The latest target of Glenn Beck's reality-deficient conspiracy theories has been Google. According to Beck, Google has been working hand-in-hand with the U.S. government in order to assist an alliance of Islamic radicals and socialists to take over the world. Or something.
But is Beck just doing some dirty work on behalf of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch?
Murdoch has gone on the record numerous times criticizing Google. Specifically, Murdoch has complained that by aggregating news content, Google is stealing News Corp.'s content. Murdoch went so far as to describe Google's activities as "steal[ing] all our copyrights" and "steal[ing] our stories."
Murdoch's accusations have been widely ridiculed.
Danny Sullivan, the editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land (one of top sites for search engine news) explained that instead of complaining about Google, "two simple lines" of code could be used by Murdoch's media entities to remove themselves from Google's listings. Addressing Murdoch, Sullivan wrote, "[Y]ou won't do that. You want the traffic, but you also want to be like the AP and hope you can scare Google into paying you."
ZD Net's Tom Foremski theorized Murdoch's attacks were "Because Mr Murdoch has an agenda, he is most probably laying the groundwork to negotiate a deal with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and others, where they will pay to index News Corp content and also content from other publishers allied with News Corp."
Another element of Murdoch's complaints about Google is that they use snippets of text along with links to news stories. Another site that does this is Fox Nation -- owned by News Corp. The same practice can be found on other News Corp.-owned sites.
Enter Glenn Beck. Last year, Glenn Beck claimed Google was intentionally directing voters to the wrong polling place because the company is "in bed" with the Obama administration and China. Now, he's upped the ante, claiming that Google is part of the absurd Socialist-Communist-Islamist alliance he dreamed up that is supposedly behind the Egyptian uprising. He says Google is "in bed with the government," so people shouldn't use them. Naturally, Beck claims that he has Google insiders telling him secret information because they are "terrified."
This is some pretty heavy stuff coming from someone who doesn't seem to know how to use a search engine, and while Murdoch has in the past seemed unaware as to what his employee is up to at 5 in the afternoon, their animus seems to have conveniently dovetailed here.
On Wednesday, Beck resumed his attack on the "hard-left leaning" Google, promising viewers that on his radio show and website he would have tips on how to "avoid companies like Google."