Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) said that he wants a special congressional investigation of Google because of recent a issue with the company’s search algorithm that’s affecting a single movie.
That just so happens to be America: Imagine a World Without Her, (which is a very bad movie) by conservative pundit, filmmaker, and campaign finance violator Dinesh D’Souza. D’Souza and his Team America have been on Google’s case about the problem, with Google calmly explaining that ‘America’ is “a common term and appears in many movie titles,” and that its database hadn’t been fully updated yet to display the movie’s local showtimes.
Such a measured and straightforward response from the tech giant, however, wasn’t enough placate Rohrabacher, who told The Hollywood Reporter,
“This doesn’t deserve to be ignored. We need to verify the statistics in some way, and I will be suggesting the appropriate committee or subcommittee have some kind of hearing on this,” Rohrbacher [sic] said. “We know there were significant incidences, and that would suggest there was intent behind Google’s nonperformance.”
This statement indicates two things: 1) Darrell Issa really must be that busy issuing ridiculous subpoenas since he didn’t come up with this hearing idea himself, and 2) Rohrabacher is a hypocritical gasbag.
That’s because Rohrabacher actually opposes net neutrality. In 2006, he voted against an amendment to a bill that would have ensured net neutrality by prohibiting broadband service providers from giving preferential treatment from certain types of content, like that which is paid for by large corporations, who can squeeze out the content of smaller competitors. And in 2011, he and his fellow Republicans passed a resolution that would have prohibited the Federal Communications Commission from regulating broadband industry practices, which would include net neutrality. (The resolution was not approved by the Senate and in May 2014 the FCC voted to bring net neutrality one step closer to reality.)
So here’s a guy who’s so indignant at Google’s incompetence/role in the vast liberal conspiracy, that he wants to use federal resources to find out just why a private company hasn’t been able to fully accommodate a single film in its search engine results. But at the same time he doesn’t think Congress should be in the business of telling broadband providers (which Google also is) who they can and can’t discriminate against when it comes to online content.
As easy as it might be to dismiss Rohrabacher’s hearing proposal as nonsense that will never become a reality, one can never be too sure when it comes to this House of Representatives.
James Madison once wrote that the whole point of having a republic is so that it can “refine and enlarge the public views, by passing them through the medium of a chosen body of citizens, whose wisdom may best discern the true interest of their country, and whose patriotism and love of justice will be least likely to sacrifice it to temporary or partial considerations.”
And Dana Rohrabacher will be damned if he’s going to be part of anything like that.