Obama Gets Support For Dems From Social Media Giants. What’s Wrong With This Picture?

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Written by Dana Sanchez

 

Former U.S. President Barack Obama has been visiting Silicon Valley, stepping up fundraising efforts and helping Democrats in competitive races ahead of the November 2018 elections.

Those who can afford the price for access to Obama — from the Silicon Valley venture capital firms to the go-to elites — are spending up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per ticket.

In June, it cost a minimum of $10,000 per person to get a meal and the top ticket was $237,000 per couple at a fundraiser in Atherton, San Mateo County, Calif., according to SF Chronicle.

President Barack Obama and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg embrace on stage at the Global Entrepreneur Summit at Stanford University, Friday, June 24, 2016, in Stanford, Calif. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

 

Obama is going to be out front in the upcoming elections, and yet the Silicon Valley elites are part of the problem with inequality and the divisions in society, said Jamarlin Martin, host of the GHOGH Podcast.

“They are part of the problem that produced a Trump, and in Facebook’s case, once the evidence comes out, most likely Facebook was used to flip the election with Facebook operatives inside the Trump campaign,” Martin said. “And most likely those folks were working with the Russians.”

Martin interviewed Liz Burr, a digital media guru and MIT graduate, and Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee and Florida gubernatorial candidate, on the GHOGH podcast. They talked about Obama getting political support from social media giants.

“Is it problematic for you that the corporate side of the Democratic Party are super cozy with the venture capital firms, Google, Facebook, venture capitalists?” Jamarlin asked Burr. “They have had … an unholy alliance. The Trump folks had a big wallet. Facebook respected them and allowed them to run racist ads during the campaign, anti-Black ads to help fuel the pro-Trump fire. Are you uncomfortable with Obama going to Silicon Valley, getting bags of money from the elites out there, and all the corporate elites in Silicon Valley being in his ear, being cozy with him?”

You could argue that Obama helped make Silicon Valley be this way, Burr responded. “When he was writing his campaigns in 2008 and 2007, he embraced the tech industry. He was the first to really embrace Linkedin and Facebook and Twitter, more than any other candidate,” Burr said.

FILE – In this April 20, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama gestures during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. The year Obama came into office, the White House joined Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, iTunes and MySpace. In 2013, the first lady posted her first photo to Instagram. In 2015, Obama sent his first tweet from @POTUS, an account which now has 11 million followers. This year, the White House posted its first official story on Snapchat, a promotion of the president’s State of the Union address. White House officials said the focus on social media is simply a strategy of going to where people get their news. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Amazon, Google, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley companies are getting bigger and more influential, more concentrated, and more monopolistic, Martin said.

“The Obama administration is totally silent,” Martin added. “Obama’s in bed with this group … We can’t have the leaders having a master in terms of the white liberals in Silicon Valley because these people are part of the problem in terms of the inequality in society.”

Gillum argued that a critique of wealth inequality in Silicon Valley is incomplete without including discussion about Wall Street.

“Silicon Valley would be a part of it, but I would say that New York is leading the pack,” Gillum said. “Nobody went to jail after the largest financial collapse in this nation’s history. Nobody on Wall Street, not a single person, paid the penalty.

“I think there are culprits on both coasts. Nobody gets off the hook. We don’t have to look any further than the congressional hearings to see that our lawmakers are completely inept at regulating Silicon Valley.”

Listen to the full podcast here with Jamarlin Martin and Liz Burr.

 

Dana Sanchez
Image Attribution: FILE - In this April 20, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama gestures during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. The year Obama came into office, the White House joined Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, iTunes and MySpace. In 2013, the first lady posted her first photo to Instagram. In 2015, Obama sent his first tweet from @POTUS, an account which now has 11 million followers. This year, the White House posted its first official story on Snapchat, a promotion of the president’s State of the Union address. White House officials said the focus on social media is simply a strategy of going to where people get their news. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File), FILE - In this April 20, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama gestures during a town hall meeting at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. The year Obama came into office, the White House joined Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Vimeo, iTunes and MySpace. In 2013, the first lady posted her first photo to Instagram. In 2015, Obama sent his first tweet from @POTUS, an account which now has 11 million followers. This year, the White House posted its first official story on Snapchat, a promotion of the president’s State of the Union address. White House officials said the focus on social media is simply a strategy of going to where people get their news. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)