WASHINGTON, D.C. — A very patient and stoic Mark Zuckerberg, CEO and co-founder of Facebook, is still sitting in the same chair he sat down in almost a full day ago, explaining to a Republican senator who he is, what his website does, and more importantly, who he is not and what his company doesn’t do.
“Senator, generally speaking, I am the CEO of Facebook, a social media company that perhaps your children or grandchildren can give you a fuller briefing later at home, as to what we do and what we are, because to be honest with you I’m getting a little bit worn out from all this testimony,” Zuckerberg said. “My batteries need a good, full charge.”
Some lights flashed behind Zuckerberg’s eyes. His CPU was processing a thought. Senator Chuck Grassley, an 84-year-old Republican who went through puberty before the advent of the television, waited for Zuckerberg to finish talking and then he began asking him more questions.
“Mr. Zuckerberg, my grandson already told me about the social medias,” Grassley said. “So I think I know exactly who you are, and you’re going to have to answer some tough questions.”
“You mean about Russians using my site to help inject anti-Clinton propaganda into the election discourse,” Zuckerberg asked.
“No, young whippersnapper! I haven’t cared about the RAYSHUNS since a Republican was elected,” Senator Grassley said. “I wanna know how YOU know I’ve got mail.”
Mr. Zuckerberg didn’t know what Grassley meant.
“I don’t know what you mean, Senator,” Zuckerberg said.
“I mean, every time I log onto the onlines, I hear this spry, young voice yelling at me. It says, and I quote,” Grassley picked up a piece of paper in front of him and adjusted his glasses. “You’ve got mail! Now, tell me, Mr. Zuckerberg, how do you know I’ve got mail? Do you break into my eee-lectronic mailbox and look?”
Zuckerberg just blinked.
“Senator, you’re talking about America Online, and that’s not my company,” Zuckerberg said. “You’d have to ask William A. Online about that. It’s his company. But in general, Senator, I will say that if you use a social media site, they will have access to any subsystems built within their platforms. I can only guess AOL thinks it’s a good thing to alert you in an auditory fashion to new email in your inbox.”
Grassley wasn’t satisfied.
“No! No, Mr. Zuckerberg, I want to believe you, but I listen to a lot of talk radio that tells me not only are you a liberal socialist commie cuck, but that you are the You’ve Got Mail guy,” Grassley said. “Now I demand you tell me why you can see I have mail before I know I have it!”
For several more hours, Zuckerberg tried in vain to convince Grassley he wasn’t the You’ve Got Mail guy. Finally, Zuckerberg’s batteries exhausted their last bit of juice, and he shut down mid-sentence. The Zuckbot 5000 is programmed with wireless charging capabilities, so Grassley expects to resume his testimony in a couple of hours.