19 Jun 2019 Alphabet Tries to Silence Conservative Investors As they Question why Google’s Parent Company Silences Conservative Voices
Tech Giant’s Hostility Toward Conservatives Comes to a Boiling Point at Shareholder Meeting
Sunnyvale, CA/Washington, D.C. – Google, and its parent company Alphabet, continued its campaign to silence conservative speech today when it repeatedly cut off conservative speakers at its annual shareholder meeting while allowing liberal activists to violate meeting rules and decorum with impunity.
Alphabet executives tried to squash a question from Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq., at today’s annual meeting of Alphabet shareholders held in Sunnyvale, California, but their disrespectful actions only served to highlight the free speech concerns that Danhof raised.
“In nearly every way imaginable, Google works to limit conservative speech. And its attempts to silence me today, while liberal agitators were allowed unlimited time to air their progressive whining, only served to prove my point,” said Danhof.
At the meeting, Danhof said:
Why is this woke company so afraid of viewpoint diversity? When I filed a shareholder proposal asking the company to consider the idea of expanding viewpoint diversity on the board, the company scoffed.
In April, Google ended its AI advisory board before it even got off the ground because a few close-minded Googlers objected to the inclusion of Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James on the project. This outrage mob called James so many words that I’m not going to say in this public forum.
Regarding her experience with Google, James wrote this: “In 1961, at age 12, I was one of two-dozen black children who integrated an all-white junior high school in Richmond. White parents jeered me outside the school, and inside, their kids stuck me with pins, shoved me in the halls and pushed me down the stairs. So when the group of Google employees resorted to calling names and making false accusations because they didn’t want a conservative voice advising the company, the hostility was reminiscent of what I felt back then — that same intolerance for someone who was different from them.”
Danhof then stated, before he was rudely cut off:
Shame on Google and every single person involved in ending the A.I. board and giving in to this mob.
The company’s intolerance is staggering. From working with the racist, bigoted and discredited Southern Poverty Law Center…
After being interrupted, Danhof managed to still ask:
OK, my question is for Mr. Pichai then. Will you commit today to a course correction at this company and start promoting actual viewpoint diversity? Perhaps you could establish a public policy advisory board that includes folks such as Ms. James to help the company actually become tolerant and inclusive.
Video of Danhof’s exchange with Alphabet executives is available here.
Covering for Google CEO Sundar Pichai was Kent Walker, Google’s Senior Vice President for Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer. Walker gave an incoherent response that never addressed any of the concerns Danhof raised.
“What did Pichai have to say in response to my question? Nothing. He sat on the stage like a potted plant with a blank stare on his face. His staff was up there to take cover for him because it would appear that Pichai has no spine,” said Danhof.
“What Google did to Ms. James is abhorrent. What it has done through YouTube to de-platform conservatives such as PragerU and Steven Crowder is abhorrent. What Google has done by purging conservative employees such as James Damore and Mike Wacker for speaking out about the company’s bias is abhorrent. Today was just another example of Google’s efforts to silence conservative voices,” continued Danhof.
Also at today’s meeting, Alphabet attempted to cut off National Legal & Policy Center CEO Peter Flaherty as he was presenting his organization’s shareholder resolution which called out the company’s lack of viewpoint diversity.
“It’s noteworthy that the only two people, of the more than 20 outside speakers at today’s meeting, that Alphabet tried to silence were the two conservatives. Google’s disdain for conservative speech was palpable today,” said Danhof.
Today’s Alphabet meeting marks the 28th time FEP has participated in a shareholder meeting in 2019.
Launched in 2007, the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project focuses on shareholder activism and the confluence of big government and big business. Over the past four years alone, FEP representatives have participated in over 100 shareholder meetings – advancing free-market ideals about health care, energy, taxes, subsidies, regulations, religious freedom, food policies, media bias, gun rights, workers’ rights and other important public policy issues. As the leading voice for conservative-minded investors, it annually files more than 90 percent of all right-of-center shareholder resolutions. Dozens of liberal organizations, however, annually file more than 95 percent of all policy-oriented shareholder resolutions and continue to exert undue influence over corporate America.
FEP activity has been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Variety, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Drudge Report, Business Insider, National Public Radio and SiriusXM. FEP’s work was prominently featured in Wall Street Journal writer Kimberley Strassel’s 2016 book The Intimidation Game: How the Left is Silencing Free Speech (Hachette Book Group).
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Sign up for email updates here. Follow us on Twitter at @FreeEntProject and @NationalCenter for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by National Center staff, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.