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Tuesday, May 10, 2022
CNS Logic: Schools Don't Ban Books, But Amazon Does

The Daily Signal's Katrina Trinko huffed in an April 28 column:

Once again, Amazon has shown it’s on the side of leftist activists, not free speech. 

Matt Walsh, a popular conservative podcast host and writer at The Daily Wire, just released a children’s book titled “Johnny the Walrus.” The book, according to the description on Amazon, tells the tale of Johnny, who likes to pretend to be a dinosaur or a knight. 

But one day “when the Internet people find out Johnny likes to make-believe, he’s forced to make a decision between the little boy he is and the things he pretends to be — and he’s not allowed to change his mind,” states the description.  

Amazon is clearly trying to squash Walsh’s book.

According to Walsh, his picture book has been removed from the category of children’s books and moved to political books. Ads for the book on Amazon also have been rejected by the tech giant as not being “appropriate for all audiences” — an umbrella term for standards that ban advertising for books promoting incest and pedophilia, among other things. 

Trinko didn't mention the fact that Walsh is a raging, hateful homophobe who falsely tried to dupe transgender people into appearing in a film that his minions portrayed as a positive film about transgenders but was secretly an anti-trans film. Thus, it's not "squashing" Walsh's book to properly categorize it as a political book, because his transphobia sure isn't for children.

Trinko further complained that "Amazon also banned Ethics and Public Policy Center President Ryan T. Anderson’s book 'When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment'"without mentioning that 1) it too us an anti-trans screed and 2) Amazon, as a private business, has the absolute right to decide what it wants to sell.

Trinko then hypocritically complains about the "shockingly robust selection of propaganda books for little leftists" -- as if Walsh's book isn't propaganda fior little right-wingers-- going on to whine that "another Big Tech company is making clear that there’s one set of rules for leftists and another set for conservatives," again ignoring the fact that Amazon, as a private business, is under no obligation to sell every single book ever published. She would never demand that, say, "I Am Jazz" -- a book about transgender girl Jazz Jennings and among the titles she cited as propaganda books for little leftists" -- be sold at the online store of her employer, the Heritage Foundation or complain that her employer has two sets of rules based on ideology.

Ironically, CNS cheered the idea of books being banned from school libraries just a month before -- albeit by redefining what it means to ban a book. David Harsanyi tried to pull that sleight of hand in a March 29 column (which also appeared at WorldNetDaily):

Accusations of left-wing free-speech authoritarianism -- whether through corporate restrictions, the state targeting "misinformation," the shouting down of dissent in universities, or the canceling of dissenting voices -- are well-documented. Attempting to even the ledger, liberals have begun alleging that conservatives are engaging in "book bans" in public school districts.

The newest outrage on this front comes from a ProPublica investigation in which Superintendent Jeremy Glenn of Granbury Independent School District in North Texas is taped saying chilling things like: "I don't want a kid picking up a book, whether it's about homosexuality or heterosexuality, and reading about how to hook up sexually in our libraries." ("Minutes later," reports ProPublica, "after someone asked whether titles on racism were acceptable, Glenn said books on different cultures 'are great.'")

ProPublica repeatedly refers to the efforts of a volunteer committee set up to review titles as a "book ban." This is a category mistake. Public school curriculum and book selection are political questions decided by school boards. Schools have no duty to carry every volume liberals demand.


Refusing to carry a book is not tantamount to the heckler's veto, now regularly used by woke college students to shut down ideas in institutions where ideas are meant to be debated. Elementary-school-age kids do not get to choose the topics they learn. Adults do. The debate is about who gets to make that decision: parents or administrators?

So it's not banning books if you're physically stopping them from being available -- but Amazon properly classifying a book is tantamount to a ban. Go figure.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2022 1:39 AM EDT

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