Ross Douthat: Warren is right go after Google and Facebook

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But she’s wrong to lump them with Apple and Amazon, says the New York Times’ most conservative columnist.

 

Transcribed from the March 13 episode of The Argument: “One-on-One With Elizabeth Warren

Douthart: I think Warren is making a mistake by trying to go after Silicon Valley in full.

I think the smart version of what Warren is doing would separate Google and especially Facebook from Amazon and Apple, and make a bigger issue of Facebook and Google’s stronger monopolies and their control over the flow of information, which is something that Apple and Amazon don’t exercise.

And say: “Look, we’re not going after all of Silicon Valley, we’re going after these specific bad actors who have a different kind of monopoly than what Amazon is trying to build.”

I think Warren is right to go after Silicon Valley, but she and all Silicon-Valley crusaders need to do a better job of sort of dividing and conquering, rather than trying to take on the full tech panoply, as it stands.

David Leonhardt: Oh Ross, whenever you go populist I like to end the segment.

My take: I highly recommend this weekly podcast from the New York Times. Every Thursday on The Argument, three New York Times op-ed columnists take on an issue of the day, pitting Douthat on the right against Michelle Goldberg on the left with Leonhardt somewhere in the liberal middle. I don’t often agree with Douthat. This may be the first time.