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05/09/2007

'WorldNet's anti-Amazon vendetta reignited

by Jeremy Hooper

So back in September, we told you how a WorldNetDaily reader was complaining because her search on Amazon.com for some popular "family-friendly" DVDs provided her with a recommendation that she may also like to purchase the Brokeback Mountain DVD. At that time, we couldn't believe that anyone would be short-sighted enough to not realize that Brokeback was recommended because it was a popular, high-profile movie (just like 'Harry Potter' and the 'Chronicles of Narnia', two of the other videos for which the customer had searched), and not because it was gay in content. But of course rational consideration of gay issues is of less interest to WorldNetDaily than are attempts to make "the homosexual agenda" look real and pervasive. So WND and the reader immediately accused Amazon of pro-gay bias.

Then, four days later, we brought you word of yet another complaint, in which a WorldNet reader was this time pissed because Amazon had included "Gay & Lesbian" as one of the genres in which their online TV downloads were categorized. Again, that WorldNet reader accused the company of "gay bias" for merely allowing "Gay & Lesbian" TV to exist alongside the other categories. And again, the condemnation of the gayness was both baseless and offensive.

Well, today comes yet another Amazon-centric WorldnetDaily condemnation, this time from a parent who is livid that his daughter's search for "science videos" gave her a result for certain books. This from WND:

Amazon.ca, the Canadian branch of Amazon.com, has offered to sell "Eclectic Views On Gay Male Pornography: Pornucopia" to an 8-year-old American student whose father is working temporarily in Canada, after she launched a search for "science videos."

The girl's father, Ken Chapman, told WND that he probably won't be buying anything soon from Amazon.ca, whose American parent company, as WND had reported, suggested earlier that a consumer interested in "The Chronicles of Narnia" and "Lady and the Tramp" purchase "Brokeback Mountain," a story of homosexual relationship.

Chapman said his family is planning a trip, and since his daughter will miss some school, he proposed getting some videos to run in the family car during the travel time.

"Rather than giving the kids some idiotic Disney movie, we thought videos would be better," he said. "We're going to do science, geography, Bible and math."


He said he told his daughter to look up some videos and he would purchase them for the trip.

That's when she went to Amazon.ca and searched for "science videos."

"Of the three pages of selections returned one was: 'Adult videos' and another was 'Eclectic Views on Gay Male Pornography: Pornucopia,' both a hardback and paperback book. My child wanted to know what this stuff was all about. Imagine my shock and awe?" Chapman said.

"I wrote Amazon.ca to ask about this apparent problem. They replied with a note sounding very standard telling me they don't censor their materials, and will be inclusive of Gay material. I replied back and asked how a science video search could return pornography. So far, no answers," Chapman said.

Okay, so being that this is Worldnet and that gay demonization is their wont, they immediately jump to more claims of Amazon being gay biased. And of course they also blindly paint this gay-centric book as "porn." But here's the truth of how the search came to be, as well as about the books themselves:

Why both books turned up in the search: Both of the books to which the parent objected have the term "video" in the title, and they both fall under the category of "social sciences."
Picture 3-56
Algorithms not being 100% perfect, these results (as well as many other slightly off-topic choices) came up under the young girl's search. It really isn't all that hard to see they "why" for any of the results, if you just open your mind and look.

The reality of the books themselves: Despite their provocative titles, neither "Adult Videos" or "Eclectic Views on Gay Male Pornography: Pornucopia" are actually pornography. The former is a guide to the genre, and the latter is an intellectual examination of erotica geared towards gay men. While WorldNetDaily may find such critical works objectionable, they are far from the same thing as porn!

The nature of the girl's search: The word "science" is not kid-centric. Had she searched for "children's videos," we might have a different reaction (even though we would rationally understand how certain items could still slip through the cracks). But seeing as how Amazon is not a kid-centric site and science is a concept that also interests adults, the parent's case for legitimacy is seriously weakened.

So basically, WND's claims against Amazon are once again preposterous. WorldNet surely views this as an opportunity to make it seem like the homosexual agenda is taking over all of corporate America, so they are presenting this situation with only a cursory evaluation of the facts. And even more offensively, they are acting as if the company is acting inappropriately by selling items geared to adults. But Amazon.com is not a children's playground! There are LOADS of non-pornographic materials that are not meant for the 8-year-old consumer! Next time, WND, how's about actually using a bit of reason before being so quick to react!

8-year-old's Amazon search turns up porn [WND]

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Your thoughts

I love how you tear this parent's claim apart piece by piece. Just made my day so much better. Thank you.

Posted by: Sam | May 9, 2007 2:09:04 PM

You know, I always believed parenting should be the parent's responsibiity, not corporate America's. Any parent who would allow their child to roam the internet using any search engine not specifically designed for children and then be surprised that someone else "allowed" their child to see something they personally object to is simply not living in reality.

I don't really understand the issue with the conservatives trying to get society as a whole to protect their children from anything the parent might find objectionable. I do understand that society as a whole should protect children, however, the parents can not expect every TV station, website, radio program, etc., to meet every criteria of what an individual may find objectionable for thei child. To automatically assume that a web site used by a wide variety of people is trying to "indoctrinate" people on some imagined gay agenda is absolutely ridiculous. Is the World Net Daily readership and writers completely devoid of common sense?

Posted by: Todd | May 9, 2007 2:41:41 PM

OK, I guess that Amazon is bad unless it is promoting something that WND also promotes:

Farah's 'Stop The Presses!' gets unanimous 5 stars on Amazon --WND Exclusive--

I find it very ironic that both of these "headlines" are on the same WND page at the same time. They are so going to confuse their poor gullible readership.

Posted by: Todd | May 9, 2007 7:12:15 PM

"My child wanted to know what this stuff was all about. Imagine my shock and awe?" Chapman said."

This man is in awe of gay pornography?

Posted by: Boo | May 9, 2007 10:07:58 PM

Todd said:

"Is the World Net Daily readership and writers completely devoid of common sense?"

Yes.

Posted by: Haggs | Jun 6, 2007 10:40:09 AM

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