Trump bemoans Google hiding ‘fair media’ coverage of him, firm denies accusations

US President Donald Trump listens during a phone conversation with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto on trade in the Oval Office of the White House. (AFP)
Updated 28 August 2018
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Trump bemoans Google hiding ‘fair media’ coverage of him, firm denies accusations

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said without providing evidence on Tuesday that Google’s search engine was hiding “fair media” coverage of him and said he would address the situation, without giving any details.
In a pair of tweets, Trump said Google search results for “Trump News” showed only the reporting of what he terms fake news media.
“They have it RIGGED, for me & others,” he said, blaming Google, part of Alphabet Inc, for what he said was dangerous action that promoted mainstream media outlets such as CNN and suppressed conservative political voices.
“This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!” Trump added, without offering any details.
Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google, however, disputed Trump's claim that the search engine behemoth was displaying only negative news about the president when searching for his name, saying the company does not favor search results for political purposes.
"When users type queries into the Google Search bar, our goal is to make sure they receive the most relevant answers in a matter of seconds," Google, whose parent company is Alphabet, said in a statement.

"Search is not used to set a political agenda and we don't bias our results toward any political ideology. Every year, we issue hundreds of improvements to our algorithms to ensure they surface high-quality content in response to users' queries. We continually work to improve Google Search and we never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment." 
Trump has long criticized news media coverage of him, frequently using the term fake news to describe critical reports. He has made social media, particularly Twitter, an integral part of his presidency. He has previously accused social media companies, which include Twitter and Facebook, of censorship.
Trump’s accusation of bias on the part of Google comes as social media companies have suspended accounts, banned certain users and removed content as they face pressure from the US Congress to police foreign propaganda and fake accounts aimed at disrupting American politics, including operations tied to Iran and Russia.
Companies such as Facebook and Twitter have also been pressed to remove conspiracy driven content and hate speech.
Tech companies have said they do not remove content for political reasons.
Some Republican US lawmakers have also raised concerns about social media companies removing content from some conservatives, and have called Twitter’s chief executive to testify before a US House of Representatives committee on Sept. 5.
Earlier this month, Alphabet’s YouTube joined Apple Inc. and Facebook in removing some content from Infowars, a website run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Jones was also temporarily suspended on Twitter.


Judge to announce ruling in CNN reporter’s credential case

Updated 16 November 2018
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Judge to announce ruling in CNN reporter’s credential case

  • US District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, an appointee of President Donald Trump, has set a hearing for Friday morning to announce his decision
  • Trump has made his dislike of CNN clear since before he took office
WASHINGTON: A judge is expected to announce Friday whether he will order the Trump administration to return the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
US District Court Judge Timothy Kelly, an appointee of President Donald Trump, has set a hearing for Friday morning to announce his decision.
CNN has asked the judge for an order that would force the White House to immediately hand back the credentials that give Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, access to the White House complex for press briefings and other events. CNN wants Acosta’s credentials restored while a lawsuit over his credentials’ revocation goes forward.
The White House revoked Acosta’s credentials after he and Trump tangled during a press conference last week.
Trump has made his dislike of CNN clear since before he took office and continuing into his presidency. He has described the network as “fake news” both on Twitter and in public comments.
At last week’s press conference, which followed the midterm elections, Trump was taking questions from reporters and called on Acosta, who asked about Trump’s statements about a caravan of migrants making its way to the US-Mexico border. After a terse exchange, Trump told Acosta, “That’s enough,” several times while calling on another reporter.
Acosta attempted to ask another question about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and initially declined to give up a hand-held microphone to a White House intern. Trump responded to Acosta by saying he wasn’t concerned about the investigation, calling it a “hoax,” and then criticized Acosta, calling him a “rude, terrible person.”
The White House pulled Acosta’s credentials hours later.
The White House’s explanations for why it seized Acosta’s credentials have shifted over the last week.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders initially explained the decision by accusing Acosta of making improper physical contact with the intern seeking to grab the microphone.
But that rationale disappeared after witnesses backed Acosta’s account that he was just trying to keep the microphone, and Sanders distributed a doctored video that made it appear Acosta was more aggressive than he actually was. On Tuesday, Sanders accused Acosta of being unprofessional by trying to dominate the questioning at the news conference.