Tech elite sent to Trump Tower

Tuesday, 13 December, 2016

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will be there, as will Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz and technology investor Peter Thiel. Making up the list is Larry Page and Eric Schmidt, CEO and chairman of Google parent Alphabet, respectively. We’re talking about the meeting between President-elect Donald Trump and tech-industry executives today in New York.

Apart from Thiel, the Silicon Valley elite backed Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, so sackcloth, ashes and humble pie will be handed out to them by liveried footmen as they trudge up the steps of Trump Tower.

Like most journalists, Kara Swisher of Recode is a certified Trump hater, and the headline on her piece ticks all the bias boxes: “As Trumplethinskin lets down his hair for tech, shame on Silicon Valley for climbing the Tower in silence.” Here’s how she imagines the thoughts of the Valley elites upon being summoned to Manhattan:

“Fuckfuckfuck — now I have to become a reality show star in a new episode of ‘The Apprentice: Nerd Edition,’ bowing and scraping to that luddite Trump, who will probably simultaneously berate us in person and bully us on Twitter later with a lot of poop emoticons. Even worse, I have to act like Thiel is a genius, which he kind of is for backing a man who called serious and sophisticated hacking incursions by sovereign nations ‘the cyber’ and said ‘somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds’ — did he mean the bed or the hacker? I have no idea still — could have pulled it off.”

As regards tech, Trump has come down hard on issues considered vital to the industry’s interests, including trade and immigration. The Trump administration will possibly restrict the number of workers who enter the US with an H-1B visa — a type used by many tech employees. Incidentally, that’s the visa Donald Trump’s wife Melania received in 1996 to legally work in the US.

Etymology note: The expression “sent to the Tower” traditionally meant being imprisoned or punished in the Tower of London.

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