On Saturday, The News Observer out of North Carolina reported that a Google search for Republican state Senator Trudy Wade was returning a photo of the senator in the Knowledge Panel (the box on the right hand side of the search results) that had the word “bigot” on it.
After the story made national news, Google apologized, and said this photo was showing up because the engine was grabbing a photo posted by a man named Matt Comer.
This all happened just a few days after Google was criticized for including the word “nazism,” under the “Ideology” description in the Knowledge Panel for a “California Republicans” or “California Republican Party” search. This was blamed on pulling the results from a vandalized Wikipedia page.
While it was a big week for potentially peeling back how Google can negatively effect a political party and anyone looking for examples of big tech bias against conservatives, there was a bigger story at the bottom of the Trudy Wade story:
After the NC State Republicans wrote the state budget behind closed doors, accepting no amendments, Democratic state Rep. Mickey Michaux said, “Today we have seen a rape of this budget.” Given a chance to walk it back, he said he was standing by his comment because “sometimes it takes strong words to make people realize what’s happening to them.” Nevermind how this minimizes actual rape – seemingly one of the worst things that can happen to anyone.
The list of political candidates who resigned because of something they said is long: Al Franken, Trent Franks, Frank Artiles, Michael Saari, and, of course, Todd Akin (of the “legitimate rape” comment), to name a few.
But now, in a time when sexual assault, rape, unwanted overtures, and clumsy attempts by men forcing themselves on women is a topic on every news station, in every workplace, and on every social channel from Facebook to LinkedIn, Mickey Michaux uses an fairly inexcusable and inappropriate analogy and no one blinks. How can this be?
As a society, we’re in great danger if we let political expediency get in the way of what is right and what is wrong. Whether Rep. Michaux is a conservative or liberal, what he said is inappropriate and wrong, and if you’ve got people all over the country forced to apologize for the stupid things they’ve said, it sure seems like this guy has a place in line.