By Dave McElhaney
Last year during the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, Mark Zuckerberg dodged questions for 10 hours. This included the famous catch phrase after Utah’s senator Hatch asked him, “How do you sustain a business model when Facebook is free?”
“Senator we run adds,” said Zuckerberg smirking.
But it was Kamala Harris who did the best job of drilling Mark. She got to the heart of the matter. She said “During the last four hours you’ve been asked several critical questions for which you don’t have answers. Whether Facebook can track its users after they’ve logged off Facebook? Whether Facebook can track your activities across devices even when you’re not logged into Facebook? Who is Facebook’s biggest competition? Whether Facebook may store up to 96 categories of user’s information? Then she pointed out that Facebook and Zuckerberg became aware 27 months prior to the hearing, that Dr. Kogan and Cambridge Analytica misappropriated data from 87 million Facebook users. Then she asked him point blank- “Did you also become aware of a decision made not to inform the 87 million Facebook users?”
He continued to dodge the question by rehashing Facebook’s business model. Until Zuck finally admitted there must have been a decision not to inform the 87 million users.
She did an outstanding job of that. But when I got an email this morning from “Kamala Harris for the people,” asking for donations, I decided to pass it by- and here’s why. The thing that’s brought her the most publicity, the spar over Joe Biden’s race record.
Kamala started off by telling some of her earliest childhood grievances, the neighbor who’s parent wouldn’t play with her because she was black. I don’t doubt that, I’m not condoning that. That’s awful. But she segued her attack by saying. “Vice president Biden. I do not believe you are a racist,” The underlying message I got was from that was. “Hey everybody, Biden might be a racist,” Then she went attacking his record when she basically accused him of supporting segregation.
Biden response was. “That’s a mischaracterization of my character across the board. I did not praise racists. Then he defended his record. All the while there was quite a cheering crowd for Kamala Harris.
I could go on about this, but when I see a debate I’m not overly impressed by candidates attacking each other. Unless they put a believable spin on what they’d do differently. In the case of Kamala Harris she spoke about the actions she took as California’s attorney general by saying, “I was proud to put into place that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on,” After she just called out Joe Biden, to my mind equating security cameras and with bussing is like comparing apples to oranges. Also a fact check conducted by the Sacramento Bee revealed that, her body camera comments didn’t tell the accurate story of her record. The requirement only applied to people working for Harris and was not statewide. And in 2015 she told the Sacramento Bee she didn’t support the statewide regulation of officer worn body cameras. She wanted local agencies to set their own regulations.
In closing I’ll say, the aspect of Joe Biden’s record on busing is far from perfect. But I’m not impressed with nastiness. I’ve had way too much of it from Trump.