The controversial story of a 10-page document drafted by a Google engineer to criticize left-wing bias at the company resulted in his firing after the document was leaked. It also resulted in a funny exchange where CNN's Brooke Baldwin exhibited the exact kind of bias he was criticizing, and conservative Mary Katherine Ham shut it down.
The exchange happened on CNN Tuesday and included Liz Plank, a feminist correspondent at Vox.
"Mary Katherine I think, you know," Baldwin explained to Plank, "was essentially saying America is great for all these various opinions, diversification of thought, you know, that was maybe wrong for Google despite the fact that we don't all agree with what this guy said. He's allowed to say it.
"Do you think he's allowed to say that where he's essentially saying 'I don't really like women anywhere near a computer,' and should even be fired for it?" she asked.
Ham expressed shock and surprise through her facial expression at the mischaracterization of the document by Baldwin.
"I found it interesting that he felt comfortable sharing this with people at the company," Plank answered, "in the way that I felt that it was interesting when stuff came out of the culture at Uber, that was enabled systemic sexual harassment."
"I do wonder," she added, "um, what kind of culture exists at Google that made a white man who's in a senior position you know, engineer at one of the most, one of the biggest tech companies in the world feel threatened by a few diversity programs, and then you know want to share that with, write 10 pages about it, and you know fear, it it'd have leaked in the way it had and think that there'd be no consequences."
"But isn't a piece of this," Baldwin turned to Ham, "isn't a piece of this, Mary Katherine, this is directed to you, where this software engineer, you know, he had hiring power, I mean he could impact the empowerment of women and again I go back to you know, paraphrasing, this is basically a guy saying, 'I don't like woman around computers,' whether it's..."
"I actually, and Brooke, I often disagree with you in like a very jovial way," Ham interrupted, "and I just totally disagree with the characterization that that's what he's saying. And that's why I disagree with the reaction to this.
"If it were what you were saying I'd be more on board with Liz's point of view," she explained, "but look I think, we're saying this is a valuable conversation to have and I agree. One of the things that this person was bringing to the table was that perhaps part of diversity was ideological diversity as well.
"And ironically, and no one seems to recognize the blinding irony of this," she added. "He was saying one of the problems with Google is that we're perhaps in this like ideologically insular bubble that is so insular that people like me feel like we're silenced and don't want to bring our opinions to the forefront."
"And then wait a second," she paused for effect, "in response to that, his dissenting opinion, it was leaked to punish him and then he was fired for it having been leaked!"
The Google engineer in question was fired after the document leaked, seemingly proving the very thesis of his letter, that the company had a problem with any statement that wasn't completely in line with a left-wing political agenda.
Conservatives have used it as the latest example of how liberals and their institutions advocate ostensibly for "diversity," but shut down ideological differences when anyone presents a challenge to the liberal political agenda.