Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Beware of Google

The American Thinker has a rather significant article ("Is Left-Leaning Google Censoring Right-Leaning Websites?") concerning Internet behemoth Google that absolutely deserves a read.

This is a big deal.

Here's an excerpt:

"Something frighteningly ominous has been happening on the Internet lately: Google, without any prior explanation or notice, has been terminating its News relationship with conservative e-zines and web journals.

At first blush, one can easily ignore such business decisions by the most powerful company on the Internet as being routine. However, on closer examination, such behavior could give one relatively small (when measured by the size of its workforce) technology corporation a degree of political might that frankly dwarfs even its current financial prowess.

...Few people with an above room temperature intelligence quotient question the existence of bias in the media, although there is great debate about the slant. However, it is conceivable that few folks have considered the possibility of Internet news aggregators possessing such partiality, and, maybe more important, the ramifications.

In the case of Google, there is some evidence that its employees lean strongly to the left. According to a February 2005 USA Today article on the subject:

“As it claws for greater power, the Democratic Party has found a newly rich ally in one of the fastest-growing U.S. companies: Google.”

The article stated that of the over $200,000 Google employees gave to federal candidates in 2004, “98% went to Democrats, the biggest share among top tech donors.” And, with a largely successful public stock offering making “scores of millionaires among [Google’s] 3,000 workers,”

“Democrats now have a potentially potent source of cash as they fight to retake the White House and Congress.”

Potentially more telling, a May 15 “Washington Prowler” piece at The American Spectator disclosed a link between Google and the ultra-left wing MoveOn.org:

'Google has become the single largest private corporate underwriter of MoveOn. According to sources in the Democrat National Committee, MoveOn has received more than $1 million from Google and its lobbyists in Washington to create grassroots support for the Internet regulation legislation [“Net Neutrality”]. Some of that money has gone to an online petition drive and a letter-writing campaign, but the majority of that money is being used to fund their activities against Republicans out in the states.'

Beyond this, Google appears intimately tied to former vice president and potential 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore. It is no secret that Gore is a senior advisor to Google, a position that garnered him a sizable number of shares according to Fox News political analyst Susan Estrich. On May 19’s The Big Story, Estrich discussed with host John Gibson Gore’s connection with Google, and how the wealth generated from the shares he owns in the Internet behemoth could give him enough money to finance his own presidential campaign.

This relationship goes further. According to a recent Wired magazine article about Gore, he is extremely close to Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt who “supported Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign.” Moreover, in April 2005, Google partnered with Gore’s cable channel, Current."

About that $1 million Google and its Washington lobbyists lavished on MoveOn.org in its (ostensible) support of the Internet regulation legislation, a.k.a. “Net Neutrality”: That is bad news too. It is a lousy idea.

The people that built the fiber optic pipes own it. So if they choose to rent it to whomever, or to whomever's customers, for whatever reason, they get to set the rent based on free-market forces. The government should not step in to subsidize Google or anybody else. Because if they do, they're going to stop the expansion of the whole network buildout since it won't be profitable.

The bottom line here is that Google is using left wing politics and lobbying.

This is not a good thing. Not by a long shot.