The former Chairman and CEO of Fox News, Roger Ailes, has passed. He was arguably one of the most consequential individuals in media and politics in the last century, and he leaves behind a loving wife and son. He also leaves behind a cadre of loyal former employees who love and respect him.
But if you run a Google search on him, you’ll find that the top results consist almost entirely of articles from several liberal publications savaging his reputation as a person. The search results — both on mobile and desktop platforms — begin with entries that are strikingly cruel and meanspirited — and raise new questions about Google’s objectivity.
The top results on “Roger Ailes” include a piece by leftist activist Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone declaring Ailes “one of the worst Americans ever,” an article by NBC’s Joy Reid on Time stating that Ailes “built a kingdom on exploited bias,” and a Bret Stephens op-ed in the New York Times, that calls him “the man who wrecked conservatism.” An op-ed on The Guardian by Arwa Mahdawi condemning Ailes for helping to “create this nightmare world” shows up alongside the other articles savaging him, way above obituaries or any neutral pieces about the man.
The New York Times’ (surprisingly) more balanced article about Ailes’ life achievements, published shortly after his passing yesterday, is buried beneath the rest. You’d have to dig deep to look for any unbiased articles about Ailes, much less articles written in praise of his accomplishments as a political genius and the founder of Fox News, one of the most successful cable networks in history.
Regardless the opinion anyone might hold about Roger Ailes, the only thing certain is that Google’s search algorithm is deeply biased in favor of publications who oppose his role as a leader in the conservative movement. To play on Roger Ailes’ mischievously brilliant slogan for Fox News, Google’s search results are neither fair nor balanced.