President Donald Trump went after technology firms Tuesday morning, singling out Google by alleging its search settings are biased against him.
He used a pair of morning tweets to, as he often does, paint himself and fellow conservatives as the victims of a liberal conspiracy. In this incarnation of what is a running Trump narrative, he used this search topic to make his point: “Trump News.”
The president wrote that Google’s search is programmed to return “only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media.” That means, in his view, the tech giant has its search function “RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD.”
He alleged that “Fake CNN is prominent,” while “Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out,” before suggesting, without defining which statute was in question, that Google is breaking a law.
“Illegal?” Trump wrote.
Roll Call conducted just the search with which Trump took umbrage. An article from Fox News, which often features positive coverage of Trump that defends him, is the second in the “Top Stories” section.
When scrolling down the search results page, a Fox News Insider piece is second in the Videos section. The first item in that section is a video from C-SPAN, the network that broadcasts live and unvarnished coverage of Congress and Washington events, and often has guests from both parties on other programming.
In between those sections is one titled “‘Trump news’ on Twitter.”
The first item there is a Fox News tweet and the other two are Trump’s pair of tweets lashing out at Google — no mainstream media tweets pop up in that section of the results page.
Only two items by CNN show up — and one is a transcript of a Trump news conference, undermining his argument that “96% of … results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.”
He accused Google and other tech firms of “suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good” and with “controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”
Google search results for “Trump News” shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media. In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD. Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out. Illegal? 96% of...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
....results on “Trump News” are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous. Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good. They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2018
The president did not note that Google, Facebook and Twitter executives have been summoned by Republican and Democratic members of a Senate committee to testify next week about extremist content on their sites.
And, despite Trump’s contention, frustration with the companies is bipartisan.
“They need to understand when they bring in their senior executives and testify before Congress, when Congress then has follow-up written questions, we expect them to answer those questions,” Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the panel’s top Democrat, said recently. “So if it’s a day or two, fine, but if this is one more attempt for them to kind of punt on their responsibility that will not go down well with the committee.”
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