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June 10, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Tech mogul Elon Musk is calling for online retail giant Amazon to be broken up after its decision to temporarily block the sale of a booklet about COVID-19 by a veteran journalist who dissents from the mainstream media’s prevailing narrative on the subject.
“Unreported Truths about COVID-19 and Lockdowns: Part 1: Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates” was written by former New York Times investigative reporter Alex Berenson, a prominent critic of the lockdown response to COVID-19. It examines the basis for initial predictions that the virus would cause mass death if not contained by draconian restrictions on public life.
Berenson’s views are at odds with those of the mainstream media and the politicians behind the various lockdowns across the United States — so much so that Amazon pulled the book before it was slated to go live on its website, Fox News reported.
“They said, ‘we’re rejecting this,’” Berenson told Fox. “It didn’t say, ‘you can appeal,’ it didn’t say, ‘here is who you should email if you have a question.’ It just said, ‘This is rejected.’” In response, he went public about Amazon’s decision, lambasting it online as “outrageous censorship from a company that gained hugely from the lockdown,” thanks to the forced closure of many retail stores forcing Americans to shop online.
As the decision became more widely known, public condemnation led Amazon to reverse itself and make the booklet available.
“They didn’t say to me that it was a mistake,” Berenson continued. “I do believe that I’m not the only person who has run into this. They need to be clear what their position is on publishing controversial material on political issues.”
“It’s not clear to me how often this is happening, nor is it clear to anybody outside Amazon,” he said. “If you get rejected this way, it’s not like YouTube where it’s posted and pulled. Nobody ever sees it. They clearly are censoring content related to COVID. Are they censoring content related to other stuff? I don’t know.”
Among the voices supporting Berenson was Tesla chief Elon Musk, who called the censorship “insane” and declared it was “time to break up” Amazon’s monopoly.
Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 4, 2020
Several states have mulled antitrust investigations into Amazon’s market dominance, and in March the company was hit with a federal antitrust lawsuit in Seattle, alleging a “pricing scheme that broadly and anti-competitively impacts virtually all products offered for sale in the U.S. retail e-commerce market.”
This is far from the first sign of Amazon’s political biases. It allows the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to identify groups to exclude from the company’s Amazon Smile charity program, and has banned books that promote reparative therapy for overcoming unwanted homosexual attraction. Amazon has also lobbied against state laws protecting religious adoption agencies and banning men from competing in women’s sports.