The U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations had some tough questions for Tim Cook, CEO of computer giant Apple which stands accused of tax avoidance to the tune of billions of dollars. Questions like: "Why the hell do I have to keep updating my apps on my iPhone all the time and why you don't fix that?" That was a query from Sen. John McCain, and while Cook didn't have time to play AppleCare rep for the Arizona Republican, it wasn't the first or last time a Senator wanted to talk about his own Apple products.
Sen. Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, outed himself as an iPhone owner — "I have an iPhone in my pocket" — and later segued into tech support territory regarding his iPad. "I have an iPad right here. My granddaughter even knows how to use it — all of it," suggesting that he may be struggling mastering operating the tablet . (The Apple Store has a free workshop for that.)
Other Senators didn't exactly ask for gadget help, but made sure to let Cook know that they owned Apple things. When she met Cook during a hearing break Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Republican of New Hamsphire, greeted the iCommander in Chief saying: "So nice to meet you. I have an iPad." Either Ayotte thought that was the most socially appropriate way to greet Cook, or she was hoping to use it as a lead into all her questions about how to use the thing. Noted techno-phile Sen. Claire McCaskill, Democrat of Missouri, also made a point of mentioning how much she loves Apple by saying, "I love Apple. I love Apple!" She also noted she convinced her husband to switch over to a Mac. (Perhaps he has some Genius Bar questions?)
It's possible all this fawning was meant to counter the fears of Sen. Rand Paul, the Republican of Kentucky, who suggested that by "bullying" Cook, he would take all of the Apple jobs and money out of America. "I am offended by the tone and tenor of this hearing. I am offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of America’s greatest success stories," he said in his statement.
Never fear: these Senators, of all partisan stripes, love Apple and the wealth it has created that they have invested in the company's products. Now, if only they could get the darned things to work.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.