‘At least hold the pictures up’: House GOP leader receives poor reviews for Dr. Seuss reading amid censorship controversy
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been accused of playing childish political games after he shared a video of himself reading Dr. Seuss, apparently as a protest against the ‘cancelation’ of the late author’s books.
Days after Dr. Seuss’ estate announced that six of the author’s books would no longer be published due to racially insensitive imagery, McCarthy took to Twitter to show solidarity with the late children’s author.
“I still like Dr. Seuss, so I decided to read Green Eggs and Ham,” he wrote, adding: “RT if you still like him too!”
I still like Dr. Seuss, so I decided to read Green Eggs and Ham.
RT if you still like him too! pic.twitter.com/2pbRbSiJD6
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) March 6, 2021
The Republican congressman included a video of him sitting in a chair as he read the classic children’s story.
However, the impromptu storytime received a lackluster reception on social media. Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA) reposted the video, claiming that McCarthy was more focused on reading ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ than helping the American people.
Dems are focused on getting stimulus checks, unemployment benefits & small business loans to the American people.@GOPLeader is focused on Green Eggs and Ham, a book that continues to be published and accepted by the free market.
There is a difference between the two parties. https://t.co/XfMchW9xoL
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 6, 2021
The comment triggered a flood of mockery and scorn directed at McCarthy. For starters, few were impressed by the congressman’s storytelling skills, with some even joking that the book matched his 3rd-grade reading level.
You don’t even hold the pictures up. Fail.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) March 6, 2021
Without getting into the issue even remotely, this was just pure torture to watch Kevin McCarthy read Green Eggs and Ham
— Adam S. (@Coasty_Ad) March 6, 2021
Numerous others noted that the lawmaker had chosen to read one of the dozens of Dr. Seuss books that still remain in print, seemingly side-stepping the actual controversy.
Why didn’t you read one of the books they aren’t making anymore. And be sure to show the photos as well when you do!
— Tim Fullerton (@TimFullerton) March 6, 2021
Although many of the comments alleged that McCarthy was using Dr. Seuss to distract from more pressing issues, several replies argued that there was nothing trivial about “banning” books.
That’s a simplistic mis-characterization. Banning books is not trivial.
— Greg Scott (@gregsandiego) March 6, 2021
Dr. Seuss’ estate revealed on Tuesday that it would no longer publish six titles: ‘McElligot’s Pool,’ ‘On Beyond Zebra!,’ ‘Scrambled Eggs Super!,’ ‘The Cat’s Quizzer,’ ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street’, and ‘If I Ran the Zoo’.
The books will be discontinued because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement. However, the publisher didn’t provide a detailed rationale explaining why the books were singled out. Some have alleged that the books contain racist imagery and stereotypes, even though several of the stories include few depictions of people or none at all.
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The move has been met with considerable pushback. Copies of the books began selling for exorbitant prices, and libraries across the United States said that they would not pull the stories from their shelves, stressing the need to protect freedom of choice.
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