White House Tried To Get Amazon To Censor Books

[Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

This space has long noted that Democrats have become obsessed with censoring anyone who they view as a danger by casting them as either a public danger or deploying “hate speech” or “misinformation.”

Just last November, the Democratic governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, announced a government agency in the Empire States would begin monitoring what people say online to ensure no one is offended.

Hochul claimed that “in response to a rise in hate crimes and incidents of harassment, the State of New York will increase staffing to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Governor Hochul has directed an additional $2.5 million to the New York State Police to deploy ten additional investigators in New York City, Albany, Buffalo and Rochester, ensuring the State Police has a presence in all JTTF investigative groups and areas.  

While “hate speech” has often been the rubric to shut down those they dislike, including Elon Musk, no topic has demonstrated how far Democrats will go than criticizing the pandemic response.

A recent report from Jim Jordan’s Committee on the Weaponization of Government recently revealed just how far the Biden administration was willing to go to shut up COVID-19 critics. 

It turns out the people panicking about “book bans” in Florida were simultaneously pushing the world’s largest book sellers to not sell “misinformation” related to vaccines. 

The National Review writes that in early 2021, the Biden White House sent a series of emails to Amazon pressuring the online retailer to suppress the distribution of books that cast vaccines in a negative light. The administration was ultimately successful in its efforts: Amazon began limiting the visibility of titles that cast doubt on vaccine efficacy soon after hearing from the White House.

The internal Amazon emails, provided to the House Judiciary Committee in response to a subpoena, reveal that White House senior adviser for Covid-19 response Andrew Slavitt concluded that the retail giant was trafficking in “misinformation” after conducting a cursory search on the topic of vaccines.

“Who can we talk to about the high levels of propaganda and misinformation and disinformation of [sic] Amazon?” Slavitt asked an Amazon representative in an email dated March 2, 2021.

“If you search for ‘vaccines’ under books, I see what comes up,” Slavitt wrote in a follow-up email. “I haven’t looked beyond that but if that’s what’s on the surface, it’s concerning.”

White House officials flagged one book authored in 2019 by Dr. Vernon Coleman titled “Anyone Who Tells You Vaccines Are Safe and Effective Is Lying.”

This was not the first time that liberals have argued they should have the power to ban books. In 2009, during the Citizens United case in front of the Supreme Court, the Obama White House argued that the federal government had the power to ban books

The Washington Times reported, “In an email dated March 12, 2021, an Amazon official said the company was ‘feeling pressure from the White House Taskforce” on reducing the visibility of books that questioned the vaccine.

Ahead of the March 9 White House meeting, Amazon’s talking points included finding out whether White House officials were “asking us to remove books, or are they more concerned about search results/order (or both)?!'”

Mr. Jordan said the Judiciary panel and the Judiciary subcommittee investigating the weaponization of government will investigate the matter.

‘Amazon caved to the pressure from the Biden White House to censor speech,’ Mr. Jordan said.”

If you recognize the name of Andrew Slavitt, you may recall that he was the administration’s hatchet man when the White House, on Anthony Fauci’s request, shut down a critic on Twitter prior to its purchase by Elon Musk.

This March, the Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments related to a lawsuit filed by attorneys general in Missouri and Louisiana claiming that the Biden administration colluded with social media companies to suppress the freedom of speech related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Last summer, a US district court ruled that administration officials coerced social media companies, including huge players like Twitter and Facebook, to shut down content they deemed might lead to vaccine hesitancy. 

An appeals court later banned several White House officials, as well as the FBI, Surgeon General’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from communicating with social media companies. 

“In the ruling, Judge Terry A. Doughty of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana said that parts of the government, including the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, could not talk to social media companies for “the purpose of urging, encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.”

In granting a preliminary injunction, Judge Doughty said that the agencies could not flag specific posts to the social media platforms or request reports about their efforts to take down content. The ruling said that the government could still notify the platforms about posts detailing crimes, national security threats or foreign attempts to influence elections.

‘If the allegations made by plaintiffs are true, the present case arguably involves the most massive attack against free speech in United States’ history,” the judge said. “The plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the government has used its power to silence the opposition.’”

The Supreme Court issued a stay on the order until it hears the case. 

[Read More: White House Holds Its Breath As Report On Corruption Comes Due To Come Out] 


You may also like

More in:News

Comments are closed.