Former New York Times reporter Alex Berenson has slammed Amazon for attempted ‘censorship’ after the company backed down from its attempt to halt sales of his new book that questions the effectiveness of masks in deterring the pandemic.
Berenson, who has emerged as a strong critic of the government’s response to the pandemic, appeared in an interview with Fox News guest host Mark Steyn on Wednesday night.
‘Big Tech censorship of opposing views on COVID is a huge problem, and it’s part of an even bigger problem,’ he said.
‘This isn’t about COVID, it’s about whether or not as a society we’re going to allow people who have views that are sort of outside what the mainstream media want you to believe, to present those views,’ he continued. ‘It’s becoming harder and harder to have honest conversations.’
Berenson (right), who has emerged as a strong critic of the government’s response to the pandemic, appeared in an interview with Fox News guest host Mark Steyn
Berenson said that his new booklet, the third in a series about the COVID-19 response, quotes from published scientific studies that cast doubt on the effectiveness of population-wide mask mandates.
‘Obviously I’d like everyone to read it and understand how weak the science about masks is,’ he said.
Berenson noted that he had to battle Amazon over the first booklet in his series, before Elon Musk highlighted the case on Twitter and the retailer backed down.
‘This is actually the second time, and the second booklet of mine that they’ve tried to censor and they had to back down,’ he said.
On Tuesday night, Berenson reeled off a series of Tweets saying that Amazon had blocked the publication of the paperback – and later ebook – versions of his book.
He then later tweeted that the retail giant had ‘backed down’, sharing images of an email from Kindle saying the book was ‘now live and available’ on the platform.
This comes five months after the eCommerce giant caved to pressure over Berenson’s first COVID-19 publication, about the reporting of coronavirus deaths.
Amazon had initially blocked the publication of the book back in June before saying it was done ‘in error’ as Elon Musk waded into the drama.
Amazon has reversed its decision to pull ex-New York Times reporter Alex Berenson’s latest COVID-19 book – that questions the effectiveness of masks – after he hit out at the platform saying ‘censorship is alive and well’. Pictured Berenson
Berenson, a former investigative business reporter and spy fiction writer, found himself once again clashing with the retail giant over the third installment of his controversial book series ‘Unreported Truths About Covid-19 and Lockdown’.
Part three, titled ‘Masks’, explores the effectiveness of face coverings in protecting people from the virus, with Berenson writing in the synopsis that ‘proof that masks do any good is far weaker than almost anyone understands’.
The book was published as an ebook and paperback on Tuesday but Berenson posted on social media that Amazon had blocked the paperback version.
‘CENSORED AGAIN. After being published. And I told the @amazon KDP team I was putting out another booklet so their automated review wouldn’t do this. Here we go again,’ he tweeted Tuesday night, alongside an email from Kindle Content Review.
The email reads that after a ‘quality assurance review’ the book was found to be ‘in violation of our content guidelines’.
Berenson wrote that, while the paperback had been blocked, the ebook was ‘live (for now’.
‘The ebook is live (for now), the booklet is ‘BLOCKED.’ Censorship is alive and well,’ he tweeted, sharing a screenshot of the ‘blocked’ status on his book.
‘Every study I reference is quoted verbatim with a link to the original paper. WHAT IS GOING ON?’
The former journalist reeled off a series of Tweets Tuesday night saying that Amazon had blocked the publication of his third installment of his controversial book series ‘Unreported Truths About Covid-19 and Lockdown’ – this one questioning the effectiveness of masks
The book is part three in his series of ‘Unreported Truths’ on coronavirus. The former journalist has emerged as a strong critic of the government’s response to the pandemic
He then updated his followers soon after to say that the ebook version had also been taken down from Amazon.
‘Yep, @amazon has now officially pulled the ebook too. I don’t know what to say,’ he wrote alongside a screengrab of its ‘blocked’ status.
While Amazon appeared to have pulled the publication, Berenson said Apple had released it on its platform without issue.
Around four hours later, Berenson tweeted to say that Amazon had ‘backed down’, sharing a congratulatory email from the platform.
‘And @amazon backed down – the ebook is LIVE again. The note makes no reference to them pulling it. I assume the booklet will be up too. THANK YOU ALL FOR HELPING BEAT THE CENSORSHIP. We shouldn’t have to keep doing this,’ he tweeted.
Berenson told Fox News Amazon hasn’t given him an explanation as to why it was pulled in the first place.
‘It’s just them backing down without admitting it,’ he told the network.
An Amazon spokesperson gave no information when contacted by DailyMail.com about why the book was initially blocked or why the platform then reversed its decision.
They confirmed the book is now available for sale and the author had been notified.
This isn’t the first time Berenson and Amazon have clashed over his controversial COVID books.
In June, Amazon temporarily banned part one of his series, titled ‘Introduction and Death Counts and Estimates’, in which he questioned the metrics on COVID-19 deaths and hit out at the media for not being skeptical of forecast death figures.
‘Media outlets seemed committed to painting as bleak a picture of coronavirus as possible,’ he wrote.
Berenson vented on Twitter at the time that the platform was censoring him.
‘THEY CENSORED IT! It is based entirely on published government data and scientific papers,’ he tweeted.
He then later tweeted that the retail giant had ‘backed down’, sharing images of an email from Kindle saying the book was ‘now live and available’ on the platform
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the book is now available for sale and the author has been notified
‘It doesn’t say coronavirus isn’t real or doesn’t kill people (in fact, the worst-case death toll is likely to be striking to people). And Amazon won’t run it.’
He also hinted that Amazon had an agenda in stopping the circulation of his book because the firm has benefited from the pandemic, with its online sales surging during lockdowns.
Eccentric Tesla boss Elon Musk – who has repeatedly downplayed the virus and called lockdowns ‘fascist’ – joined in the affray and called for Amazon to be broken up over the matter.
‘This is insane @JeffBezos. Time to break up Amazon. Monopolies are wrong!’ tweeted Musk at the time.
Amazon later allowed the book to be published on its platform and said it had been initially removed ‘in error’.
Berenson’s second part of the series, ‘Update and Examination of Lockdowns as a Strategy’, was released in August with no apparent issue with Amazon.
In June, Amazon temporarily banned part one of his series, in which he questioned the metrics on COVID-19 deaths and hit out at the media for not being skeptical of forecast death figures. Elon Musk then waded into the drama
In this book, Berenson questioned the effectiveness of lockdowns in slowing the spread of the virus.
Berenson has emerged as a controversial figure amid the pandemic due to his strong skepticism of how governments are handling it.
He has criticized lockdowns, masks, and the way deaths are counted, putting him at odds with public health experts.
The former journalist has also hit out at the media’s ‘panicked reporting’ and has become a fixture on conservative outlets, in particular Fox News.
Berenson also courted controversy prior to the pandemic with his 2019 book where he claimed marijuana was more dangerous than people realize and is strongly linked to violence.
In the book, ‘Tell Your Children: The Truth About Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence’, Berenson wrote he drug is ‘far more dangerous than people understand, and some have suffered greatly.’
It sparked a backlash from academics and people in the medical community who penned an open letter urging people ‘to rely on scientific evidence, not flawed pop science and ideological polemics’.
Junior staff at Penguin Random House Canada ‘broke down in tears’ and tried to block conservative psychologist Jordan Peterson’s new book, claiming he’s an ‘icon of white supremacy’
Junior staff at Penguin Random House Canada are trying to block the publication of conservative psychologist Jordan Peterson’s new book, claiming he is an ‘icon of white supremacy and hate speech’.
Peterson is well-known for his ‘grow up’ approach to adulthood and his 2018 book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, is an international bestseller, having sold more than 5million copies around the world.
He’s been hailed by the right for his fearless refusal to bow down to political correctness and ostracized by the left for his controversial opinions.
Among his views is that the notion of white privilege is itself racist and that laws which force people to use transgender pronouns are unconstitutional.
Peterson, who nearly died earlier this year after overdosing on anti-anxiety pills benzodiazepines, has written a new book that is to be published by Random House. It is titled Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life and is a follow-on to his first.
But staff at Random House in Canada on Monday tried to block its publication. Four employees told Vice that the company held a town hall about it. They did not want to be named for fear of losing their jobs, they said.
Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson’s new book, Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life, is being published by Random House Canada to the dismay of staff there
One junior employee said at the meeting of Peterson: ‘He is an icon of hate speech and transphobia and the fact that he’s an icon of white supremacy, regardless of the content of his book, I’m not proud to work for a company that publishes him’.
Some were ‘crying’, they said, and one blamed Peterson for ‘radicalizing’ their father. Another said the book would have a ‘negative effect on their non-binary friend’.
‘The company since June has been doing all these anti-racist and allyship things and them publishing Peterson’s book completely goes against this. It just makes all of their previous efforts seem completely performative.’
Peterson’s 2018 book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, sold more than 5million copies worldwide
The company also has a diversity and inclusion committee which received more than 70 complaints about the book, another employee said.
Random House is standing its ground.
In a statement, the company said: ‘We announced yesterday that we will publish Jordan Peterson’s new book this coming March.
‘Immediately following the announcement, we held a forum and provided a space for our employees to express their views and offer feedback. Our employees have started an anonymous feedback channel, which we fully support.
‘We are open to hearing our employees’ feedback and answering all of their questions. We remain committed to publishing a range of voices and viewpoints.’
On Twitter, critics said the staff were trying to censor free speech with their attempts to block the book’s publication.
‘Jordan Peterson is not my cup of tea, but dismayed to see Penguin Random House Canada in the grip of the same anti-free speech convulsions we are witnessing in too many places. Now the book industry too.
‘What next — book burnings?’ one person said.
‘Imagine working for a book publishing company and not supporting Free Speech?
‘And don’t give me that “not publishing isn’t censorship” crap, that’s not what this is about,’ another said.
Peterson’s controversial opinions include not adhering to transgender laws and that the notion of white privilege is racist.
Random House Canada held a town hall on the book publication on Monday where staffers cried over the book
In 2017, he said in an interview: ‘The idea of white privilege is absolutely reprehensible and it’s not because white people aren’t privileged. Most people have all sorts of privilege.
‘You should be grateful for your privileges and work to deserve them, I would say.
‘The idea that you can target an ethnic group with a collective crime, regardless of their specific innocence or guilt regardless of the constituent elements of that group – there is absolutely nothing that is more racist than that. It’s absolutely abhorrent.’
In a 2018 exchange on the British TV network Channel 4, he told interviewer Cathy Newman that young men were crying out to be told to grow up and be more ‘competent’ and that women ‘deeply’ wanted them to.
‘What I’ve been telling young men is there’s an actual reason that they have to grow up: they have something to offer.
‘I don’t think young men hear words of encouragement. Some of them never in their entire lives. Young men are starving of this sort of message: why in the world do they have to derive it from a lecturer on YouTube.
Peterson being challenged by a transgender woman on a TVO interview who asked if he would use the ‘she’ pronoun in reference to her. He said he would but that the greater issue is free speech and not being forced to
‘Women deeply want men who are competent and powerful. I don’t mean power in that they can exert tyrannical control over others. That’s not power, that’s corruption.
‘Power is competence.’
Newman was slammed for repeatedly trying to put words in his mouth and failing to catch him out.
That interview escalated his popularity. Fox’s Tucker Carlson described it as ‘one of the great interviews of all time’.
In 2019, he said does not dispute transgender or transexual issues but said: ‘I can tell you that I’ve received more letters from transexual people supporting me than opposing me. I never said anything really about transexual people, about their existence.
‘I didn’t say they didn’t exist. I said gender identity, gender expression and biological sex do not vary independently, which they don’t.
‘This issue is periphery about transexual issues. It’s more about gender issues and it’s a free speech issue.’
Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos was described by one reviewer described it as: ‘Grow up and man up is the message from this rock-star psychologist
‘[A] hardline self-help manual of self-reliance, good behavior, self-betterment and individualism that probably reflects his childhood in rural Canada in the 1960s’.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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