September 3, 2008

RNC2008: Blogger Brunch

Well, Joe Scarborough had to cancel due to some kind of NBC News emergency. Reports that Keith Olbermann choked on his own hate cannot be confirmed.

In his stead, we got three speakers.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy and pollster Frank Luntz.

Schmidt made very brief introductory remarks then opened it up for Q&A.

Google's position on net neutrality was the first question asked. Google is for net neutrality, arguing that there needs to be some separation of the transport layer of the internet from the content.... as pointed out by Josh Trevino he only made that argument using China as an example. As pointed out by a half dozen bloggers that's not a fair example, as the country is not free. As another example he tried to use the name of a major cable internet provider (name not important, but the Slowsky's are not customers)... The angle taken was that this company to choose to alter the data or add and extened the internet in proprietary ways. His arguments were rejected once again as not realistic as there are a large variety of internet providers to choose from.

Not surprisingly, the group was overwhelming opposed to governmental interference in the internet, and were not too enthusiastic about Google's position.

Speaking of government interference, Google's deal with China was also discussed. To do or not to do was hotly debated within Google. As you know they decided to go ahead and filter their content based on certain keywords... with the provision that their webpages that might return "forbidden" results be marked that it is filtering results. Schmidt added that the Chinese search engine competitors now do their same to their results.

Matt Sheffield of Newsbusters asked about funding of left wing or liberal causes from Google. Schmidt explained that the Google PAC has a roughly 50 / 50 split and he's not legally allowed to talk to employees about political donations. Though he does acknowledge that most of Google's employees are in California and New York, "progressive" states and they find themselves generally socially liberal.

Suitably Flip has video.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy was chairman of the GOP Platform committee and spoke about the GOP platform program, comparing it with the Democrats' program. Basically GOP = lots of public input via websites & text messages, Dems = handed down from up on high while giving lip service to public input.

He also discussed the GOP's House caucus' Young Guns program. GOPYoungGuns.com... a plan to send a particular group of twenty to Congress. It involves mentoring programs, financial donations and help from members of Congress. All of these seats are potential pick up opportunities, with four of them being in Pennsylvania.
Lou Barletta, Chris Hackett, Melissa Hart and Tom Manion are the four on the list.

At that point the program was over, so I split. I got down to the lobby before I realized I left my camera on the desk. I ended up walking in on pollster Fred Luntz holding court.

Some video is here at Newsbustersif you're interested.

RNC2008 Posted by AlexC at September 3, 2008 5:07 PM
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