House Judiciary Committee ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) delivered a sharp rebuke of Republican accusations of Google’s political bias affecting its search engines on Tuesday; although, according to the Open Secrets donor database, Nadler’s top donor was Google.
Rep. Nadler delivered a scathing rebuke of Republicans who have alleged Google has biased its search engine against conservative and alternative voices during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday with Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
“I must first dispense with a completely illegitimate issue, which is the fantasy, dreamed up by some conservatives, that Google and other online platforms have an anti-conservative bias,” Nadler said in his opening remarks on Monday.
As I have said repeatedly, no credible evidence supports this right-wing conspiracy theory. I have little doubt that my Republican colleagues will spend much of their time presenting a laundry list of anecdotes and out-of-context statements made by Google employees as supposed evidence of anti-conservative bias. But none of that will actually make it true. And even if Google were deliberately discriminating against conservative viewpoints—just as Fox News and Sinclair Broadcasting discriminate against progressive ones—that would be its right, as a private company, to do so.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said on Monday that Google should ensure that its political bias should not creep into its search products.
Nadler’s attack towards Republicans conservatives, as well his defense of Google, calls into question his political bias towards Google, as a cursory look into his donation history reveals that his top donor for his 2018 election cycle was Alphabet, Google’s parent company.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets database, Alphabet donated the most money of any during to Nadler’s campaign committee during the 2018 election cycle. Alphabet donated a total of $26,458 to Nadler.
Further, Alphabet was the fourth highest political donor to Nadler’s campaign during the 2016 election cycle, donating more than $19,000.
Records from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) found that Nadler received donations from Google during the 2012, 2013, 2014 election cycles, usually totaling $10,000 every year.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Nadler contended that Republicans have spent their time on “fictitious allegations of conservative bias” and instead, suggested that the House Judiciary Committee should spend its time investigating how Google can better curb hate speech.
Nadler said that the committee’s focus on investigating Google’s political bias “will waste more time and more taxpayer money on elevating well-worn right-wing conspiracy theories.”
“Instead of the substantive issues that should be the focus of today’s hearing. Our Committee can—and must—do better,” Nadler concluded.