July 20, 2007

An Example Of Google 'News'

An alert CQ reader, Mike Jackson, happened to check out Google News a few minutes ago (3:50 pm PDT), and was stunned to see the top headline and article:

It comes from a news service called AXcess -- and the article itself is worse than the headline:

A shudder could be felt across Capitol Hill Friday after news came out that President Bush would be having his butt checked out which meant that while Bush was going through the colonoscopy, Vice President Dick Cheney would be in charge of the nation.

"It's a chilling thought," one passerby told AXcess News when asked if they were concerned over Cheney's short-term rule of the White House. ...

Bush last underwent colorectal cancer surveillance on June 29, 2002. At the time, the only thing doctors found was an attitude, which medical experts say is not cancerous though his administration has become quite malignant in their support of the President's plan to keep U.S. troops in Iraq.

Great "news" service that Google chose to include, isn't it?


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Comments (31)

Posted by Mike Smock | July 20, 2007 6:09 PM

AXcess claims:

"AXcess News subscribes to the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. It is the mission of the Society of Professional Journalists to stimulate high standards and ethical behavior in the practice of journalism."

This is there about page link:


Posted by Jim Pickering | July 20, 2007 6:13 PM

Thanks for the smile, Ed. Hope all the right wing has not lost their sense of humor as you appear to have done.

Have a great weekend.

Posted by Anthony (Los Angeles) | July 20, 2007 6:24 PM

Charles at Little Green Footballs has posted many examples of Google's odd choices for "news" sources.

Posted by Baxter Greene | July 20, 2007 6:26 PM

If this was said about Hillary or Obama, the liberals would
be yelling and getting their panties all in a bunch.
Glad to see liberals practicing their compassion for the sick
and showing off that intellect they are bragging about so
This does not surprise me considering this is coming from the same people whose leadership get their foreign policy advice from the daily kos and consider jon stewart "hard news".

Posted by marvin | July 20, 2007 6:35 PM

Humorous headline, I love it.

Posted by bvw | July 20, 2007 6:40 PM

AP, today: Google's 2Q profit lets down investors


Posted by newton | July 20, 2007 6:45 PM

That's a headline for a college fraternity newspaper, not a journalistic entity.

Posted by carole | July 20, 2007 6:50 PM

newton, how right you are, but what does
it matter, it really is not as bad as some of
the other really nasty things said by the
lliberals and allowed to stand with no
speaking for the president.
Typical republican response.
Yes, I do have a sense of humor, but it
does not get to the level this latest
liberal spewing on somthing that is not

Posted by King Tiger | July 20, 2007 6:59 PM

almost 3 hours later and no change. Our president's posterior is still the focus of their headlines.

Posted by Scrapiron | July 20, 2007 7:36 PM

Do you mean Goggle has news? What next, two wimps doing the sports. Anytime a search ends up on Goggle I expect and have problems. Overhyped and overpriced bunch of crap.
I'll bet President Bush gets a good laugh at the headline. Good to see the left wing cowards are holding up their end, scared of Chaney and their own shadow. Isn't it great.

Posted by daytrader | July 20, 2007 8:16 PM

I have followed google news from the day it opened.

As the campaign for office has moved forward the headline choices have changed.

Read for the anti-Bush and anti-Republican story lines and put them on a graph and you will get the same hockey stick curve Al Gore loves to trot out.

Posted by Moon | July 20, 2007 8:22 PM

Well, if any of y'all actually visited Axcess News, it's really quite funny. It skewers people on all sides of the political spectrum with equal weirdness. And, to say the least, it's choice of headlines is, well, odd. It sells itself as the news for the X generation. As such, it provides little actual content, gets facts wrong, lots of slang, and has lots of typos. I put them on my aggregator under humor. Not quite as good as The Onion, but close.

Posted by Steffan | July 20, 2007 8:41 PM

::shrugs:: Actually, I'll bet the President and VP do get a laugh out of it. It's certainly not the worst anyone has ever said about either of them....

That being said, it's nice to see how AXcess News subscribes to that "professional code of ethics." They keep this up, somebody might actually mistake them for the MSM.

What's fun is watching the frothers-at-the-mouth at Huffpo, DKos and DU fulminating at the very idea of Cheney being in charge. :)

Posted by Adjoran | July 20, 2007 8:55 PM

Google filters out most conservative sites from their news page because the leftists always file complaints about them.

Conservatives just complain to each other.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | July 20, 2007 9:09 PM

From the same organization that does Communist China's dirty work for them.

Posted by Jim Treacher | July 20, 2007 9:11 PM

I chronicled my futile attempts to get the Daily Gut listed on Google News here and here. Not that I expected anything different.

Posted by MarkT | July 20, 2007 9:18 PM

Do any of you actually know what algorithm Google uses to select news sources and rank stories?

I certainly do not and I doubt any of you do.

I would love to be proven wrong here - I've been curious to know their algorithms for a while and if you all can enlighten me I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

Posted by Rose | July 20, 2007 9:28 PM

Google, the engine that refused Michelle Malkin as a news service, and also Little Green Footballs, too - because THEY are "hate mongers", for reporting the TRUTH!


Posted by Mark F. | July 21, 2007 4:33 AM

This isn't nearly as fun as when Colin Powell had the same exam. Then we had wags talking about "Colin's colon" and "Powell's bowels".

Posted by bulbasaur | July 21, 2007 7:12 AM

I say the simplest theory is always the best.

Was there an error in the Google search engine? An external hack into Google?

Or is it simply the case that liberalism is nothing more than perpetual adolescence?

I think we know the answer.

Posted by MarkT | July 21, 2007 8:55 AM

Did any of you go to AxcessNews.com and read a few articles?

Do you even know what their gimmick is? They try to be 'edgy' because they say their audience is gen-x.

Here are a few other headlines:

"CBS spins poll results to favor Clinton in presidential race" (this one includes the line "Dennis Kucinich who threw a hissy fit")

"Ambassador sees fear in Iraq, says U.S. troops must stay"

"Google Profit short of expectations, shares drop"

"Views on Bush stem cell veto split along party lines"

Posted by Rose | July 21, 2007 11:47 AM

Funny how the "edgy" folks never appreciate "edginess" towards themselves, ain't it. :)

Posted by LuckyBogey | July 21, 2007 11:47 AM

Google scares the hell out of me! Google is known for its left leanings and they have been accused of using their algorithms to distort the search engine results.

This is very serious folks and most ordinary Americans have no idea that Google is in bed with the left loonies. Google is a bigger threat than the MSM!

I never allow Google to keep any cookies or scripts on any of my systems. It would not surprise me that their is an internal Google effort under way to identify voters or potential voters by their searches and the results page will display according to the user's political orientation.

Type in Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. Note the bikinis pics! Now type Clinton and note the difference!

Posted by Ray | July 21, 2007 12:34 PM

I've had several colonoscopies in the last 5 years, (I have Crohns) and I can speak from experience that, when it come to a colonoscopy, the preparation is far worse than the procedure. No one can claim that President Bush is "full of (expletive deleted)", at least until 24 hours after the procedure.

BTW, Liberals shouldn't worry too much as Cheney will only "be in charge of the country" for about an half and hour or so.

Posted by Greg | July 21, 2007 12:51 PM

Just checked Google news (1:45 pm EST 7/21/07), and the lead story is about President Bush's colonoscopy. It is not itself disrespectful, but the picture of Cheney and Bush is labeled (credited to) "Monsters and Critics.com."

Posted by MarkT | July 21, 2007 1:33 PM

The top story now on AxcessNews is:

"Bush Iraq troop surge working, U.S. Army says"

Clearly, Axcess news hates America ;-)

Posted by Charles | July 21, 2007 1:58 PM

Google News is quite up front about how it ranks news articles:

1. It is done by algorithm and automatically.
2. It is based on the number of times a page is linked.

Hint: by linking to the article, Ed made its ranking go up. Rather self-defeating, wouldn't you say?

If you want more details, I'd suggest that the ranking scheme is a variety of the google page ranking scheme. You can find introductory information on wikipedia and follow the links there if you want to learn more.

If there's a "hockey stick" in "liberal leaning" stories on google, the most likely explanation is that these are, increasingly, the ones getting linked (and viewed). This might have something to do with the increasingly liberal views of the public, especially among the young (who are over-represented on the internet), supposedly documented by a recent study.

In the case at hand, however, it seems that the ranking anomaly is due to a clever headline, which brought in a lot of attention - and links.

Posted by lexhamfox | July 22, 2007 12:04 AM

I'm sure they will find the CinC's head there today. That will be newsworthy.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli | July 22, 2007 1:02 AM

Jim Pickering, Moon, etc.

What lexhamfox said is a good example of funny. The Onion is funny. That Axcess attempt at news was ... not funny -- it was, as bulbasaur pointed out, adolescent.

Funny. Not funny. You'd be a more interesting group of lefty commenters if you could tell the difference.

Posted by MarkT | July 22, 2007 8:24 AM

> 1. It is done by algorithm and automatically.

As far as I know, the exact details are secret, no? Otherwise it would be easy to get your page ranked higher than it deserves.

> 2. It is based on the number of times a page is linked.

That is true at a basic level; however, the math involved is pretty complex (lots of linear algebra to 'weight' each link).

Posted by Charles | July 22, 2007 9:59 AM


I would suggest that this is not the forum for discussing page ranking. The general methodology is as I stated above, and hardly a secret. The implementation of the method so that it runs fast enough to be useful is proprietary.