February 22, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

How Google Juggles the News

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One way to find out what is happening in Kansas or Missouri is to first open Google News. Google News is an aggregator. It does not create news, but rather it collects news items and runs them down its home page, presumably in order of importance.

The car that made Google News pay attention to Kansas.

On the morning after an historic Senate race in Mississippi between a black Democrat and a female Republican, a reader unfamiliar with Google might expect to find the outcome of the election.

The savvy reader knows better. If a Republican, upon seeing not even a small article about that election, he can confidently surmise, “Oh, good, the Republican won!” That she did. Cindy Hyde-Smith beat Mike Espy handily to become the first female senator from the State of Mississippi.

The media, Google included, like to run historic female first kind of stories. Right under the daily series of Trump-bashing articles–sample: “Scientists Respond To Trump’s Latest Unhinged Climate Remarks: ‘It’s Almost Satire’”–Google posted one on Wednesday. The headline from the Los Angeles Times reads, “California Rep. Barbara Lee falls short in bid to become the first black woman in House leadership.”

The algorithm that weighs the merit of articles apparently decided that the election of the first female senator from Mississippi was less important than the failure of a black woman to be elected to lead the House Democratic Caucus, a position that not one American out of one hundred cares about.

In that the congressman who beat Lee for the spot was black, it would seem unlikely that she would attribute her loss to race. But Lee, remember, is a Democrat. “I’m a black woman and the institutional barriers are still there, so we just keep fighting,” Lee said, apparently with a straight face.

The major media are, of course, obsessed with race. NPR, the Washington Post, NBC News, Reuters, and even Aljazeera all used the phrase “racially charged” in their headlines to describe Hyde-Smith’s victory in Mississippi.

The race was “racially charged” only because of the media. Earlier this month, a video surfaced in which Hyde-Smith said to a supporter, “If he invited me to a public hanging, I’d be on the front row.” She did not say “lynching” but “hanging.”

“I’m a cowgirl and when a cowgirl references western movies that I’ve seen hundreds of, and somebody twists it, that’s just it, you’ve gotta roll with the punches,” said Hyde-Smith in her defense.

The media weren’t buying. They routinely described her comment as “racist” and claimed she had opened a dark chapter in the state’s troubled history. The “hanging” comment will follow Hyde-Smith to the grave.

Google likes to stir the racial stew as well. On Wednesday among the top items on Google News/Kansas was an NBC News article headlined, “Kansas recalls hundreds of license plates over ethnic slur complaint.”

It turns out that some guy from California saw a car in California with Kansas plates with the three-letter combination “JAP.” A Japanese-American, the fellow made enough noise to prompt state officials to recall 731 plates. Yes, Virginia, PC comes at a cost.

That is the way news works today. The media, Google included, view the world through a prism of race, sex, and sexual orientation. Each story so inspired has a victim and a victimizer, the latter usually a conservative. And at the end of the day, our “journalists” blame Donald Trump for dividing America.



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