House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) won’t stop insisting that random Wikipedia edits constitute evidence that Google is censoring Republicans.
McCarthy has made his point at least twice on Fox News in the last week, including Wednesday morning.
“They’re controlling the internet,” McCarthy said. “And if you were searching the California Republican Party just two weeks before the primary, do you know what it said the ideology [was]? Not the party of Lincoln or Reagan — Nazism. So I think there are a lot of questions that have to be answered.”
McCarthy first drew attention to this conspiracy theory on Twitter in May.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) May 31, 2018
But the GOP leader’s suggestion that the incident is evidence of anti-Republican bias was quickly exposed as transparent nonsense.
Wired, citing a Google spokesperson, explained as far back as May 31 that “the Wikipedia page for the California Republican Party was ‘vandalized’ so that Nazism was listed as one of its core ideologies. Wikipedia’s change logs confirm that assertion, and show that the edit was live from May 24 to May 30. Because Google scrapes Wikipedia to populate the knowledge panel, the short-lived change slipped into search results.”
Nonetheless, McCarthy has continued to push the conspiracy theory on Fox News, without any pushback whatsoever from hosts.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 6, 2018
Now, he’s using this conspiracy theory to try to force the tech company to answer questions before Congress.
•Claims to be fair, but gave a “silent donation” to a left-wing group to stop Trump
•Works w/ China/Russia to censor the internet, but cancelled a contract with our military
•Ignores Senate hearing
It’s time for @Google to answer some ?’s An invite will be on its way.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) September 11, 2018
McCarthy had demonstrated a feeble understanding of how online technologies work, but keeps pushing conspiracy theories about alleged online censorship anyway.
Last month, McCarthy was roundly mocked for posting a tweet that he thought constituted evidence Twitter was censoring Fox News host Laura Ingraham, but actually just reflected his own restricted privacy settings.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 17, 2018
As many Twitter users tried to explain to the majority leader, all he had to do was click a couple boxes in order to see Ingraham’s posts.
All you need to do to see Ingraham's racist tirades is to go to Settings > Privacy and Safety and switch the Safety settings at the bottom to look like this. You're going to hold Congressional hearings to demand that CEOs give you tech support now? pic.twitter.com/MIIlOY4uAM
— Greg Fish (@GregAFish) August 18, 2018
Other Republicans who have tried to spread conspiracy theories about tech companies haven’t fared much better.
During a Good Morning America interview that aired Monday, Donald Trump Jr. — who is supposed to be independently running the family business, and staying out of his dad’s politics — said he plans to campaign hard for Republicans in the midterms, and will focus on concerns about online censorship of conservatives.
But when pressed to provide evidence that censorship is actually happening, Trump Jr. had nothing.
“There’s only one side complaining about it happening,” he said — as if the complaints themselves indicate that something untoward is going on.