Florida’s Citrus Board of County Commissioners voted against allowing the county’s libraries to subscribe to the New York Times in October, echoing President Donald Trump’s complaint that the paper is “fake news.”
The commissioners held a meeting on October 24, during which Commissioner Brian Coleman put forward a motion to approve the Citrus County Library System’s request for a $2,700 digital subscription to the New York Times that would allow library patrons to access the paper for free.
“Do we really need to subscribe to the New York Times?” asked Commissioner Ronald Kitchen after Commissioner Scott Carnahan seconded the motion, prompting chuckles from his colleagues.
“I actually was gonna say that,” Carnahan replied. “I’m gonna vote no for this. Fake news, okay? I agree with President Trump.”
“I will not be voting for this,” he continued. “I don’t want the New York Times in this county.”
Carnahan bookended his dissent with a declaration: “I support Donald Trump.”
“For what it’s worth, Mr. Chairman, I don’t plan on supporting it either,” Kitchen told Commission Chair Jeff Kinnard.
“I’ll withdraw my motion,” Coleman said, which led to Carnahan withdrawing his second.
“Commissioner Kitchen, I truly appreciate that ‘cause I asked why the heck we’d spend money on something like that, so good for you,” Commissioner Jimmie Smith told Kitchen.
“Good for you, Commissioner Smith. I’m glad we’re agreeing on something,” Kitchen said with a chuckle.
“They have a good crossword puzzle, come on,” Coleman joked before moving on to the next item on the agenda.
The New York Times did not respond to request for comment.
Watch exchange on the meeting’s webcast at the 1:51:20 timestamp.