One of the things I noticed during the August 2017 controversy about Google’s firing of James Damore was that the media were promoting “fake news” about the Harvard-educated scientist:
Repeatedly, headlines mischaracterize
Damore’s views as “anti-diversity” (despite his clearly stated support for
diversity) and news articles falsely assert that Damore argued women were
“genetically unsuited” (Washington Post) or “biologically unfit”
(CNN) to work in high tech.
Are these journalists simply illiterate? Do they lack the reading comprehension skills necessary to understand what James Damore wrote?
We now know the answer to that question, thanks to an anonymous Google employee who has told the truth about what happened:
I was involved in the internal decisions
involving James Damore’s memo, and it’s terrible what we did to him. . . .
To quell dissent, we: told executives to write to their employees condemning the memo; manipulated our internal Memegen to bias the ratings towards anti-Damore posts (the head of Memegen is an “ally” to the diversity cause); and gave every manager talking points on what to tell their reports about the memo. In all our communications, we concentrated on how hurt employees purportedly were and diverted attention from Google’s discriminatory employment practices and political hegemony, never mind the science.
We needed to make an example of Damore. . . . When we did fire him, our reputation and integrity took a hit, but at least other employees were now afraid to speak up. . . .
To control the narrative, we planted stories with journalists and flexed Google’s muscles where necessary. In exchange for insider access and preferential treatment, all we ask for is their loyalty. For online media, Google’s ads pay their paycheck and our search brings their customers, so our influence shouldn’t be underestimated. . . .
Read the whole thing by Deb Heine at PJ Media (hat-tip: Instapundit).
What happened to Damore was eerily reminiscent of Stalin-era purges in the Soviet Union — the dezinformatsiya campaign spread through party-controlled channels, demonizing the targets as an “enemy of the people” (vrag naroda) to justify their destruction.
A successful campaign to “control the narrative” produces a strange reversal of reality: When all the “respectable” media are repeating the officially approved lie, those who tell the truth are made to seem like dangerous extremists, proponents of “racism,” etc. If you have read Robert Conquest’s The Great Terror, you know the targets of Stalin’s purges — veteran Bolsheviks who had risked their lives for the Revolution — were smeared as spies, saboteurs, Trotskyists and so forth. And many in the Western media repeated these transparently false Stalinist propaganda smears as if they were actually true.
The quote emblazoned atop my blog — “One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up” — is from Arthur Koestler, a disillusioned ex-Communist whose famous novel Darkness at Noon dramatized the reality of Soviet life under Stalinism. The younger generation, who know nothing of the bloody 20th-century history of “social justice,” are being led toward their own destruction.