Tech gadfly David Cassel was surprised when a Google search of "Michelle Malkin," the Asian-American Ann Coulter, displayed images of the shrill female commentator in a bikini. Full disclosure: One of them was a faked image that ran on sister site Gawker. Surely an aberration as the search engine experiments with including images and videos right on the main search results page? Ah, but a search for the original Ann Coulter, too, displayed bikini shots (also faked). What about male conservative commentators? Jeff Gannon, questioned for his White House press-conference softballs and exposed for posting nude photographs to gay escort sites, unsurprisingly, appears ... exposed. And on the left?
Nothing. Searches for liberal commentators did not reveal any racy photos — in fact, they didn't display any images at all. Could Google's algorithms be expressing a political bias? Or, more likely, are conservative pundits simply more photogenic? Whatever the cause — glitch or political in-joke — other Googlers have decided that the equal-time principle applies to search-engine bikini shots. A search for "Michelle Malkin" no longer includes any images, and the Photoshopped image of Ann Coulter has also disappeared. Pity. We were so looking forward to MSNBC's Keith Olbermann in a Speedo.