A Google video that was leaked right after the election of Donald Trump in November 2016 has added new pressure on the company from conservatives. Not only has Google been accused on left-wing bias, but other firms like Amazon, Facebook (which has already faced congressional scrutiny earlier this year for its left-wing bias).
Breitbart, the right-wing media outlet started by the late Andrew Breitbart an American conservative publisher, displayed for all to see the reaction at the offices of Google.
Described as “an atmosphere of panic and dismay among the tech giant’s leadership,” there was also a determination moving forward to stall not only the Trump agenda but also the populist movement behind the slogan Make America Great Again.
The reactions concerning the Trump win came during the weekly Friday get togethers known as TGIF or “Thank God It’s Friday meetings. Breitbart received the video, according to their website from an anonymous source. The meetings feature co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Vice President Kent Walker and Eileen Naughton as well as CFO Ruth Porat and CEO Sundar Pichai. The full video can be seen on Breitbart’s page from September 12, 2018.
During the meeting, co-founder Sergey Brin is overheard comparing Trump supporters to fascists and extremists, arguing that like others of their ilk, they were motivated by “boredom,” which he says in the past led to fascism and communism.
The release of the video is an attempt by right-wing and conservative groups to focus on left-wing bias against conservatives by Google and other Silicon Valley firms.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions will pow-wow with Republican state attorney generals across the US this month to discuss whether social media companies are suppressing voices of conservatives.
Scrutiny on these tech giants have come under more focus since President Trump pointed fingers at Google for gaming search results to suppress positive stories about his administration, a charge that is vehemently denied and search experts says couldn’t occur.
Google also perturbed both Democrats and Republicans on the hill last week by demurring to send a top executive to testify in front of a Senate committee hearing on foreign interference in elections. Earlier this year, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg testified before congress to discuss his company’s liberal media bias and accused suppression of right wing media bias on its platform.
While Democrats and Republicans declined to send their chief executive, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey came to the session while the seat left for Google was symbolically left empty.
Google’s head of people operations, Eileen Naughton, said some right-wing employees had voiced their concern about the comfortability of expressing their political views, she said employees should be tolerant of other political ideas whether they are right, left or from the center of the political spectrum.
On the other hand, Fox News, the conservative news network of the likes of right-wing stalwarts Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingram. Acquired an internal email from an ex head of multicultural marketing at Google detailing the company’s attempts to turn out the Latino vote for November 2016. Fox and Breitbart pointed to the correspondence as an indication that Google was working behind the scenes to support the former secretary of state’s presidential campaign. Congressman, Kevin McCarthy of California, a Republican, tweeted that Google must be questioned in front of Congress, like Facebook’s Mark Zucker, not only about the email but also about potential plans for a censored search engine for China.
In an effort to appease congress, Google has offered to send to last week’s Senate Intelligence Committee, instead of Page and Pichai, Kent Walker, its senior vice president of global policy. But the committee demurred and said that it should send its top executives like Facebook and Twitter had. Walker’s views are mainstream liberal. He has reported to have said that populist campaigns like Trumps are motivated by “fear, xenophobia, hatred, and a desire for answers that may or may not be there.”
It is unsurprising that Google’s employees were deeply disappointed in the results of the 2016 Presidential campaign. In January 2017, Google’s workers staged a huge rally protesting the new President’s executive order suspending immigration from seven mostly Islamic countries.
Google also got involved on another front of the cultural wars raging at the workplace when James Damore was fired. Damore an engineer who wrote a memo that the lack of women in engineering positions was due as a result of biological differences between men and women.
His firing became an issue in which conservatives rallied around behind concepts of free speech. Damore is now suing Google for workplace discrimination. His claim is based on the belief that Google is not a safe place for white men with conservative view points.
Another issue arose when it was discovered that Google was working with the Pentagon on artificial intelligence. Under pressure from liberals, Google agreed not to renew its contract when it expired.
Where or not Google has a liberal bias or not, it certainly seems to be the case that Silicon Valley and a large percentage of its leaders and employees voted heavily democrat in the 2016 and will continue to do so in the 2018 election.
By: Andrew Schiff