The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the stunning leaked video of an ‘all hands’ company meeting after Hillary Clinton’s defeat to Donald Trump in 2016.
Breitbart broke the story by publishing a leaked video recorded by Google shortly after the 2016 presidential election which reveals an atmosphere of panic and dismay amongst the tech giant’s leadership, coupled with a determination to thwart both the Trump agenda and the broader populist movement emerging around the globe.
According to Zerohedge, in a late Wednesday statement, Google spokeswoman Riva Sciuto said “For 20 years, everyone at Google has been able to freely express their opinions at these meetings” (just not over email – like conservative former employee James Damore, who is currently suing Google for discrimination after he was fired for criticizing the company’s diversity policies).
“Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products,” Google’s statement continues. “To the contrary, our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint.”
Except several examples suggest otherwise…
Searching Google images for the word “idiot” (still) displays pictures of Trump and his sons, while a leaked company email read on Monday night by Fox News‘s Tucker Carlson reveals that the company helped create ads and donated funds to a partisan Latino group which physically bussed voters to vote for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.
In an April 15, 2014 email from Google’s then-Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt found in the WikiLeaked Podesta emails, titled “Notes for a 2016 Democratic Campaign,” Schmidt tells Cheryl Mills that “I have put together my thoughts on the campaign ideas and I have scheduled some meetings in the next few weeks for veterans of the campaign to tell me how to make these ideas better. This is simply a draft but do let me know if this is a helpful process for you all.”
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 31, 2016
Finally, responding to the video, Trump’s 2016 digital campaign manager and 2020 re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, is calling for an investigation of Google…
.@google needs to explain why this isn’t a threat to the Republic. Watch the video. Google believes they can shape your search results and videos to make you “have their values”. Open borders. Socialism. Medicare 4 all. Congressional hearings! Investigatehttps://t.co/jlbSgMMrLT
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) September 12, 2018
Parscale added: “Only @Google could make @facebook look like the good guys. Mark should send them a gift.”
— Brad Parscale (@parscale) September 12, 2018
This is the CFO of @Google breaking into sobs in a confidential internal video taken right after her goddess, @HillaryClinton, lost the 2016 election. These people contend that there is no political bias at #Google. pic.twitter.com/vwBLg4R6TD
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 13, 2018
The video is a full recording of Google’s first all-hands meeting following the 2016 election (these weekly meetings are known inside the company as “TGIF” or “Thank God It’s Friday” meetings). Sent to Breitbart News by an anonymous source, it features co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, VPs Kent Walker and Eileen Naughton, CFO Ruth Porat, and CEO Sundar Pichai. It can be watched in full above. It can and should be watched in full above in order to get the full context of the meeting and the statements made.
It was reported earlier this week that Google tried to boost turnout among the Latino population to help Hillary Clinton, only to be dismayed as the usually solid Democratic voting bloc switched to the GOP in record numbers. This video shows a similar level of dismay among Google’s most high-profile figures.
These individuals, who preside over a company with unrivaled influence over the flow of information, can be seen disparaging the motivations of Trump voters and plotting ways to use their vast resources to thwart the Trump agenda.
Co-founder Sergey Brin can be heard comparing Trump supporters to fascists and extremists. Brin argues that like other extremists, Trump voters were motivated by “boredom,” which he says in the past led to fascism and communism.
The Google co-founder then asks his company to consider what it can do to ensure a “better quality of governance and decision-making.”
VP for Global Affairs Kent Walker argues that supporters of populist causes like the Trump campaign are motivated by “fear, xenophobia, hatred, and a desire for answers that may or may not be there.”
Later, Walker says that Google should fight to ensure the populist movement – not just in the U.S. but around the world – is merely a “blip” and a “hiccup” in a historical arc that “bends toward progress.”
CEO Sundar Pichai states that the company will develop machine learning and A.I. to combat what an employee described as “misinformation” shared by “low-information voters.”
Key moments from the video can be found at the following timestamps:
- (00:00:00 – 00:01:12) Google co-founder Sergey Brin states that the weekly meeting is “probably not the most joyous we’ve had” and that “most people here are pretty upset and pretty sad.”
- (00:00:24) Brin contrasts the disappointment of Trump’s election with his excitement at the legalization of cannabis in California, triggering laughs and applause from the audience of Google employees.
- (00:01:12) Returning to seriousness, Brin says he is “deeply offen[ded]” by the election of Trump, and that the election “conflicts with many of [Google’s] values.”
- (00:09:10) Trying to explain the motivations of Trump supporters, Senior VP for Global Affairs, Kent Walker concludes: “fear, not just in the United States, but around the world is fueling concerns, xenophobia, hatred, and a desire for answers that may or may not be there.”
- (00:09:35) Walker goes on to describe the Trump phenomenon as a sign of “tribalism that’s self-destructive [in] the long-term.”
- (00:09:55) Striking an optimistic tone, Walker assures Google employees that despite the election, “history is on our side” and that the “moral arc of history bends towards progress.”
- (00:10:45) Walker approvingly quotes former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s comparison between “the world of the wall” with its “isolation and defensiveness” and the “world of the square, the piazza, the marketplace, where people come together into a community and enrich each other’s lives.”
- (00:13:10) CFO Ruth Porat appears to break down in tears when discussing the election result.
- (00:15:20) Porat promises that Google will “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values.”
- (00:16:50) Stating “we all need a hug,” she then instructs the audience of Google employees to hug the person closest to them.
- (00:20:24) Eileen Naughton, VP of People Operations, promises that Google’s policy team in DC is “all over” the immigration issue and that the company will “keep a close watch on it.”
- (00:21:26) Naughton jokes about Google employees asking, ‘Can I move to Canada?’ after the election. She goes on to seriously discuss the options available to Google employees who wish to leave the country.
- (00:23:12) Naughton does acknowledge “diversity of opinion and political persuasion” and notes that she has heard from conservative Google employees who say they “haven’t felt entirely comfortable revealing who [they] are.” and urged “tolerance.” (Several months later, the company would fire James Damore allegedly for disagreeing with progressive narratives.)
- (00:27:00) Responding to a question about “filter bubbles,” Sundar Pichai promises to work towards “correcting” Google’s role in them
- (00:27:30) Sergey Brin praises an audience member’s suggestion of increasing matched Google employee donations to progressive groups.
- (00:34:40) Brin compares Trump voters to “extremists,” arguing for a correlation between the economic background of Trump supporters and the kinds of voters who back extremist movements. Brin says that “voting is not a rational act” and that not all of Trump’s support can be attributed to “income disparity.” He suggests that Trump voters might have been motivated by boredom rather than legitimate concerns.
- (00:49:10) An employee asks if Google is willing to “invest in grassroots, hyper-local efforts to bring tools and services and understanding of Google products and knowledge” so that people can “make informed decisions that are best for themselves.” Pichai’s response: Google will ensure its “educational products” reach “segments of the population [they] are not [currently] fully reaching.”
- (00:54:33) An employee asks what Google is going to do about “misinformation” and “fake news” shared by “low-information voters.” Pichai responds by stating that “investments in machine learning and AI” are a “big opportunity” to fix the problem.
- (00:56:12) Responding to an audience member, Walker says Google must ensure the rise of populism doesn’t turn into “a world war or something catastrophic … and instead is a blip, a hiccup.”
- (00:58:22) Brin compares Trump voters to supporters of fascism and communism, linking the former movement to “boredom,” which Brin previously linked to Trump voters. “It sort of sneaks up sometimes, really bad things” says Brin.
- (01:01:15) A Google employee states: “speaking to white men, there’s an opportunity for you right now to understand your privilege” and urges employees to “go through the bias-busting training, read about privilege, read about the real history of oppression in our country.” He urges employees to “discuss the issues you are passionate about during Thanksgiving dinner and don’t back down and laugh it off when you hear the voice of oppression speak through metaphors.” Every executive on stage – the CEO, CFO, two VPs and the two Co-founders – applaud the employee.
- (01:01:57) An audience member asks if the executives see “anything positive from this election result.” The audience of Google employees, and the executives on stage, burst into laughter. “Boy, that’s a really tough one right now” says Brin.
Update (via Breitbart)…
After Breitbart News published this article, a Google spokesperson replied to a request for comment with the following statement:
“At a regularly scheduled all hands meeting, some Google employees and executives expressed their own personal views in the aftermath of a long and divisive election season. For over 20 years, everyone at Google has been able to freely express their opinions at these meetings. Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products. To the contrary, our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.