All it took to get the left to hate Russia after a century of gulags and invasions was… gay rights. In that oddball spirit, Google decided to use its search engine to lodge a passive aggressive protest against Russia and the Olympics.
I don’t think anyone was in any doubt as to where Google stood, but its indirect protest, a rainbow of athletes and a reference to the Olympic charter and non-discrimination in sports, which isn’t even relevant here since no gay athletes are being prevented from competing, manages to be presumptuous and cowardly at the same time.
Google is one of the world’s biggest online companies. It’s an 800 lb gorilla which can highhandedly make entire companies disappear from the internet at the whim of its bosses thanks to its search monopoly. And yet it dances around what it wants to say, which is to denounce Russia for not having the same gay rights policies as California.
On the other hand, Google is already annoying and powerful enough that no one particularly wants to see it embed its political agenda into its dysfunctional search engine. Even the left is turning on Google now and its inept gay rights Sochi protest may be an attempt at appeasing the left to show that it’s on their side.
It’s a given that Google wouldn’t lodge this kind of protest over gay rights in Qatar. Nor will the left be shouting itself hoarse over the subject when the World Cup comes there in 2022.
There wasn’t a lot of noise about human rights in China when it hosted the Olympics, because as bad as the Russians are, the Chinese are far more ruthless about suppressing protests. (And no, China is not particularly better on gay rights than Russia.)
Progressives pick their battles and they do so in a cowardly and dishonest manner.