The Congressional reckoning for the giants of Silicon Valley continued yesterday. This time it was finally Google CEO Sundar Pichai's [Soon-dar Pa-shy] turn in the hot seat. There were protesters. There was Alex Jones and Roger Stone sitting beside each other. Good times were had by all. Pichai remained soft-spoken and calm throughout the grilling. It was his first time testifying before Congress. And you know what they say about your first time – that you should never admit to having even a hint of anti-conservative bias. We start there right now…
In his opening statement, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said:
I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way. To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.
Congressmen from both parties were not convinced of Google's innocence. For three and a half hours, they let Pichai have it from all angles. Republican Iowa Representative Steve King asked Pichai to disclose the names of over 1,000 Google employees that work on Google's search algorithm, so that their social media accounts could be examined for liberal bias. Pichai did not hand over the list.
Meanwhile, at least one Democrat, Tennessee's Steve Cohen, feels Google has the opposite problem. He complained to Pichai that Google overuses conservative news organizations in their search results. Pichai insisted that Google employees do not favor certain news outlets over others.
Pichai saved his most artful question-dodging for the China issue. Lawmakers wanted to know about "Project Dragonfly," the communist-friendly version of Google's search engine that the company has been working on in collaboration with the Chinese government. Pichai said:
It's a limited effort internally currently.
When asked whether Google is in current discussions with the Chinese government about Project Dragonfly, Pichai replied:
…I'm happy to be transparent to the extent we take steps toward launching a product in China." Which sounds like a definite maybe.
But then, Democrats got back to the much more urgent Google issues at hand. Like Zoe Lofgren of California who asked why Donald Trump's photo pops up when you Google the word "idiot."
And to think your tax dollars helped subsidize this enlightening Q & A.