Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Screenshot from video embedded on Breitbart.com

A video obtained by Breitbart of Google leaders lamenting the results of the 2016 election to employees at its first all-staff meeting after the vote is causing uproar from voices on the right.

Why it matters: The video adds fuel to the ongoing conservative narrative that Silicon Valley's progressive founders and corporate cultures cause their engineers to steer algorithms to be biased against conservative voices.

The video features Google executives telling employees that the outcome of the election was not what they preferred.

  • "I know that most people here are pretty upset and pretty sad about the election," Google co-founder Sergey Brin says. "Myself as an immigrant and a refugee, I certainly find this election deeply offensive and I know many of you do too."
  • CEO Sundar Pichai said that some employees had said they feared the outcome of the election. "There are people who are very afraid ... There is a lot of fear, so I think it's important to reach out and be aware of that fear."
  • Pichai and other executives also discussed the impact of the election on issues that affect employees, like immigration.

The timing of the video's release is notable. The video, shot shortly after the election in November 2016, has been leaked nearly two years later, at a time when conservative lawmakers are alleging that tech companies use their algorithms to steer traffic away from conservative websites, voices and lawmakers.

  • The concern from the right runs all the way up to the commander in chief, who tweeted several weeks ago that Google search results have been "RIGGED."
  • Trump's concerns prompted the Justice Department to get involved. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reportedly exploring an investigation of social media companies.
  • Conservative members of Congress have long pressured tech on this issue. The House Energy and Commerce Committee had Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testify last week about censorship. Lawmakers pummeled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg with questions about censorship when he visited Capitol Hill last spring.
  • The leak also comes after Google raised the ire of Senate lawmakers by not providing a founder or CEO to testify at recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearings on election interference.

The footage was leaked to Breitbart, a right-wing website that's often viewed as a megaphone for the Trump White House. Google has in the past struggled with ways to keep conservative employees from feeling alienated by its progressive culture, a problem that often results in leaks.

Google says in a statement that "nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products." To the contrary, the company argues, "Our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint."

  • It is true that there has been no compelling evidence to suggest that Google, nor any other major tech platform, like Facebook or Twitter, designs its algorithms with a bias against conservative viewpoints.

Be smart: For years, Google has invested millions of dollars in creating a lobbying operation to win over the hearts of Republican lawmakers. Part of that push involves the tech firm pitching itself as unbiased and apolitical. This video, of Google's top executives emotionally discussing their opposition to Trump, makes that case harder to make.

The bigger picture: The video is an example of how tech companies, including Google, will always be on the defensive for past remarks and decisions showing political bias that can now resurface and be used as political ammunition.

“This video is the smoking gun. Google’s leadership is decidedly anti-Trump and there is no doubt that their company practices reflect that. We need hearings now. Google cannot continue to run and hide.”
— Brent Bozell, President of Media Research Center, a conservative think tank

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

Omicron gives a shot to boosters

Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Vaccination rates have ticked higher since the discovery of the Omicron variant, CDC data shows.

By the numbers: The seven-day average for vaccinations in the U.S. reached about 1.8 million on Monday, up from an average of about 1.3 million a month ago.

Scoop: Over 200 papers quietly sue Big Tech

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. 

Why it matters: What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!