News Roundup for 4/13/09

Sick porno

-Headline of the day-
"Amazon sparks Web fury by de-ranking books with gay content."

Online merchant Amazon.com is catching flak for "de-ranking" hundreds of book titles that include gay content. This is significant because, according to the report, "Books without sales rankings do not show up in Amazon's bestseller lists, no matter how many copies they have sold. " So, if you check the bestsellers to see what everyone else is reading, you won't see anything with gay content.

It all started when Mark R. Probst, author of the young adults' book The Filly, wrote Amazon to find out why his book wasn't being ranked.

"In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude 'adult' material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists," he was told in an email. "Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature." In other words, gay books=porn.

The LA Times looked into which titles were being deranked and found that a wide variety of books are now porn. Those titles include "Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs, Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1 by Michel Foucault, Little Birds: Erotica by Anais Nin and the 1992 National Book Award winner, Becoming a Man, by Paul Monette."

"Of course they are being hypocritical because there is a multitude of 'adult' literature out there that is still being ranked –- Harold Robbins, Jackie Collins, come on!" says Probst. "They are using categories THEY set up (gay and lesbian) to now target these books as somehow offensive."

After getting what you'd assume was an avalanche of negative email and phone calls, Amazon went into damage control mode, telling Publisher's Weekly the de-rankings were a glitch. Which seems odd, since Amazon had gone to the trouble to explain the reasoning behind the "glitch" to Probst. As of their reporting, Raw Story notes that the "glitch" is still in place.

Raw Story also notes, "Amazon's reported adult content policy does not extend to searches on sex toys." So you can list how well dildos and handcuffs and pigskin nurse's uniforms sell, but Heather Has Two Mommies is vile, vile porn -- even though it's hard to imagine someone jacking off to it.

Want to get DVDs of old episodes of Will & Grace (and, yes, I'm also having trouble imagining anyone doing that)? Amazon will deliver it in a plain brown wrapper, you perv. (Raw Story)

-Cartoon time with Mark Fiore-
Hey kids, are you a dictator who's being forgotten or ignored? Then you need...

Notice-Me-Now Rocket
Click for animation

Added bonus; chicks dig it! (MarkFiore.com)

The Obamas finally got a puppy.

Obama's Portuguese Water Dog 'Bo'

Everyone say "awwww!" (Associated Press)

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