Citrus Commissioners Deny Library Subscriptions To 'Fake News' New York Times

Elias Hubbard
November 6, 2019

A Florida county caused controversy last month by deciding that local libraries wouldn't provide access to The New York Times because county commissioners "agree with President Trump" that the paper is "fake news" - but officials have promised to revisit the situation amid backlash.

Members of the five-person board in Citrus County, about 75 miles (121 km) north of Tampa, said the request for about $2,700 a year to fund the Times digital version would be taken up again their November 19 meeting.

Commissioner Scott Carnahan called the newspaper "fake news" during a meeting and said he would not vote for the motion, adding that he supported President Donald Trump.

As the paper also pointed out, the Citrus County library system spends about $3,000 annually on a print subscription to the Times.

On the same day the commissioners met, the White House declared that it was planning to order federal agencies to end their subscriptions to The Times and the Washington Post, two news outlets often criticized by Trump.

The board's next regular meeting, set for Tuesday, did not include digital funding for the New York Times on its agenda. "I don't expect us all to agree on all these issues".

All five members agreed to reject the library's attempt to offer digital subscriptions.

In the late October meeting, the commissioners didn't deliberate the merits of the library's request and instead shrugged off the request. "I support President Trump", he told the Chronicle.

Carnahan was joined by Commissioners Ronald Kitchen, who balked at the annual cost of about $2,700, and Jimmie Smith, who wondered, "why the heck would we spend money on something like that?" "Yes", Coleman told the paper. "I would say they put stuff in there that's not necessarily verified".

Meanwhile, Coleman told the paper that he had made a mistake, and that the matter should be revisited.

The four other commissioners stood by their decision.

The New York Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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