By Randy Hall ~
Despite the fact that Google — a multinational technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products — has announced it will serve as the official livestream provider during this year’s Republican convention, liberal groups and civil rights advocates have called on the technology giant to sever any connection to the event, which will be held July 18-21 in Cleveland, Ohio.
According to an article by Tony Romm, senior technology reporter for the Politico website, the company’s “mere presence at the GOP convention is sure to spark new opposition from liberal groups and civil rights advocates” due to Republican front-runner “Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric.”
“Google has confirmed it will play a formal role at the 2016 Republican convention — despite pressure from critics who want the tech giant to withdraw” in protest of Trump’s controversial remarks about women, immigrants and minorities,” Romm noted.
A company representative told Politico on Thursday that it will be “offering election trends, convention videos, virtual reality tools and other data to attendees and viewers,” he indicated.
Google “provided similar services at the Democratic and Republican conventions in 2012,” the reporter stated, “and for both parties’ presidential debates earlier this year.”
Of course, “Google hasn’t taken a position on any of the candidates,” but Romm noted that liberal organizations “have already been pushing the company — and others, like Microsoft and Xerox — to pull out in opposition to Trump.”
The tech company’s acknowledgment “came the same day that a collection of activists — ColorOfChange, Free Press Action Fund and others — mounted a small protest outside the search giant’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.”
Romm was being generous by calling the protest “small” since only about a dozen people turned out to deliver a petition with 500,000 signatures calling on the company to withdraw from the event.
In addition, “the protesters sent a plane over the Google campus with a banner that read ‘#dumptrump’ and ran ads on Facebook with a similar message,” the reporter noted.
“We want Google to pull all of their support for a Trump-led Republican national convention,” said Mary Alice Crim, field director for the Free Press Action Fund. “We’re asking for that to be immediate, and we do hope after today’s petition delivery, [the company] will talk with us.”
On its website, the group claims: “We fight to save the free and open Internet, curb runaway media consolidation, protect press freedom and ensure diverse voices are represented in our media.”
Meanwhile, ColorOfChange states on its website that its goal is “changing the color of democracy” and to “strengthen Black America’s political voice.”
However, Romm stated:
Google declined to say if it has donated any funds or technology to the GOP convention along with taking the role of official livestream provider.
In 2012, the company made at least $350,000 in donations to the Republican convention that nominated Mitt Romney, according to Federal Election Commission records.
“Google executive Eric Schmidt, then the company’s CEO, provided similar support to the Democrats that year,” the reporter noted.
“Trump’s ascendancy in this year’s Republican campaign has put many potential corporate sponsors in a bind,” he added.
Romm then stated: “Large companies, including Google, have typically established a presence at the political conventions for marketing and influence building purposes, and they tend to support both parties’ events in the interest of parity.”
“Fearing a backlash, however, some companies are re-evaluating their plans,” the reporter continued. “Coca-Cola — which had been targeted by ColorOfChange and others — has already said it will donate far less to the GOP convention this year than it had in 2012.”
Trump’s “history of inflammatory statements threatens tech companies in particular, given the industry’s progressive home base in Silicon Valley and its efforts to promote diversity in its workforce,” he noted.
“In the past, tech giants have buckled to some liberal pressure campaigns,” Romm stated. “Google, for example, quit the American Legislative Exchange Council in 2014 after intense criticism from progressive groups.”
The groups took their action because “ALEC is a conservative organization that had drafted model legislation designed to undermine climate regulation, and activists slammed Google for backing what they called ‘climate change deniers.'”
As NewsBusters previously reported, this isn’t the first time Trump has taken heat for his remarks about women.
On NBC’s Today program Thursday morning, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie asked: “Do you even care” that 70 percent of women have a negative view of him?
“Of course I care,” Trump replied. “Nobody respects women more than I do.”
It would be interesting if conservatives demanded that Google refuse to cover the July 25-28 Democratic Party convention in Philadelphia because one of the candidates is a socialist. How long would it take for the screams of “intolerance” and “bigotry” to finally die down?
Randy Hall contributes Posts at the NewsBusters site.