Apple: this time it's political

Picking a group of people and making widely general statements about them is what's wrong with politicians today.
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

We just can't seem to stop writing about Apple. Separate completely from Cupertino's unique product offerings, there's always an ongoing stream of bizarre stories. It's like Apple is the tech industry's own Lindsay Lohan -- attractive on the surface, but deep down, you have to wonder, simply, WTF?

Today's WTF is a guy by the name of Ari David. This dude's claim to fame is he wants to be the Congress critter from California's 30th District. His primary qualification is he's a 39 year old stand-up comic who has (and I quote) "never been interested in being a leader, until now".

Unfortunately, Mr. David is running against Henry Waxman, an incumbent Democrat who's been in Congress since the first time bell bottoms were mistakenly considered "cool".

I first encountered Waxman back in the days when I was investigating White House email. He and I disagreed on a number of things -- I advised that his House Oversight Committee inquiry was going for glory and sound bytes, and missing the real meat of the problem -- millions of email messages that went around the White House systems.

But, anyway, Waxman is a very experienced competitor and Mr. David is "an entertainer". Now, to be fair, we've had a few entertainers do quite well in Washington. Ronald Reagan was one of our most effective leaders, whether or not you agree with all his policies.

But Ari David is no Ronald Reagan. Ari came to our attention this week because he has an iPhone app, and -- surprise -- it's been denied publication by Apple. Like the rest of us, he's upset because of the capriciousness of Apple's approval policy and claims Apple is impinging on his free speech rights.

Well, welcome to the frakin' club of the rest of us!

Some time after his programming helpers submitted the app to the App Store, Apple responded that they considered his application defamatory. That's not surprising, since the app has a bunch of "why he's a schmuck" standard political complaints about The Henry. Some are even relatively true.

But Ari's complaining that Apple is biased (they are, but not in the way he claims) and that they're siding with the liberals.

As any of us who've known Apple know, Apple doesn't side with anyone. And, secondly, some of what Ari's got in his app is somewhat defamatory. For instance, he writes of Waxman:

TRIED TO STRANGLE family farms with insane Soviet-Style regulation

"Tried to strangle"? "Insane"? "Soviet-style"? All capital letters?

The Apple censors might have actually have point with this one.

But even that's not where Congressional wannabee Ari David goes off the rails. Where he goes off the rails are his statements effectively claiming Apple employees are Democratic and hold liberal views.

Look, first off, criticizing Apple politically is my job. But, secondly, trying to paint a 34,000-employee company as having any homogeneous political view is, quite simply, naive.

I personally know many Apple employees who are full-goose-bozo, gun-hoarding, right-wing nutjobs (they're way fun to party with) and other Apple employees who would hug a whale and would gladly annoint Al Gore king-for-life, if they could get away with it (they are, sadly, less fun to party with).

Picking a group of people and making widely general statements about them is what's wrong with politicians today*. If Ari wants to be a real politician, get elected, and do absolutely no good for America, he can go on making ridiculous statements painting thousands of hard-working employees with a single brush.

Had his target not been so well known to be fully crazy in its own unique way, he might have stood a chance to be taken seriously in his complaints. But since he's also running against a man who virtually invented running for Congress, Mr. David needs to find better talking points.

Whining that his iPhone app can't complain about his competition is not a way to inspire confidence in his leadership ability. If Mr. David wants to get elected, he needs to act like a leader, not like his campaign is performance art for his next comic gig.

It'd be funny if weren't for the fact that this is representative of the sort of representation we have from all over America.

*Yes, I know.

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