Did THE TODAY SHOW Snub Award Winning Authors For Snooki?

Lately the two big stories in the book world have been the censoring of Huck Finn and the new book by Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi. And just when I thought things couldn’t get worse, I saw this Publisher’s Weekly article that wonders if the recent Newbery and Caldecott Medalists were bumped from The Today Show in favor of Snooki. Sigh.

So here’s the basic story: the American Library Association awarded the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Medals to Clare Vanderpool and Erin Stead on Monday, and assumed they would be featured on The Today Show the following day, as the winners have for the past 11 years. However, that didn’t happen. The Today Show turned them down citing “citing a lack of interest and scheduling problems.”

As Publisher’s Weekly notes, with the shootings in Tucson, it’s a busy news week for the program. Yet Matt Lauer did find time on Tuesday’s show to interview Snooki about her novel A Shore Thing (his first question: “Did you really write this book?” She says she did, but also had a ghostwriter). During the interview she also taught him some new vocabulary words such as “weenis” and “badonk.”

A lot of people have taken to Twitter to express their outrage over the Newbery/Caldecott Medalists being snubbed. Author Jodi Picoult tweeted “It is a sad world when Snooki counts as an ‘author’ on AM news shows and the Caldecott winners don’t.” She went on to say “Valid questions: Who rushes out to buy the Snooki book? Why does Snooki think she can write a book? You don’t see me acting on Jersey Shore.”

So, regardless of the reason, I think it’s a sad day when The Today Show refuses to host the ALA winners (full disclosure: I’m a member of the ALA). What do you think of The Today Show‘s decision? Let me know in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter @kristendaemons

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  • Anonymous

    “Citing a lack of interest?” I think I just died a little inside.

    The books that win these two awards are always extraordinary and some have stayed with me since I read them in childhood. I know I’m not alone in that. That should mean something and I’m disappointed The Today Show opted to ignore them.

    As for Snooki–sigh. I have no idea if “her” book is good, but I think our media is saturated enough with the whole Jersey Shore crew. The Today Show could have made some room for Claire Vanderpool and Erin Stead.

    • Anonymous

      I agree Michelle. I still remember the bookshelf of Newbery award winning books in my middle school library and the feeling that these were special books. I think The Today Show is underestimating their viewers if they think we’re more interested in Snooki than great books.

  • Mark McAvoy


  • http://www.kellymichele.net Kelly

    While I understand that Snooki and the Jersey Shore clan are all over the place, they don’t need to infiltrate the book world as well. I haven’t read Snooki’s book, and I have no intention of reading Snooki’s book (I’m judging by it’s cover, sue me!), but I think Jodi Picoult has an excellent point.

    Snooki is not a writer, and certainly shouldn’t be mentioned as an “author” when ALA award winners are bumped.

    That entire concept makes me crazy.