It turns out we got played. The WSJ report that Google was funding research specifically to influence lawmakers for its own benefit seems to have been an Oracle-created hit job.
Google’s director of public policy Leslie Miller said the CfA’s report was “highly misleading” and accused it of inflating the numbers by attributing funding to Google when it actually came from associations to which Google belongs.
Miller also points out the non-profit’s own transparency issues, given that the CfA’s only known backer is Oracle.
I should’ve checked the source of the actual report – and specifically, its funding – and I did not. My apologies. While this certainly doesn’t magically mean Google is a saint, it does cast this specific report in a very, very different light.