It’s Not Just New America. Right-Leaning Think Tanks Shill For Google Too.

Google’s new motto? image via @voxday

A New York Times report has raised eyebrows about Google’s influence on think tanks like the New America Foundation.

The truth is that Google-flexing is not limited to the New America Foundation. Right-leaning think tanks appear just as eager to shill on Google’s behalf.

The three biggest conservative think tanks, AEI, Cato, and Heritage, all receive funding from Google. AEI and CATO have “Google Policy Fellows” (Source: https://www.google.com/publicpolicy/transparency.html )

All three have recently defended Google against antitrust enforcement.

This is par for the course. Here are additional examples:

Other right-leaning think tanks that have received Google funding also push Google’s agenda on antitrust. These include:

Also of note, CATO is also more or less defending Google and Big Tech on James Damore and censorship.

  • Aug 19: So, Just How Guaranteed Is Your Freedom of Speech Online?, Aug 19 (“PayPal and Google are private corporations, not the government. Moreover, in our nation businesses usually have no obligation to serve others if they do not wish to do so. That too is part of the free market.”)
  • Aug 9: Legal Background Might Have Shaped Incentives for Google In Memo Case — “don’t assume Google acted unusually. Under current legal incentives, what just happened counts as normal.” This is a semi-legitimate point about anti-discrimination laws, but let’s google 100% off the hook for Damore. Also under the most draconian Hostile Environment law, failure to fire Damore would not make Google liable.

All of this points to the pay-to-play corruption of the DC think tank world. It also points to Google’s growing ambition in shaping American political discourse, particularly in the wake of Google firing James Damore and soft-censoring rightwing YouTube videos. The company is likely to face a backlash. Demands for regulating Google are already on the rise.

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