Just in time for Black History Month, the streaming service Amazon Prime Video has removed a PBS documentary about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Amazon Prime Video’s parent company, Amazon, Inc., is owned by Jeff Bezos who also owns the Washington Post, one of the champions of free speech. At least, the paper used to be one.
But the Thomas documentary, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” mysteriously disappeared from the company’s menu while other black history-themed documentaries — including two on Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings — remain available for viewing.
The Thomas documentary released in January last year remains available to purchase on DVD. A simple search for “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” comes up short for the title however. To find it, users must include “DVD” in the search box, and the documentary will come up as the 10th result. A search for “RBG” on the other hand, will bring three documentaries on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s documentary to the top after promoting a sponsored post of her biography, “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”
Amazon did not immediately respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.
Bezos has created a trend. Earlier this month, the company de-platformed a conservative book on transgenderism.
Just this month, the massive online retailer wielding unprecedented power over the digital public square deplatformed conservative scholar Ryan Anderson and his book, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement.”
It should be noted that Amazon and Amazon Prime are private corporations and can make their own rules about what they sell. But what do they find so objectionable about Clarence Thomas that the public must be protected from knowing about him?
Thomas is “controversial” and large companies don’t do “controversial.” It’s bad for the bottom line. Similarly, Anderson’s anti-transgenderism — or, more accurately, his argument against transgenderism — raised hackles in the LGBTQ community. They scream louder than conservatives, so their point of view wins.
The LGBTQ community also has more influence than most on the Right. Whether that’s “fair” or not isn’t the point. It’s the reality of the marketplace — the world that Amazon inhabits.
Mark Paoletta, who served as a lawyer in the Bush 41 White House and helped to confirm Justice Thomas to the bench, wrote an opinion piece at Breitbart. He pointed out that Amazon created an entire section on its website to “Amplify Black Voces.”
“[T[here may be some so-called liberal documentaries that have been taken down during this period,” he notes, however, “it is very strange that Amazon could not find space on its website to stream a documentary on our longest-serving black Supreme Court justice in American history that ran on PBS in a national broadcast (no small feat) and is a top-selling DVD in its documentary section, while less popular documentaries on Justice Marshall are still streaming.”
This is one case where Amazon’s political bias is very hard to hide.