At this point nothing in the company’s newsroom discusses the issue; a CNN AC360 blog post from yesterday says a spokesperson, Drew Herdener, would not respond to an inquiry about the issue; and the statement that ultimately was released is a short one, that has been reprinted by a number of outlets:
Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.
The blog Flack Me calls Amazon PR “tone deaf” for selling the book. Moreover, the PR response has been largely mute. Further explanation of why the book was made available and how this will impact the company’s choices about what to sell going forward seems in order.
Our Galleycat colleague Jason Boog spoke with WPIX News on the topic last night, explaining the role Twitter played and Amazon’s response. If there’s anything more from Amazon that you’ve seen, let us know. We’ve also been in touch with Amazon to gather information about any further response.
Update: PCWorld criticizes Amazon’s response, writing: “This latest action further highlights how Amazon seemingly has no idea how to defuse a public relations nightmare; has sketchy business ethics; and apparently lacks a quality control mechanism to prevent more of these publicity headaches.” The site offers five takeaways from the fiasco.