By Jonathon Van Maren
In March, I wrote a column describing how the media uses carefully selected headlines and terminology to bias readers toward the trans agenda, using the New York Times as an example. I thought the Times was pretty egregious. But a recent article in the Seattle Times by business reporter Katherine Long really takes the cake. Consider the opening paragraph:
Amazon has refused to stop selling a book that doctors and transgender advocates have said advances a narrative of transgender identity as a disease after employees asked the company to yank the title from its digital shelves.
Reread that framing for a moment. Have you ever read a reporter so obviously disappointed that Amazon didn’t digitally burn a book—in this case, Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters? If Amazon were told to stop selling some lewd novel, would the lede be that Amazon “refused to stop selling” such a book? The bias is so blatant one wonders if the reporter realizes how much of a hack she is.
In fact, stories like this are the story. Employees object to something, media are notified, and the media runs stories about the kerfuffle they themselves are in the very process of creating. From the Seattle Times:
Leaders of Amazon’s affinity group for LGBTQ+ employees, Glamazon, also asked the company to drop the book, according to Slack messages viewed by The Seattle Times. “As a proud Amazonian and a queer person, I invite Amazon to do the right thing and remove this book from our offerings globally,” wrote the employee in the initial complaint…On April 23, Amazon’s director of book content risk and quality posted on an internal message board that Amazon would not stop selling “Irreversible Damage.”
“Amazon has an internal process for evaluating the appropriateness of books and we have shared your feedback,” the director wrote. “In this case, the process included gathering feedback from Glamazon board members and the Books Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team. After examining the content of the book in detail and calibrating with senior leadership, we have confirmed that it does not violate our content policy.”
Employees affiliated with Glamazon, though, said they were dissatisfied with the company’s decision to keep selling “Irreversible Damage.” “We’ve been fighting this for months,” a Glamazon board member told other employees last week, according to images of Slack messages viewed by The Seattle Times. “We were consulted. We told them it’s transphobic and needs to be removed.”
Long goes on to pen a lengthy screed decrying, through the mouths of various interviewees, the crime committed by Amazon in refusing to cancel the book and noting various precedents (including the cancellation of Ryan T. Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally) that Amazon could use to pull the plug if they wished. It is obvious that Long hopes her article might persuade them to actually do so.
The members of the free press now openly campaign to suppress the research, facts, and opinions of those they disagree with. They deserve our contempt—and to be called out on it.
Meanwhile, if anyone is interested in what Shrier’s book actually had to say, here’s my discussion with her on it (or, alternatively, my review at The American Conservative):