According to the old saying, it’s only an ill wind that blows no good.
Whether true or not, America society has certainly been buffeted from some extremely ill winds of late.
Our nation is still facing its worst disease epidemic in over 100 years together with the highest unemployment since the Great Depression. Efforts to combat these ills have raised our unprecedented national debt to levels last reached at the end of World War II, but this time lacking the productive industrial base for servicing it.
Most recently, the easing of an unprecedented national lockdown has been quickly followed by the worst national outbreak of riots and looting in two generations, with many of our historical statues and monuments falling prey to this American Cultural Revolution. We’re now only a step or two away from seeing mobs attack and destroy the Jefferson Monument, Monticello, and Mount Vernon, along with every other symbol of America’s “tainted” past.
Meanwhile, our political leadership seems incompetent, helpless, or complicit in this mass insanity. A key point of sharp division has been that while the Republicans seem intent on provoking a crazy war with China, the Democrats strongly disagree, instead preferring an equally crazy war with Russia.
Naturally enough our small webzine has been tossed and turned in recent months on these broader currents as we seek to fulfill our stated mission of providing convenient access to “interesting, important, and controversial perspectives largely excluded from the American mainstream media.”
During March and April, our readership set new records, partly propelled during the latter month by my own long article pointing to the very considerable evidence that the deadly Covid-19 pandemic had been the result of an appallingly-reckless American biowarfare attack against China (and Iran).
Then just a week after the release of that extremely popular piece, we were suddenly purged from Facebook, soon followed by a similar purge by Google.
For five years, we had freely discussed the most controversial topics imaginable without suffering any ill effect, much to the surprise of numerous observers. But now the world’s two most powerful Internet gatekeepers suddenly blocked all our past and future articles, which strongly suggests a cause-and-effect relationship. As a consequence, our regular daily traffic immediately declined by 15% or more, a serious blow to our steadily-growing readership.
But events that are disastrous for a country may be beneficial for those who report and cover them, especially they are willing to provide important perspectives avoided by others. The huge wave of protests, rioting, and looting that ushered in the month of May soon raised our traffic to new and unprecedented heights, and we have seen three record-breaking weeks in a row, with those trends so far continuing.
Just a few days ago, we published a lengthy analysis pointing to the strong evidence that George Floyd—universally hailed by the global media as a martyred police victim—had actually died of a illegal drug overdose. The early readership has been breaking records despite the Facebook and Google blacklisting.
How could such important facts have been totally excluded from all journalistic coverage? Well, consider that just a couple of weeks ago, the highly-regarded Editorial Page Editor of the New York Times—widely seen as a top 2021 contender to run our national newspaper of record—was purged merely for publishing an op-ed by a leading Republican senator that endorsed the proposed policies of President Donald Trump. In such a climate of media fear, mainstream reporters and editors are hardly eager to report inconvenient truths.
Still, our continued blacklisting by Facebook and Google does remain a handicap, and a consequence of the latter has been especially vexing to me.
For the last ten years, my article The Myth of Hispanic Crime had regularly ranked #2 among the 180 million search results Google returned for “Latino Crime” and the 60 million for “Hispanic Crime,” an achievement for which I had become inordinately proud. But although comparable search engines such as Bing and DuckDuckGo still rank my piece near the very top, Google has completely “disappeared” it.
I think a reasonable measure of a topic’s importance is the total number of search results it returns. Communism and Communists dominated the entire twentieth century and the political party of that name still holds sway in gigantic China. So a search on “Communism” returns 163 million results, a vast number but still somewhat below the total for “Latino Crime.” Imagine how an academic or journalist might feel if his article analyzing Communism had spent a full decade ranked #2 across the entire Internet, but Google had then suddenly decided to blacklist it for reasons entirely unrelated to its intrinsic or objective quality.
Search engines that manipulate their objective results for political reasons must surely develop a reputation for bias and begin to lose their credibility.