Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) suggested Thursday during an exclusive interview with SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily that Google’s suppression of political news critical of Joe Biden and Democrats on its search engine is election interference.
Asked by host Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow if he believed Google’s suppression amounted to “election interference,” Cotton responded:
Why else would Google be suppressing a conservative news site or suppressing news about Joe Biden? I mean they’re not suppressing news about the Chicago Bears. They’re not suppressing news about the weather. They’re suppressing political news that’s critical of the Democrats. What else do you think it is?
He also said there appears to be a “systematic effort” to remove or at least rank substantially lower Breitbart News’s coverage of Joe Biden, and called it “especially troubling”in the leadup to an election:
All this is troubling under any circumstances, it’s especially troubling as we lead up to an election season to see one of the huge monopoly search engines in this country manipulate search results by all appearances to favor the Democratic Party. I’ve asked the Justice Department to look into this, to expand their anti-trust probe into it, and I hope they do just that.
Cotton revealed last week to Breitbart News that he has written to Attorney General Bill Barr and Google CEO Sundar Pichai about Google’s censoring of Breitbart News and other conservative outlets.
His letter came after Breitbart News’s Allum Bokhari exclusively reported data showing Google has suppressed Breitbart News articles from its search engine results since 2016 by 99.7 percent.
“I think the censoring of Breitbart and other conservative news sites by Google is very alarming. That’s why I’ve written to Sundai Pichar about it. I’ve also asked the Attorney General to look into it and expand their anti-trust probe into Google,” Cotton said.
“Google has the monopoly of power in the search market. Google cannot use that monopoly power to then try to get a monopoly to harm competitors in other markets as well, like say the digital advertising market. That is almost a per se violation of our anti-trust laws,” he said.
“That’s why the Department of Justice has begun this probe and some state attorneys general are following on. I would encourage them to expand or look into this issue, too,” he said.
Cotton said that it seemed that Big Tech’s censorship — even if allegedly accidental — is always of conservatives.
When was the last time you heard Talking Points Memo or DailyKos or MSNBC having a story or an article or video censored? ‘Oh we’re sorry,’ they say at Google. ‘We’re sorry,’ they say at YouTube, ‘That was just an inadvertent mistake. Our algorithm screwed up. We didn’t mean to censor Rachel Maddow, we’ll put it back up.’
It never happens. It never happens. It always seems to happen that their accidents and their slip-ups are designed to censor conservatives.
He said that while legislation could be a long-term answer, only the Justice Department has the power to act quickly before the election.
“That’s why I’ve asked them to promptly expand their anti-trust probe to look into exactly what Google is doing and to ensure that this is an issue that is front and center for the American people,” he said.
“Not just that they know that the news that they’re seeing on Google may be skewed, but also so they appreciate the danger of giving some of these giant tech companies the power to determine what we read and what we see.”
Listen to the full interview here:
Author: Kristina Wong