Thursday, October 31, 2019


It was hard not to feel the irony while I was reading excerpts from your recent speech at Georgetown University, in which you defended — on free speech grounds — Facebook’s practice of posting demonstrably false ads from political candidates. I admire your deep belief in free speech. I get a lot of use out of the First Amendment. Most important, it’s a bedrock of our democracy and it needs to be kept strong. 
But this can’t possibly be the outcome you and I want, to have crazy lies pumped into the water supply that corrupt the most important decisions we make together. Lies that have a very real and incredibly dangerous effect on our elections and our lives and our children’s lives. 
-- "Aaron Sorkin: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg," the New York Fucking Times 
[ADAM ORKIN, nearly out of breath, his hair roguishly disordered, his trenchcoat wet, bursts through the door of the office of MARK ZUCKERBERG, who is seated at his desk studying a model of the Great Pyramid of Giza. ZUCKERBERG looks up as if he'd been expecting this moment, and dreading it, yet also curiously resigned to it.]

ZUCKERBERG: Ah, Adam Orkin. I've been expecting this moment, and dreading it. Yet I'm also curiously resigned to it.

ORKIN: I just wanted to get one good long last look at you before racing to the offices of the Daily Sojourner to tell the world how a great talent and the promise of a better tomorrow were both thrown in the trash just so you could make a buck.

ZUCKERBERG: Would that be my story, Mr. Orkin? Or the story of mankind?


Consider the pharaoh Khufu, often Hellenized as Cheops. Despite his wealth and splendor, he was just one among an endless parade of crowned heads now receding into the darkness of history, just as the 45 men who have served as our president -- even your precious Jed Bartlet -- will vanish.

[ZUCKERBERG gestures toward the model pyramid.]

Yet we know Khufu because he left us the Great Pyramid of Giza. Since they laid the capstone on Lincoln Cathedral in the 13th Century it is no longer the tallest structure in the world, yet it still fascinates, because it represents the whole labor of a great nation turned to the will of a genius.

ORKIN: Is that why it fascinates, Zuckerberg? Or is it fascinating only because of the waste, the pettiness, the sheer asininity of killing thousands of your countrymen just so you can have a swell tombstone? Is it a Great Pyramid or a Great Pyramid Scam? Well, maybe that pile of rocks will last another ten thousand years, but it won't light up the soul of man like this!

[ORKIN throws a damp, rolled-up parchment U.S. Declaration of Independence onto ZUCKERBERG's desk. ZUCKERBERG stares at it. SHERYL SANDBERG, her long black hair sexily disordered, storms into the office with security guards, who lay hands on ORKIN.]

SANDBERG: Looks like we're here in the nick of time, Mr. Zuckerberg. Just say the word and we'll throw Adam Orkin into the alley with the trash where he belongs.

[ZUCKERBERG silently unrolls the parchment, reads. SANDBERG is evilly enraged.]

Don't be a fool, Mark! Ultimate power is within your grasp at last. Don't let this journalist and his fancy words stand in your way!

ZUCKERBERG: [Reads quietly] "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." My father used to read this to me at bedtime when I was a boy. [Scowling at SANDBERG] My mother, Doctor Zuckerberg, thought he was crazy. [To ORKIN]  You made me remember, Mr. Sorkin. And you made me ashamed.

[ZUCKERBERG wheels on a sour-faced SANDBERG]

Ms. Sandberg, there’ll be no more lying to customers of The Facebook!

[ZUCKERBERG and ORKIN go in for a bro-hug as the music swells.] 

No comments:

Post a Comment