Tyler O'Neil, PJ Media, July 29, 2020
On Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) pressed Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on his company’s shameful reliance on the far-left smear factory the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) to exclude nonprofits from the AmazonSmile charity platform. The SPLC smears mainstream conservative and Christian groups as “hate groups,” placing them on a list with the Ku Klux Klan. In May, Amazon’s board of directors rejected a proposal to fight viewpoint discrimination and stop using the SPLC list.
Gaetz brought up the SPLC during a Big Tech hearing with the House Judiciary Committee.
“Mr. Bezos, I am deeply moved by your personal story, I am not here accusing you as someone who would traffic in hate but it seems you have empowered people who do, and I am particularly talking about the Southern Poverty Law Center,” the congressman began.
“The Southern Poverty Law Center, which you allow to dictate who can receive donations on your AmazonSmile platform, have said the Catholic Family News, Catholic Family Ministries, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, the Jewish Defense League, even Dr. Ben Carson, are extremists and should be treated differently,” Gaetz explained.
“Dr. Carson is on the cabinet, is one of the most renowned minds in America. I’m just wondering why you would place your confidence in a group that seems to be so out of step and seems to take mainstream Christian doctrine and label it as hate,” he asked.
“Sir, it’s a good question,” Bezos replied. He explained that the AmazonSmile program “allows customers to designate a certain fraction of their purchases to go to charity that we pay for. And they can select from any one of millions of charities. And we use the Southern Poverty Law Center data to say which charities are extremist organizations. We also use the U.S. Foreign Asset office to do the same thing.”
Gaetz pressed, “But why? Since they’re calling Catholics and these Jewish groups…”
“Sir, I’m going to acknowledge this is an imperfect system,” Bezos replied. He said he would welcome alternative suggestions.
“My suggestion would be a divorce from the SPLC,” Gaetz quipped.
Bezos can’t explain why he continues to use SPLC after they defined Jewish & Catholic charities as hate groups pic.twitter.com/sbPoW66VFq
— Jewish Deplorable (Parler: TrumpJew) (@TrumpJew) July 29, 2020
The congressman returned to the issue later in the hearing.
Turning back to Bezos, he asked, “You don’t believe Dr. Ben Carson is an extremist, do you?”
“No sir, I don’t,” the Amazon CEO responded.
“So help me understand why you would partner with a group that labels him as someone worthy of an extremist watchlist?”
“Well, uh, I want you to hopefully appreciate when we’re trying to make it possible for people to donate to any number of a million different charities, and we need to have some source of data to use,” Bezos replied. “And while I accept what you’re saying that the Southern Poverty Law Center and the U.S. Foreign Asset Office are not perfect, and I would like a better source if we could get it that is what we use today.”
“It’s great to hear that you do recognize the infirmities of the Southern Poverty Law Center,” Gaetz replied. He suggested that Facebook and Google use the SPLC as well.
Turning to Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, he asked, “Mr. Zuckerberg, do you believe that Doctor Ben Carson is an extremist?”
“No, congressman,” Zuckerberg replied.
“So why would you trust the people who think he is?” Gaetz pressed.
“Congressman, I’m not aware of where we work with the organization that you’re saying,” the Facebook CEO responded.