Right-Wing Google?

According to an article published in PR Watch, Google is giving “substantial” grants to some high-profile right-wing political groups.

Corporations are not required to post details concerning their grants and subsidies, but Google decided in 2010 to start voluntarily posting a selection from their grant budget. The figures are interesting, to say the least.  Some of the names that appear as “significant” benefactors receiving “substantial” funding from Google were Heritage Action (which led the charge to defund the Affordable Care Act), Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, and the American Conservative Union. The actual dollar amounts were not disclosed, but Google, to understate it, has a lot of money.

This story is very curious to me. Of course, the liberal author over at PR Watch is extremely concerned and appalled at this trend. I’m frankly just surprised. In a world where mainstream media giants tend to be staunchly anti-conservative by and large, it is really surprising to see one of the largest media giants starting (apparently) to lean right.

According to the PR Watch article:

Google has a distinctively progressive image, but in March 2012 it hired former Republican member of the House of Representatives, Susan Molinari as its Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations. According to the New York Times, Molinari is being “paid handsomely to broaden the tech giant’s support beyond Silicon Valley Democrats and to lavish money and attention on selected Republicans.”

When I first heard about Google’s recent activities, I figured conservative politics was the pet project of a few, select, overzealous people within Google who would soon be canned for their political activism.

But recent evidence would suggest that the guiding top-down vision for Google is starting to navigate right—that Google’s puzzling right-wing advocacy is not the work of a rogue element in the company, but a designed shift of political emphasis. Strange indeed. I don’t know yet what to think of it.