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Kurtz: Why Google Video fuels distrust of big tech
‘MediaBuzz’ host Howard Kurtz weighs in on the leaked video, where Google execs rant about Donald Trump and his ‘extreme’ voters.
Google may not be rigged, as President Trump recently charged, but his management sure as hell is biased.
The leaking of a video of a post-election event, which included co-founder Sergey Brin and other top executives, is nothing less than stunning.
It is basically a long rant about Donald Trump winning the presidency, and how awful this was for the world, and what should Google do in response. There is even a serious discussion to move after the first joke, the support of the employees, who want to Canada.
Here is why this is off the charts.
In the video, which was sent to Breitbart, the Google employees who act as Trump choice calls for a national day of mourning — while the cameras are rolling. Within the limits of their Silicon Valley bubble, it does not make sense that maybe she should not say these things, because one day this could get out of it.
Just as incredible is the absolute confidence that everyone shares in the room of their views. With one brief exception, there is not even a flicker of recognition that some of the people who work for this gigantic company is not scared of Trump at the White house, and maybe even welcome.
And most repulsive of all, the managers assume that all of the trump-voters are stupid, or extremists, or bored, or something.
Brin kicks things off by saying, everyone is sad. “I myself, as an immigrant, a refugee, I think in any case this choice is deeply offensive. And I know many of you do also. And I think it is a very stressful time, and that conflicts with many of our values.”
Brin proposes a connection between Trump voters and extremists, fascists and Communists, that these differences in income and, perhaps, boredom. “It kind of sneaks sometimes really bad things,” he says.
Senior Vice President Kent Walker, not many words. Taking aim at Trump Fans, he says, “fear, not only in the United States, but everywhere in the world, is what concerns the fueling of xenophobia, hatred and a desire for answers, which may or may not be there.”
Vice President Eileen Noughton, the possibilities for the employees to leave the country, made a bow to “the diversity of opinions and political beliefs.” You said you’ve heard that from conservative employees “have not come to feel quite pleasant,” forward, and called for “tolerance.”
Please note that the company is in the final year of engineering James Damore fired, said in a memo that some employees are discriminated against because of their “perceived conservative political views from Google” “your of the male gender by Google,” and “because of their Caucasian race of Google.” (Damore also wrote that women are under-represented in the tech due to the inherent psychological differences and “we need to stop assuming that gender differences imply sexism.”) He later, as a conservative, on Google to be gay in the 1950s.
The company said in a statement that “several Google employees and executives expressed their own views in a long and divisive election campaign. To Express for over 20 years, all was Google able to your opinions in these meetings. Nothing was said at this meeting, or other meeting, to suspect that political bias always affects the way we build or operation of our products. On the contrary, our products are built for anyone …”
I’m sorry, that’s a pretty lame answer, do not go to the Central problem of the Google culture.
I’ll be fair and not automatically assume that just because Brin and company are liberal anti-Trumpers boil the virtual books. Google is a machine, and it would be impossible to overturn, every search for a desired political outcome, even if they wanted to.
But the people writing the algorithms, and it is not hard to believe, given the video, there is a thumb on the scale, or that some conservatives get pressed in all the important rankings.
This is just another reason not to trust Big Tech. And to Google, heads of state and government address its left-wing culture more open, the doubts continue to cloud the reputation of the company.
Howard Kurtz is a Fox News analyst and host of “MediaBuzz” (Sundays 11 p.m.). He is the author of “media madness: Donald Trump, the press, and The war for the truth.” You can follow him at @Howard Kurtz. Click here for more information on Howard Kurtz.