On Sunday, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee threatened to retaliate against the company with congressional hearings and called for the creation of a conservative Internet search engine to take Google’s place.
In an interview on Fox News, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) was asked about the controversy and did not mince words.
“I’m used to getting attacked, I enjoy getting attacked by these crazy leftists,” he told host Maria Bartiromo, “But what the American people need to understand is that there is bias against conservatives and Republicans all across this country.”
He complained that he has been unable to access the Drudge Report, a conservative aggregation feed, because it is being “censored on Twitter.” (ThinkProgress had no trouble accessing the feed on Sunday.)
Asked whether we should expect to “see new legislation to try to stop social media from censoring conservative ideas,” Nunes threatened to rein in social media and search engines.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 3, 2018
“The best thing would be is for there to be a new search engine that actually doesn’t censor conservatives,” he said. “I think there’s a free market solution here if somebody can compete with Google. If they can’t, then ultimately we’re looking at monopolies, and then that brings in a whole other set of circumstances.”
“Are these companies — Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, et cetera — are they monopolies and should they be reined in? I would hope we don’t have to go there. I would hope that they just don’t get involved in politics and don’t censor conservatives and Republicans. But if they continue to do it, then we have to move obviously to hearings on these issues,” he concluded.
Nunes’ demand that tech companies “don’t get involved in politics” is a new position. Just last December, he took a $5,000 campaign contribution from Facebook’s corporate PAC and in 2015 and 2016 he accepted similar amounts from Google’s NetPAC. Indeed, since 2012 he has received at least $27,000 from those two political action committees.