s publisher said it would stop selling them because they contained racist images. Prospective buyers placed bids in the hundreds of dollars Tuesday for vintage copies of the books that were listed for as little as $4.44 over the past week,” wrote business reporter Noah Manskar.

He also cited price leaps from an initial $15 for “On Beyond Zebra!” to $670. A 1947 copy of “McElligot’s Pool” was initially listed for $5 but fetched a bid for $305.

“All six books were also in short supply on Amazon, where third-party sellers are selling collectible editions for thousands of dollars. Amazon warned buyers that four of the books were out of print with “limited availability.” Only ‘If I Ran the Zoo’ and ‘McElligot’s Pool’ didn’t bear that notice on Tuesday — but the only copies available ran from $920.99 to $4,500,” Mr. Manskar noted.

JUST ABOUT EVERYBODY KNOWS

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his current woes are definitely on the national radar.

“Eight in ten Americans have heard about sexual harassment allegations against Andrew Cuomo,” reports Linley Sanders, a data journalist with YouGov polls.

And the numbers: 79% of U.S. adults overall know of the allegations; that includes 80% of Republicans, 78% of independents and 85% of Democrats.

The single-question, online survey of 5,719 U.S. adults was conducted Monday and Tuesday.

RUNNING FOR OFFICE IS COMPLICATED

Let’s linger in the Empire State for a moment more.

Politics is a complicated place, particularly in New York City. One popular local talk radio host is now off the air because he’s running for office. But not just any office. Curtis Sliwa — noontime host on WABC Radio and also founder of the Guardian Angels public safety organization — is running for mayor of the Big Apple.

But he won’t be broadcasting at the moment.

In recent days, the city’s Campaign Finance Board filed a complaint with WABC Radio suggesting Mr. Sliwa’s political activities and campaign mentions were migrating into his daily radio show. The complaint stated that this was in violation of “in-kind” donation limits that a corporation could offer a candidate, and that such funds should be reported to the financial agency.

Mr. Sliwa is now off the air.

“77 WABC celebrates what is great about America. We support our democracy and our right to vote, fair elections, and the American process. It is with that in mind that, while Curtis Sliwa is a candidate for the Office of the Mayor of New York City, his radio show, podcast, and all related contributions to 77 WABC Radio are on hiatus,” said John Catsimatidis, CEO of the parent corporation, in a statement.

“We wish him and all of the candidates good luck in the upcoming race. If Curtis is not successful, we look forward to him rejoining the WABC family,” he noted.

ON THE RADAR

Conservative voices with diverse opinions will soon have a say about “the biggest threats facing our Republic,” says the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which will host a debate on the ideas ‘That should shape the American Right” as cancel culture and free speech concerns continue to trouble the nation.

On tap to talk: Charles C.W. Cooke, editor of NationalReview.com; Ross Douthat, New York Times columnist; Katherine Mangu-Ward, editor in chief of Reason; Daniel McCarthy, editor of Modern Age; and William Kristol, director of Defending Democracy Together.

Johnny Burtka, president of the host organization, will serve as moderator.

The event is at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Saturday.

“Who can attend? Everyone You can watch live online. But reserve your spot now! Online attendance is capped at 500,” the Delaware-based host group advises.

Curious? The group’s mission statement calls for college students “to discover, embrace, and advance the principles and virtues that make America free and prosperous.” Details for the event are at Bigmarker.com/communities/intercollegiate-studies-inst.

POLL DU JOUR

75% of U.S. adults have a “very” or “mostly” favorable opinion of Israel; 85% of Republicans, 77% of independents and 64% of Democrats agree.

84% of conservatives, 72% of moderates and 62% of liberals also agree.

23% overall have a “very” or “mostly” unfavorable opinion of Israel; 14% of Republicans, 21% of independents and 34% of Democrats agree.

15% of conservatives, 23% of moderates, and 37% of liberals also agree.

2% overall don’t know or refused to answer; 2% of Republicans, 2% of independents, 2% of Democrats agree.

1% of conservatives, 3% of moderates, and 1% of liberals also agree.

Source: A Gallup poll of 1,021 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 3-18 and released Monday.

• Helpful information to jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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