Is Donald Trump right about Google? His latest fusillade came early this morning as he kvetched about Google being ‘rigged’ against conservatives. The Week called it ‘rage-googling.’ In part he was probably peeved because the death of John McCain stole the spotlight from him. Like Norma Desmond, he is always ready for his closeup.
His economic adviser Larry Kudlow promptly followed up Trump’s complaint by saying he would take a ‘hard look’ at the tech giant, a familiar target of obloquy from the left. Now the right is getting on on the game. For its part, Google piously announced that its search results aren’t biased toward any ‘political ideology.’ Surely not. As its truckling to China about its search engine indicates, it’s only about the bottom line for the company.
Trump’s petulant outburst seems to have been triggered less by a personal forensic study of Google than an article in PJ Media, a right wing website, that alleged up to 96 per cent possible bias by the Google algorithm against conservatives. Trump pounced on the piece. He thereby doubtless sent its Google rating soaring.
And so I have a proposal for the old boy. Instead of sulking, he should recommend ten articles every morning to his followers in a tweet, just as Barack Obama or Bill Gates send out their book recommendations. He could even create a mini-White House seal of approval for each essay. Essentially Trump would be curating his own blog. Each month Trump could invite his favourite author to the Oval Office and bestow a signed photo of himself upon a lucky recipient. My guess is that this distinction might be enough to draw even QAnon from the shadows.
Greg Sargent of the Washington Post suggests that Trump will intensify his assault on the media and tech companies as the midterm elections draw ever closer. He reckons that Trump not only wants to discredit them as independent sources of information but also to persuade his supporters that they can help to defeat their nefarious conspiracies by showing up at the polls in November. If they don’t, Trump can always blame it on his detractors. You’ll be able to Google it.