The geniuses at Newsweek tried to toss the leftists at Google a lifeline by issuing a ridiculous “fact check” of MRC Free Speech America’s latest study showing Google manipulating search results to benefit Democrats in top senate races.
MRC President Brent Bozell had a one-line response to Newsweek: “Remember Newsweek was sold for a dollar. Someone overpaid."
Newsweek’s so-called ‘fact check’ whined that the MRC study, which caught Google burying 10 of 12 Senate Republican Party candidates’ campaign websites while highlighting their opponents campaign sites in organic search results, “does not provide any definitive evidence to suggest Google deliberately alters their algorithm for partisan effect.”
Not only did the outlet not reach out to the Media Research Center for comment, it chose to leave out core elements of the study that upend Newsweek’s lazy work.
Bozell excoriated Newsweek and Google’s gaslighting: “Google's response and Newsweek's attack on our study are predictable for Google and Newsweek.”
Newsweek had parroted a Google spokesperson’s claim that the MRC Free Speech America “‘report is designed to mislead, testing uncommon search terms that people rarely use.’”
The so-called fact-check’s “ruling”? “Unverified,” claimed Newsweek, which is a cute way of saying it isn’t really a fact-check. The outlet even conceded based on an expert it cited that Google is notorious for its “lack of transparency” when it comes to its algorithm.
Newsweek didn’t even bother mentioning that the MRC Free Speech America study researched the same parameters on two other search engines: Bing and DuckDuckGo. When MRC Free Speech America researchers performed the same searches on those two search engines, the results were more neutral.
Bozell contiued ripping Newsweek and Google: “If DuckDuckGo and Bing can get it right, then the self-proclaimed experts at Google should be able to do the same. Ironically, Newsweek makes our case. It is true. We don't know the reason for these skewed results, and that's the point. It's because of Google's lack of transparency. The results are accurate. It's up to them to explain why the results are what they are.”
Newsweek complained that “[t]he study did not account for a number of other key variables, including location, device used and user's search history.”
In fact, the MRC did account for user “search history” in the study, which Newsweek would have known if it had bothered reading the study. The Methodology, which is described in the study in the executive summary and at the end of the study, clearly states that the MRC Free Speech America researchers “created an algorithm to automate this process in a clean environment. A ‘clean environment’ allows for organic search to populate results without the influence of prior search history and tracking cookies.” [Emphasis added.]
MRC Free Speech America reached out to fact-check author and Newsweek Weekend Staff Writer Andrew Stanton for comment, but received no response as of the publication of this article.
Conservatives are under attack. Contact Newsweek and demand that it retract its bogus non-fact-check.