I appreciate your thoughtful response. I think we're in agreement for the most part.
As much as I think their heart is in the right place, I've found DDG to be a mediocre search engine. However in this circumstance, DDG did return results when google did not. As did Yahoo. As did Bing. None of which are my preferred search engine.
Re: "Google News" search
Any search engine will return "news" results simply by typing applicable search terms. If you're looking for a result by a specific source, it's helpful to type the name of that source before the search term (even if that first search term is simply, "news"). But as far as "Google News or nothing", that's just not accurate at all.
Re: "the video"
I get what you're saying about the video. I happened to experience the issue firsthand and then found the video later. I believe the video because I saw the issue beforehand and thought it most strange. However, I appreciate that if you did not see it firsthand, why you might think it less than convincing.
Re: "This doesn't affect my earlier conclusion at all..."
Sir, I took great pains to explain that I did not disagree with your analysis. May I suggest in the future, you just gracefully accept the win.
Re: "Google's intent isn't sinister here..."
Define "sinister." 0_o
Now for the fun part...
Re: Filter bubble burster (i.e., "Google news cookies")
First let me say, I commend your general attitude towards breaking the filter bubble. However, I sense by what you wrote that you may have great opportunity towards better achieving that goal (and many others) by adding the following Firefox extensions/addins (or whatever are your browser-of-choice equivalents) to your defenses:
Basic defense -
1) NoScript (script blocker) - somewhat of a learning curve but the singularly most effective browser defense against any number of interweb nasties.
2) Disconnet (tracker blocker)
3) uBlock Origin (add blocker)
4) BetterPrivacy (LSO/Supercookie tracker delete)
5) Cookie Controller (cookie blocker/permissions)
More defense -
6) HTTP Nowhere (http blocker) - turn this on, if only once in a while, to see how many https sites redirect you to http. It's a real eye opener.
7) Certificate Patrol (certificate management) - learning curve but really worth it if just for the edification on subject.
Sure why not -
HTTPS-Everywhere (http to https redirect)
Good luck and safe surfing!