Subject: Snooki Bumps Kidlit
So some fellow members of the children’s literature community are all up in arms that apparently your fine show made a programming decision to run with a segment on Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi’s new book in favor of a segment on the recent Caldecott and Newbery Award winners.
Quite honestly, for the last couple of years, the only time I’ve ever watched the TODAY show was for this segment, and I always left with the same reminder to myself: Never watch that show again. The segment always felt like a backhanded attempt to pander to the New York publishing industry and the parents in your audience who take your token bits of coverage on children’s literature as a sign of quality.
Which is a joke.
It’s clear your hosts never read the winner’s books either before or after the segment. They have no idea what’s happening in children’s literature (or any literature for that matter) unless it’s been turned into a hit movie, written by a celebrity, or somehow became a hot topic of conversation at cocktail parties. Viewers have come to expect that the hosts just say what’s been prepared for them in advance.
In short, your hosts are probably as culturally illiterate as the average American, which is why the average American tunes in every weekday morning.
So while I’m sure you’re getting a flood of mail from people complaining about your decision I wanted to take this moment to applaud your decision to no longer pretend to care about quality books for children. I wanted to commend you on losing sight of the opportunity you have to enlighten people across this nation of ours, and instead choose to freely admit that showcasing literature for children for five whole minutes out of your broadcast year is a complete waste of time. You know that, in the long run, your decision and the feedback it generates won’t really affect your ad revenues or ratings.
And to the bored intern whose job it is to scroll through these emails, chin up! It’s not too late to get out and do something meaningful with your life. Just don’t write a children’s book about it.