Today's story is something different though hardly news.
Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google's parent company Alphabet, announced that the internet conglomerate will 'de-rank' Russia Today, or "RT's articles in search listings, on grounds that they are Kremlin propaganda. The question must be asked, is Schmidt acting out of concern for free speech and freedom of information, or are his motives driven by a more sinister agenda?
The 62-year-old billionaire has never hidden his political leanings, he was a strong supporter of Barack Obama and was a major figure in Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign team long before she officially announced her candidacy. In one of the John Podesta emails leaked by Wikileaks, that did so much damage to the Clinton campaing by showing her to be self serving and thoroughly dishonest, Podests told her soon-to-be campaign manager Robby Mook that he had met with Schmidt in April 2014, more than a year before Clinton told the American public that she was hoping to become their next president.
"I met with Eric Schmidt tonight… He's ready to fund, advise recruit talent, etc. He clearly wants to be head outside advisor, but didn't seem like he wanted to push others out. Clearly wants to get going. He's still in DC tomorrow and would like to meet with you if you are in DC in the afternoon. I think it's worth doing..." Podesta wrote in the email, which was published by WikiLeaks last October.
Another email, written just two weeks later, showed Schmidt discussing campaign ideas with Clinton aide Cheryl Mills. "Let's assume a total budget of about $1.5 billion, with more than 5,000 paid employees and million(s) of volunteers," he said.
He went on to promote ideas on how to utilize technology in the campaign. It wasn't long before The Groundwork, founded by analysts and engineers who worked on Barack Obama's campaign and funded by Schmidt, became Clinton's top technology provider.
"Eric recognizes how the technology he's been building his whole career can be applied to different spaces. The idea of tech as a force multiplier is something he deeply understands," The Groundwork's Michael Slaby told Quartz in 2015. (Gratifyingly it became obvious he did not understand all that deeply.)
During campaigning photos forwarded to Politico showed a smiling Schmidt at Clinton's election headquarters, complete with a "staff" badge.
Schmidt's efforts to get Clinton elected, along with Google's overall efforts to do the same, were addressed in a November 2016 report by the Campaign for Accountability ‒ a non-partisan, non-profit organization that aims to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life ‒ and its Google Transparency Project. The document concluded that "Google executives and employees bet heavily on a Clinton victory, hoping to extend the company's influence on the White House." It added that "had she won the election, Clinton would have been significantly indebted to Google and Schmidt, whom she referred to as her 'longtime friend.'"
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange also brought up the relationship between Schmidt and the US establishment in his 2014 book, 'When Google Met WikiLeaks.' He describes a 2011 encounter with Schmidt in Norfolk, UK, where Assange was under house arrest at the time.
"I had been too eager to see [Schmidt as] a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast. But that is not the sort of person who attends the Bilderberg conference four years running, who pays regular visits to the White House, or who delivers 'fireside chats' at the World Economic Forum in Davos," Assange wrote. "Schmidt's emergence as Google's 'foreign minister' – making pomp and ceremony state visits across geopolitical fault lines – had not come out of nowhere; it had been presaged by years of assimilation within US establishment networks of reputation and influence."
Schmidt's announcement last week that Google was to 'de-rank' RT's articles comes despite Google's own investigatiors reporting no manipulation of its platform or policy violations by RT was found in the course of their investigation. It look then as if there is a stronger case for questioning the ingegrity of Schmidt, Google and the rest of the Alphabet group than that of RT.