New America, a Google-Funded Think Tank, Faces Backlash for Firing a Google Critic

WASHINGTON — The head of an influential think tank funded by Google is grappling with a mounting backlash — including from her own scholars and donors — over the firing of a leading critic of the tech giant. Anne-Marie Slaughter, the president of the New America Foundation, pledged to re-examine her group’s policies for dealing with donors while defending the organization’s intellectual integrity. She also told the think tank’s employees that New America was “under attack from many quarters,” and warned that they should expect heightened scrutiny. But a group of the left-leaning think tank’s current and former fellows was collecting signatures on a letter to be delivered next week to Ms. Slaughter and New America’s directors, asserting that Ms. Slaughter’s handling of the situation has jeopardized the think tank’s reputation. Other scholars affiliated with the think tank were quietly comparing notes on past instances in which they contend she placed donors’ interests over ideology. Ms. Slaughter had also drawn criticism over her response to the Wednesday New York Times article revealing the tumult within her organization, with some suggesting to her that her declaration on Twitter that the article was “false” evoked President Trump’s attacks on the media.

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