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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Online retailer Amazon has found itself at the center of a storm after it removed a number of gay and lesbian-themed books from its sales charts.
American novelist Gore Vidal has long been known as a liberal intellectual.
On Sunday, a number of distinguished writers, including Gore Vidal, Annie Proulx and E.M. Forster, suddenly lost their best-seller ranking -- which is the number that Amazon uses to show how well one title sells compared with another.
...conspiracy theories started to circulate - that Amazon really was intent on quietly making its service more "family friendly", that Christian fundamentalists were behind the whole thing...
What does a classic gay novel like James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room have to do with gay porn?
EDITOR's UPDATE: Here is the response Christie Keith just received from Amazon.com
Thanks for your message. There was a glitch with our sales rank feature that is currently being fixed.
A "glitch", huh? Um, how does this jive with Amazon's form letter above? It seems pretty damn clear that Amazon classified gay material as "adult" and are now trying to backtrack without admitting what they did. I do think the classification might have been inadvertent, but to call it a "glitch with our sales rank" without admitting responsibility is only compounding their mistake. Great to handle this P.R. disaster, Amazon!