On Wednesday Google repudiated claims that they gave President Barack Obama insider access to one of their new advertising programs. And a lot of people probably believed them.
Because everyone knows that mega sized Internet corporations like Google would never give special treatment to a powerful politician.
According to Politico, the claims of preferential treatment towards President Obama originated from something a sales representative said in an email to customers.
The new ad program is designed to charge clients for every email address they collect. The program is attractive to political campaigns because they would like that information. Thus, when a staff member at the National Republican Senatorial Committee saw what looked like an Obama ad built on this technology on the RealClearPolitics website, she decided to email a Google sales rep to find out about making a similar ad for Republicans.
And that’s when the accusations began to fly.
The saleswoman, Sirene Abou-Chakra, replied and suggested that the Obama election machine had a special (presidential?) deal.
“This is a pre-alpha product that is being released to a select few clients,” she wrote in an email, referring to the first stage of a product’s roll-out. “I’d be happy to get you into the beta if you’re interested.”
A Republican source has said that a similar email went out to at least one other GOP digital firm.
“It certainly raises some red flags that the Obama campaign appears to have been given special access to a new online advertising product,” said NRSC communications director Brian Walsh in response to an inquiry from POLITICO.
And then a Google spokesman, Jake Parrilo, denied vigorously that Obama election machine had been given special access to the pilot program. He claimed the email was erroneous “puffery” on the part of the sales representative. According to Parrilo, the ad on RealClearPolitics was not a Google ad all!
“This is an experiment and while we generally do not comment on those experiments we can tell you that we have not sold a single CPL [cost-per-lead] ad unit to any political candidates or committees,” said Parrillo.
There’s no concrete proof that Google is giving favorable ad treatment to the Obama election campaign, but you don’t need incriminating emails to see that the Internet giants love President Obama and the government in general.
First of all, Google has some really close ties to the US government. Mainstream media doesn’t always report on these ties, but the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog thinks that Google has turned its close ties with the Obama administration into corporate benefits.
They also think it’s weird that Google gets access to the government's Moffett Field located near Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. No one else appears to have this benefit.
There have also been accusations floating around for a few years now that the CIA, NSA, or both may have given Google startup money a while back. While those claims cannot be confirmed, it has been confirmed that the CIA and Google have both invested in a company that monitors the web in real time. And this company says it uses that information to predict the future.
That’s pretty weird don’t you think?
Facebook also has lobbyists in Washington DC who have started to forge relationships with the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. senators and representatives and the intelligence community as well. Interesting eh?
The point behind all of this is that the Politico story has already come and gone, and the accusations of Google’s favoritism towards Obama will fade into nothingness by the time the weekend hits. But that doesn’t make them untrue.
It is totally within the realm of possibility to think that Google would show favoritism towards President Obama and the government in general. If you think about it, Google and Facebook probably would not have been able to grow so large without making some powerful government connections along the way.
Government intelligence agencies thrive on information, and people trust Google and Facebook somewhat, so why not let them gather some of that information for you?
It is already clear that Google has a close relationship with the government and President Obama. So the accusations of favoritism in digital ads are quite believable. Even if the fawning corporate media has already made these accusations vanish into thin air.