Echoing a conspiracy theory pushed by conservative website The Daily Caller, Fox News tried to link President Obama to a Google doodle highlighting the birthday of labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chávez.
In a segment on the April 1 edition of America's Newsroom, host Bill Hemmer discussed Google's decision to feature an illustration of Chávez on its homepage on Easter Sunday -- March 31 is also Chávez's birthday -- with his guest, David Drucker of Roll Call. Drucker thought the move was “an obvious mistake,” and Hemmer bizarrely insinuated that Obama was somehow linked to Google's choice:
HEMMER: Eric Schmidt, who runs Google, was an informal adviser for President Obama. In 2011, the president said, “Make this day, 3/31, make it Cesar Chávez Day.” Well, this year the calendar also fell on Easter Sunday. And that's why you had people lighting up the internet saying that they are on their way to Bing as their search engine of choice. Now the theorists would say there is a definite connection here. Do you buy it?
Several “Fox Facts” displayed while Hemmer spoke attempted to further the theory:
A day before Hemmer gave his report, The Daily Caller featured a post about Google's doodle that used similar language:
While Google frequently decorates its logo to celebrate various holidays and special events, it is unclear why the company chose specifically to honor Chavez's birthday, instead of Easter Sunday.
President Barack Obama released a statement in 2011 proclaiming March 31 “Cesar Chavez Day,” declaring, “I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate service, community, and educational programs to honor Cesar Chavez's enduring legacy.”
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt was an informal adviser to both of President Obama's presidential campaigns, a member of the Obama White House transition team in 2009 and a onetime prospect for an Obama Cabinet post during the president's second term.
UPDATE: Later in the day, Fox host Megyn Kelly said during an America Live segment about the Google doodle, “We have no reason to believe in this case ... that this had anything to do with the Obama administration. I mean, obviously Eric Schmidt, who owns Google, is a supporter of Barack Obama's, but as far as we know he doesn't have his fingerprints on this.”