The Google Blacklisting of The American Spectator
Jeffrey Lord
by

“Apparently Google wants to protect the American people from our polysyllabic words and occasional long sentences. and in the course of doing so, they lied to Congress. And we may be looking into them in the near future.”

So spoke R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. on learning that The American Spectator had been blacklisted by Google. Bob Tyrrell is the founder of the now-52-year-old conservative magazine that is well in the mainstream of center-right, Reagan-conservative thought. It has, over the decades, been home to prominent conservative writers who have gone on to journalistic celebrity of their own.

With a reference to the Spectator’s titanic battles with the Clinton administration in the 1990s, Tyrrell added — with a dollop of his trademark humor:

“After all, we’ve already been investigated by the Clinton Justice Department and IRS — and Bill Clinton has never been exonerated for anything, including dropping his pants in public.”

The episode to which Tyrrell referred was the Spectator’s scoop-in-the-day that had revealed the-then president’s interlude with Arkansas employee Paula Jones while he was governor. The revelations focused on a scandal dubbed “Troopergate” — the allegation that then-Arkansas Governor Clinton was accused by some Arkansas State Police officers of using the troopers to arrange — ahem — sexual adventures for the young governor. As when Ms. Jones was summoned to meet Clinton in a Little Rock hotel room — where he, according to Jones, dropped his pants and told her to, ah, kiss it. The upshot, after the full wrath of the Clinton Justice Department apparatus was turned on The American Spectator, was not only exoneration and a victory for a free press but a settlement that had Clinton paying Jones a cool $850,000. And oh yes, there was that impeachment thing.

But that was then — and this is now. And now? The more things change, the more they stay the same. This time the adversary trying to destroy The American Spectator is not an angry, vindictive president. This time, in true early 21st century-style, it’s a high-tech giant run by and for would-be left-wing tech totalitarians.

As we now learn from the Daily CallerThe American Spectator has been blacklisted by Google. The DC’s headline, in a post by J. Arthur Bloom, is this:

EXCLUSIVE: DOCUMENTS DETAILING GOOGLE’S ‘NEWS BLACKLIST’ SHOW MANUAL MANIPULATION OF SPECIAL SEARCH RESULTS

The story says in part:

Google does manipulate its search results manually, contrary to the company’s official denials, documents obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller indicate.

Two official policies dubbed the “misrepresentation policy” and the “good neighbor policy” inform the company’s “XPA news blacklist,” which is maintained by Google’s Trust & Safety team. “T&S will be in charge of updating the blacklist as when there is a demand,” reads one of the documents shared with The Daily Caller.

And then — this, bold print for emphasis supplied:

“The purpose of the blacklist will be to bar the sites from surfacing in any Search feature or news product. It will not cause a demotion in the organic search results or de-index them altogether,” reads the policy document obtained by the Caller. What that means is that targeted sites will not be removed from the “ten blue links” portion of search results, but the blacklist applies to most of the other search features, like “top news,” “videos” or the various sidebars that are returned as search results.

… On the blacklist are a number of conservative sites, including Gateway Pundit, Matt Walsh’s blog, Gary North’s blog “teapartyeconomist.com,” Caroline Glick’s website, Conservative Tribune, a property of The Western Journal and the website of the American Spectator.

Tyrrell drew the analogy of Communists taking over an old-fashioned pre-computer-age public library — and then methodically going through the card catalogue to remove the cards listing conservative books and authors. “Google can make all kinds of excuses,” he added, “but this is censorship, the most blatant censorship imaginable.”

Indeed it is.

And oh yes. There was also this reminder in the Daily Caller story:

(Google CEO) Sundar Pichai testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 11 of last year. Democratic California Rep. Zoe Lofgren asked why a search for the term “idiot” returned a photo of President Trump. In response, Pichai said, “This is working at scale, we don’t manually intervene on any particular search result.”

Which is to say, Mr. Pichai looked a congressional committee in the eye and insisted that “we don’t manually intervene on any particular search result” — while the Daily Caller revelations revealed that “Google does manipulate its search results manually, contrary to the company’s official denials, documents obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller indicate.”

There is a name for doing that. It’s called lying to Congress. A federal crime with jail time attached.

Note that this revelation comes only days after a column was posted in this very space at The American Spectator titled:

Google Bigots and the High-Tech Lynching of Kay James

In which was discussed the recent hiring of Heritage Foundation president Kay James for a Google advisory board on artificial intelligence — only to be fired after some 2,000-plus Googlers launched on the conservative Ms. James for, among other things, being a “white supremacist” — laughably unaware that Kay James is, in fact, an African-American. She was also accused of not seeing gays “as human.” In fact, Kay James has a beloved son who is openly gay, and as reported here in the Washington Times is “adored” by her son’s LGBTQ community.

What was on display at Google in the James affair was hardcore, blatant racism. James had the audacity to think for herself — and the masters and mistresses of the Liberal Plantation that is Google unleashed the high-tech company’s politically correct dogs to chase down a black woman who does not think as they demand — and eliminate her presence.

This is no longer some minor bug in the tech world.

The fact of the matter is that the American Left is waging a full scale war against fellow Americans who have the audacity to disagree with Left Wing orthodoxy. They are not interested in debate, discussion, ideas, free speech, or a free press. They are the enforcers of their own iron-fisted, totalitarian, Mao-style cultural revolution. The targets can be Fox News or individual Fox hosts with names like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. It can be conservative speakers invited to college campuses — with the mere appearance of conservative Ben Shapiro requiring the University of California at Berkeley forced to lay out $600,000 to protect the speaker. It can be a Media Matters campaign to remove Rush Limbaugh from the air. Or, yes, me.

On and on and on this kind of thing goes. This is no longer a debate about ideas in the tradition of America. It is a war of personal destruction.

This time around, the target is The American Spectator. This time around the iron fist belongs to Google.

The question has reached the point that conservatives need to have a serious conversation among themselves. Is it time for government regulation of these tech giants? Or is it — my preference — time for free-market competition that provides serious and successful competition to these companies?

But whatever else is clear at this moment, it is that The American Spectator has been blacklisted by Google in an attempt to silence it.

And as should be abundantly clear to anyone with knowledge of the history of The American Spectator, its founder Bob Tyrrell, and its staff of editors and writers?

Big mistake.

Jeffrey Lord
Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com. His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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