Google struck an irreverent tone, leading with an animated gif of a laughing baby, to rebut two recent Wall Street Journal stories.
Rachel Whetstone, Google’s senior vice president of communications and policy, posted the equivalent of an open letter on its public policy blog, titled, “Really, Rupert?”
Whetstone goes point by point to dismiss the paper’s allegations that the FTC let Google off the hook in an antitrust investigation of its search practices. She also criticized the Journal for how it characterized Google’s numerous meetings at the White House.
Google’s response follows an unusual statement issued earlier this week by the FTC that also took on the WSJ for “misleading inferences” and for questioning the “integrity” of the FTC’s investigation.
“Given the inaccuracies that have been published, we wanted to give our side of the story,” Whetstone wrote, quoting heavily from the FTC statement.
In taking on the WSJ inferences that Google has a too-close-for-comfort relationship with the White House, Whetstone compared Google’s 230 meetings to the 270 visits by Microsoft and the 150 for Comcast, which took place over the same time frame.
“The meetings we did have were not to discuss the antitrust investigations. In fact, we seemed to have discussed everything but, including patent reform, STEM education, self-driving cars…” and 11 other topics, Whetstone wrote.
Several of the Google White House visits were group meetings that included representatives from Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and others, Whetstone said.
Whetstone, obviously enamored of animated gifs, closed the open letter with another–Eddie Murphy playing a character in Coming to America.
What Whetstone doesn’t address in the blog are the number of Google executives that have held or currently hold important tech positions in the Administration. Chairman Eric Schmidt, who currently sits on the President’s council of advisors on science and technology (PCAST), also served on the President’s 2008 transition team and advised the President during both campaigns.