Wednesday, July 23, 2014


This is just silly, but imagine if Democrats tried something similar -- Republicans would howl that this was a "chilling" attempt to "intimidate" a private company using the all-powerful jackboot of Big Government:
Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a frequent foe of Google, is demanding to know why the giant Internet company was fumbling the search results for Dinesh D'Souza's movie America for nearly three weeks.

Shortly after the movie opened wide on July 2, the filmmakers complained to Google that Internet users looking for showtimes and locations were sometimes misdirected to the wrong movie. On other occasions, an image of the film's poster was incorrect or a description of the movie was wrong.

Rohrabacher tells The Hollywood Reporter that he's so disturbed by Google's behavior he intends on discussing it Wednesday during the House Republican Conference, which is the party caucus for Republicans in the House of Representatives.

"This doesn't deserve to be ignored. We need to verify the statistics in some way, and I will be suggesting the appropriate committee or subcommittee have some kind of hearing on this," Rohrbacher said. "We know there were significant incidences, and that would suggest there was intent behind Google's nonperformance."

... "I'm not threatening to shut them down, but shining a spotlight on a corporation that is acting in an abusive way can have as great an impact as legislation or regulation,"Rohrabacher said. " If Google isn't informing the public about movies they disagree with, then that needs to be exposed."
Sounds as if no one's actually going to do anything, but no matter: Why is government trying to decide for Google how it generates search results? Isn't that what Republicans would say in response to a Democrat talking like this? Are there no competing search engines? Can't people who don't like Google's results go to Bing? (Oh, wait -- after Google responded to the initial complaints from D'Souza himself, its search results became more favorable to his movie, but Bing's results still directed searchers elsewhere.)

Of course, the problem is that D'Souza gave his damn movie a title that inevitably generates unrelated search results. Or as Tim Murphy of Mother Jones put it:

But this is really just Rohrabacher trying to keep D'Souza's movie in the public eye, based on the notion that what really gets D'Souza fans into the seats is sniveling and whining. Hey, whatever works -- but why is a Republican, of all people, trying to do on government time? Isn't he trying to use hard-earned tax dollars to pick movie winners and losers? Shouldn't the free market decide that, dammit?

1 comment:

John Kahler said...

Perhaps, just perhaps, D'Souza tried to game the search, which Google is constantly working to defeat. Not that D'Souza would do anything to game any system. Did get free publicity, not that these clowns would ever think of that by ginning up conspiracies or anything.