I was pretty much disgusted, but not surprised, that columnist Joe Vigliotti shares the president's opinion that Google News might be skewing its algorithms to spread liberal propaganda and smear the administration.
If he, or anyone, wanted to examine the truth of the matter, they could look at the website of PJ Media, the author of the "study" that fueled this fire. And what they would find out is that PJ Media considered news outlets (sometimes very loosely defined) on a diagram ranging from "left," through centrist, to "right" (the diagram was taken from sharylattkisson.com). Then they looked at how these sites were reflected in Google News.
As Michelle Goldman has pointed out in The New York Times, Alex Jones' conspiracy site InfoWars is placed closer to the center of the spectrum than either The Times or The Washington Post. Now, you might not like either of those publications, but to say they reflect the opinions of Americans — or reality — less accurately than Sandy Hook conspirator Jones ... well, that's just weird. In short, the study is a crock.
I give Vigliotti credit for one truly important observation: Google is not a beacon of liberty and human rights. He is correct that the company has a tainted reputation with respect to preserving the free flow of information. (Although, I think the internal memo he refers to came from one unhappy employee, so reasonable people will understand that it was no more than one person's opinion.)
But here's the thing: Often, when Google has faced allegations of wrongdoing (think China), the common factor is that the company is being threatened by an authoritarian regime — or by a tyrant who wants the internet giant to help paper over his crimes.
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