So Fox called me at 6 a.m. — always lovely when there are babies in the house — eager to talk later in the day about Google’s latest left-wing cause: working with environmental activists to arrange 1 million phone calls to Capitol Hill on “Earth Day” in support of “eco-friendly measures.” We can only assume by the target audience that these eco-friendly measures are of the mandatory sort, pending before Congress in the form of legislation.
Fox apparently wanted to talk because of this story, in which I was quoted. As the telephone interview began, I hear myself introduced as someone “who has issues with” Google enabling 1 million phone calls to Congress. Well, no, I don’t actually — and the article that got their attention makes clear that while I think Google is increasingly annoying in its left-wing activism, that’s life in a free society.
Google regularly celebrates left-wing causes like the Earth Hour blackouts and Earth Day — which, tellingly, coincides with Lenin’s birthday — with a home-page image of a melting Google-in-ice, for example. Kathryn Lopez has covered Google’s selective home-page celebrations over at The Corner, as has NewsBusters. Google has managed to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day, the first day of Spring, the birthday of Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, the start of the World Cup, Shichi-go-san celebrations in Japan, the Persian New Year, Louis Braille’s birthday, and Korean Liberation Day. But they have a history of snubbing Easter (a bunny or an egg for one of the Os would have been nice). It took being embarrassed by their refusal to recognize Veterans’ Day for that to change last year.
As interesting as Google’s selective holiday-making is, it seems to me that the bigger story was Al Gore’s revelations during a 60 Minutes interview this weekend: he and others are funneling $300 million into a massive PR campaign to promote climate alarmism — a tax-exempt effort which also aims to persuade Congress to adopt mandatory “eco-friendly measures,” which would have the salutary effect of making Gore and Google’s mutual Silicon Valley investor friends very rich, as I have explained here. Try as I might to steer the conversation to this newsworthy topic, a resistant Bill Hemmer wanted to know what I planned to “do about” Google’s efforts to engage activist groups to contact Congress. Well, Bill: nothing, actually. Google has every right to petition Congress to redress grievances — real or imaginary.
Still, I wouldn’t mind if Google would champion the same First-Amendment rights on which their lobbying campaign relies. As Fox reported in February, a journalist had his writings disappear from Google when he persisted in pursuing stories about corruption at the United Nations. Google even sent him a letter saying he was a non-person, as far as they were concerned.
When Google found themselves shut down in China, they chose to work with communist censors on a selective version of the search engine, to keep annoying stories about the Dalai Lama and such away from hardworking people who are better off without such distractions. Google fails to understand how thugocracies are fought — or appeased and enabled.
Now, it would be nice to be able to “do something” about that.