It was revealed on Saul Hansell's "Bits" blog this weekend how it was that David Carr came up with his Eric Schmidt quote in this morning's wet kiss to Google: the Google CEO had come by the Times's Eighth Avenue headquarters for a meet-and-greet!
That would explain this coy reference to Schmidt's presence in New York in Carr's column this morning:
If Google owns me, it’s probably because I am in favor of what works.
“I’m glad to hear it,” said Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, who was in New York last week. “We want a little bit of Google in many parts of your life.”
Hansell opened up about the meeting because he'd been writing last week about an Oxford style debate over the issue: "Google violates its 'don't be evil' motto." After a lengthy "Bits" post on Tuesday, which prompted more than 100 responses, Hansell returned to the topic on Saturday after joining the Times editorial board Thursday for its meeting with Google.
Here's Hansell's account:
Unprompted, [Schmidt] brought up Google’s motto, explaining how the company thinks about the sort of tough questions that come up in its business, like whether to identify people who search for child pornography to law enforcement agencies. (It does not because it doesn’t want to be making judgments about its users.)
“‘Don’t be evil’ is an invitation to debate,” he said. “It means we will fight over what it means.”
But not in the pages of the print edition, where, as of this morning's Carr column, Google worship still rules.