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In June we attended the Printer’s Row Literature Festival in Chicago. City blocks were closed off for tents and booths full of all types of literature. We presented a board with a selection of well known book covers and asked visitors of the event if they could choose to ban any of the books on the board, which if any, they would in fact ban. They were allowed to choose any three of the eleven choices.

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The authors of the books we offered to ban were Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Andrew Breitbart, Ayn Rand, Michael Savage, Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, Karl Marx, Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama. While there were in fact less than two handfuls of individuals who did tell us they don’t think any books should be banned, unfortunately there were a shocking amount of guests at this book fair who were quite open to the idea, and in fact lined up quite excited for the opportunity to voice their opinion.

Participants overwhelming chose Sarah Palin who received 53 votes putting her at 36% overall, Glenn Beck at 23% and Ann Coulter at 22%. All of the other choices received a very minimal amount of votes, with the next most popular to ban being Adolf Hitler at 0.5%. Ironically, Michael Savage, who has been banned from entering Britain over things he often says, did not receive one vote to have his words banned in Chicago.

UPDATE: Because you asked. Nine people explicitly stated to us they thought banning books was wrong, including two individuals who voted on the board but later approached us to say, (paraphrasing) “I think I made a mistake, and wanted to take my votes back if I could, because after further reflection, I think banning any book is wrong.” This accounts for 0.6% of the votes cast. We have provided percentages based on the number of votes cast, not the amount of people participating, due to the fact that some people did not use all three of the votes they were allowed. For those of you incapable of comprehending, for the record; this was not a scientific study.

47 Responses

  1. Stop2think

    Interesting. Since one can assume those who hold beliefs antithetical to Palin, Beck, and other conservatives would be liberal. So much for diversity, openess, and inclusion. Liberals: unless we think in lock step you are an enemy. Nice.

  2. Don L

    I would ban every single conservative book that contains the word “compromise” anywhere in it. We are in a covert soft war for our survival.

    Banning is but one invasion by the Godless Communists, or whatever deceitful names they prefer to disguise themselves with these days.

  3. DC555

    I’m surprised the overwhelming choice was not AYN Rand. Rand is by far the most threatening writer to the left. It is her philosophy, stated clearly and magnificently, that renders the left completely irrelevant.

    • Backinthestacks

      I’d be willing to bet that most of the everyday folks on the left have no clue who Rand is, or why her works have the power to destroy their plans.

      • Ayn Rand's Netherregions

        Who Rand is: A hatchet-faced atheist who idolized serial killers, had sex with Alan Greenspan and employed turgid prose in support of an excrable ideology. She also smelled like an ashtray and collected Medicare benefits like a common moocher.

        Unless my plan is to enjoy a book titled The Fountainhead, Ms. Rand is as impotent as Leonard Peikoff after the both bags fall off.

      • Dr. Mike

        For your edification, if a person is over 65 and elects to pay the Dr. for services rendered, the patient and Dr. have both committed Medicare fraud and very well may be jailed. That’s the power of this Gov’t to run every aspect of your life.


        I believe you hit the nail on the head,….

        which is why I think M. Savage didn’t get any hits.

        Name recognition is not their strong suit.

  4. ahem

    Stop calling it liberalism. It’s Leftism. Totalitarianism. There’s nothing liberal about it—nothing.

    • Westie

      Agree ahem! Time to recapture the word Liberal from the leftist totalitarians / Leninist/ Marxist/ Communist/ Statist/ Fools.

  5. Steve from Wisconsin

    I don’t know why anything surprises us anymore, because the left has pretty much declared war on anyone who disagrees with them. Whether the topic is global warming, tax policy or whatever, they seem to be committed to marginalizing, or in this case completely erasing, any opposing views. So much for open-minded thinking, huh?

  6. jim

    As long as they ban Huckleberry Finn, I’m okay with it.

    That’s a joke.

  7. Hepcat

    Of the people asked, how many wanted a book banned? One in ten, one in a hundred?

    Without that information, polls like this mean nothing.

    I’m a conservative. I wish we had that information because without it, this video is more than useless, it’s embarrassing.

    A leftist could stand out on a corner for a whole day and make conservatives look like idiots by showing videos ten people out of a thousand.

    If that happened, I’m sure conservatives would raise the obvious question about what proportion of the people made it onto the video.

    • Lakelevel

      “Without that information, polls like this mean nothing.”

      A careful reading would tell you that less than 10 people said they would ban no books. Also the article stated that 53 votes was 36% overall meaning that 147 votes to ban were cast by 49 people. Are you sure you’re a conservative? Normally only leftys are so dumb.

      • rebelpundit

        Thanks for your glaring intellect. This isn’t a scientific study. The point is that people at a book fair want to ban books. I’m sorry only the dumb people can get it…

      • Hepcat

        Missed the “less than two handfulls”.

        Yes, conservatives can be dumb.

  8. Vo!

    I am not yet surprised that Savage received no votes. I wonder how many respondents even knew who he is ….

    ALL Goats!

  9. gigero

    This video proves that all conservatives are racists because someone (probably an illiterate redneck) voted to ban Obama’s book.

  10. kevino

    Oh, how nice. Liberals banning books they don’t like. What next, goose-stepping liberals burning books?

  11. pst314

    Rebel Pundit: It’s possible that your results were skewed by self-selection–the only people you could count were those who chose to approach your display. Maybe a large proportion of those who did not stop would oppose book banning? This question could be greatly reduced by approaching people at random and asking them.

    That said, I find your results generally plausible: I know lots of supposedly tolerant liberals who are anything but.

    Also to support your results: This was a book fair, and the attendees probably were similar to people you’d find on a university campus. And we’ve all seen the recent videos in which a majority of students and faculty signed a petition to ban Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives from the airwaves and internet.

    Liberals will always condemn yesterday’s Stalin, but can be counted on to support today’s Stalin.

  12. pst314

    Speaking of the liberal affinity for censorship, have you seen Mark Steyn’s “Tahir Square Comes to Fleet Street” in today’s The Corner at NRO?

    (All Mark’s links are broken, so I’ll post what I’ve found.)

  13. Gene

    And we wonder why this country is in the shape it is in? These people scare me. They are the useful idiots that help a free society implode.

  14. guest

    Maybe next time you should tell the organizers of the festival that you plan on conducting an unscientific poll in order to misrepresent their attendees of the fair online. I saw the table at the fair this year and thought that the point was to encourage debate. Now it seems it was just an opportunity for a half-formed partisan stunt.

    • JDNappers

      Are you seriously ‘shooting the messenger’ here? Maybe next time you should form an opinion about the fact that ANYBODY attending this book fair would elect to ban any book let alone such a massive majority of respondents would elect to ban books by conservative/’righty’ authors. How was it partisan when the offerings were mutually left, right and nazi? It’s not like these people were sought out. It’s not like they were asked ambiguous and convoluted questions to garner a specific response to make them look bad.

      Booth attendant: “Would you choose to ban any three of these books?”
      Visitor: “Why yes I would!” *BAN* *BAN* *BAN*
      Booth attendant: “I noticed you chose all ‘righties'”
      Visitor: “Yeah those people are NAZIS!!!”
      Booth attendant notes the irony that none of them chose to ban a book by an actual Nazi…..

  15. brotherWiki

    They preach “tolerance” but practice intolerance?!?! The hypocrisy is blatant. I would hope they are ignorant but it seems evident they are willfully if not blissfully enjoying their hypocrisy. Wow! Rahm and Obama should condemn it! But I’m not holding my breath.

  16. daveinboca

    Shows the power of the lamestream MSM and the substandard types who show up at these fairs. Moral lepers of the same sort as that bozette who accosted Rep. Ryan at his table with two friends for drinking expensive wine. When will so-called do-gooders learn that ‘moral improvement’ demonstrates overweening arrogance and the self-righteous elitism that has infested the Left since Alger Hiss. In these fairs, it’s the Zhdanov types [Stalin’s Goebbels] who show up and obnoxiously tell others what to do.

  17. maryst22

    Not surprising – these are the people who chose Rahm Emmanuel. Didn’t their police Director blame Palin for the gun problem in Chicago!!!Why was not the Bible on the list? probably would have been #1!!

  18. John Sobeit

    So, THIS is why the left are so ignorant. Banning books was one of the first moves of the Nazi’s. Next will be public burning of books and then they’ll move on to the academics who disagree with them and ban them from working on local colleges. One wonders if the people of Chicago realize just how ignorant this action is…

  19. Franklin

    Great video! But I don’t think Savage is on in Chicago, is he? What station?

  20. Z

    I hope you don’t mind I blogged your video someone had sent me…
    I was relieved to hear that at least some people saw what you were asking them to do as censorship! This was an interesting exercise and I’m glad to have found your site. Keep up the good work. We need many, many more like you!

  21. Barack Mugabe

    This is hardly a surprise. This is the party of speech codes, thought crimes laws, political speech restrictions, the Fascist Doctrine, Card Check, the DISCLOSE Act and all the rest.

    They left is very tolerant of speech, so long as it’s speech they agree with.

  22. Westie

    Well wadda ya noe, those ChiTown dim bulbs are worse than Governor Palin, who most certainly never banned any books. That was just the typical dim bulb press lying again!

  23. Donna

    Really is anyone surprised. Chicago will get what it deserves with the people they continue to put in power. The same people who are destroying their state. They don’t care. The day will come when they realize what they have done. It will be too late. Sorry Illinois. When the bankruptcy judge comes calling, this tax payer BANS you from the bailout you will be screaming for.

  24. Nicholas Fitzgerald

    These book fairs are amazing. A few years ago I was at a book fair at UCLA. While there I talked to a college student working a booth for some organization trying to help authors and writers in foreign countries who had been imprisoned for their writing. As the conversation went along the discussing moved to the Iraq war and the military in general. The crux of the argument was centered around her assertion that “freedom is free.” To this day, I’ll bet she still doesn’t realize how ironically idiotic that statement was.

  25. suibne

    wait till the city of chicago goes up in flames for the second time. scurry scurry.

  26. alanwillingham

    Figures… Liberal women can’t measure up to these women, and Liberal men are intimidated by Conservative Women because they feel so weak and impotent when confronted with strong, intelligent, capable, self actualized, non-victim mentality individuals who are on top of everything else, women who have more masculine qualities than these forever adolescent hairless Metrosexuals

  27. Bob In Aurora

    I think the order is probably correct. The Conservatives chosen were in direct proportion to the amount of vitriol they receive from the MSM. I live in Chicago, and I go to the north shore parties and artsy events. All these people read is the NYT and local papers like the liberal Sun Times. Illinois is a blue state: it is going to take the Illinois Tea party a decade to turn it around, unless they (Mike Madigan’s combine) do it for us and push the state into bankruptcy. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll get it. But I doubt it. Oh, and Savage wasn’t chosen because not one person in 20 at that show has ever heard of him. Sorry Mike: I’m a fan but your ego will have to suck this one up.

  28. Douglas Parritt

    lame stream media at work here. Adolf Hitler book OK, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Andrew Breitbart, Ayn Rand, Michael Savage all bad. Sad but true how little these joyous book banners understand the implications of their action.
    Maybe they can ban news that the Obama spending spree is running up trillions in deficits and adding trillions to the national debt, while the economy stagnates in recession. Public-sector pension funds and health care plans are draining state treasuries. At least 44 states and the District of Columbia are in the red and facing bigger deficits down the road. what We do not know will not hurt us! OMG

  29. Douglas Parritt

    more unknowing devotes of the apostles of the Progressive faith aggressive efforts

  30. Maggie's Farm

    Weds. morning links…

    House turns out light on old-style bulbs – Republicans unable to overturn law on efficiency Atlanta teacher: "Those kids were dumb as hell." Divorce and emotional pain: Numb and Number In my view, the government should be able to eliminate…


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