August 10, 2007
by David Cassel
Imagine my surprise. I typed “Michelle Malkin” into Google’s web search engine — and their results included a picture. Of Michelle Malkin in a bikini.
This must be a fluke, I thought — so I tried typing “Ann Coulter” into Google’s web search engine. After all, Coulter is another famous female pundit — and also a conservative one — so I’d expect Google to pull up a series of web pages with her commentary, and not pictures of Coulter in a bikini.
But I was wrong.
This isn’t Google’s image directory I’m searching; these are their search results for the web. I knew Google had been trying new layouts of their results recently — but could there be another explanation?
Two bikini pictures could still be a coincidence, I thought. What would happen if I typed in the name of a male conservative pundit — maybe a reporter for the Cybercast News Service. Let’s see… If we innocently go to Google’s web search engine, and type in the name “Jeff Gannon”….
To be fair to Google, the Jeff Gannon picture makes sense. His racy past drew a lot of attention when it was discovered by investigative bloggers. But web surfers who look for conspiracies will still want to ask why Google never displays a picture when I search for a liberal pundit. And I mean never…
Markos Moulitsas? Nope. If you go to Google’s web directory and type in the name of the man behind the Daily Kos blog, Google’s search results are all text. What happens when you type in Duncan B. Black — the editor of the popular liberal site Eschaton? His results also text-only. Christie Hardin Smith? Josh Marshall?
Nope. Every time I typed the name of a liberal pundit into Google, their search results came back without pictures. Molly Ivins? Cokie Roberts? Nope. For these unabashedly liberal pundits, Google shows only text results.
Now, there’s lots of reasons why this could be happening. While Google is transitioning to a new format for its search results, this might be a temporary aberration. Maybe Google plans to add images to all their searches soon, and they’ve arbitrarily started with female conservative pundits. Maybe Google will only show images when there’s something especially controversial — like a conservative pundit wearing a bikini.
Or maybe there’s a practical joker at Google who really hates conservatives.