A rant on Wednesday night by CNN’s Anderson Cooper may have forced Amazon’s hand — getting the book peddler to back down on its anti-censorship policy by removing from sale the e-book “Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure.” Last night, Cooper continue his assault on Amazon, demanding that it stop selling a Cooper-drawn list of additional pedophilia-related books (including another book by the Guide’s author that Cooper said had similar content).
Cooper’s segment tries to dramatize, Michael Moore-style, his program’s attempts to extract from Amazon a comment about the company’s materials acceptance policies — even sending CNN’s Seattle reporter to camp out for two hours in the lobby of Amazon headquarters awaiting an interview that never came.
Speeding up his pace and changing to a somewhat cavalier tone, Cooper zeroes in on the free-speech component of the Amazon question:
Originally, Amazon said they don’t want to censor — and we can all understand that: Freedom of speech is vital in this country and I mean who wants some company deciding what we can and cannot read. However, Amazon does censor some things.
He said Amazon policies found on its Website states that “pornography, X-rated moves, home porn, hard-core material that depict graphic sexual acts, and amateur porn and not permitted” and that offensive material would not be published.
“What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect,” Amazon’s online statement continues. “This includes items such as crime-scene videos, videos of cruelty to animals, and extremely disturbing materials.
Among the Amazon-sold books under attack last night by Cooper is one that makes this claim:
Children exposed to premature sexual experiences with adults frequently turn out to be distinguished and unusually charming and attractive in their outward personalities.
In a separate segment last night, Cooper was joined by John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted. Walsh is a longtime anti-crime crusader with a special focus on missing and abused children; his own child was abducted and murdered.