Tim Cook accepts Newseum 2017 Free Expression Award, says companies should have values

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 19
Apple CEO Tim Cook took the stage at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to accept the institute's 2017 Free Expression Award, for which the tech mogul was honored in the Free Speech category. AppleInsider was there live, and offers highlights from the event.


Apple CEO Tim Cook (right) accepts Newseum Free Expression Award from Washington Post CEO Fred Ryan.


Prior to the award presentation by Washington Post CEO and publisher Fred Ryan, the Newseum played a video celebrating Cook and Apple's accomplishments, including brief recounting of Cook's commencement speech at George Washington University, clips from an interview with ABC News regarding the debacle over the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone 5c, and bits and pieces from assorted Apple store openings.

"I'm very grateful for the award and accept it tonight on behalf of everyone at Apple," Cook said, quipping that he was the only person in the room with an iPad.

In a brief acceptance speech, Cook addressed the difficulty of adapting the tenets laid forth in the First Amendment to modern technology. He noted that the Founding Fathers didn't have app developers, or other modern artists, in mind when they established the basis of American ideology.

"We know that these freedoms require protection," Cook said of First Amendment rights. "Not just the forms of speech that entertain us, but the ones that challenge us. The ones that unnerve and even displease us. They're the ones that need protection the most. It's no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the First Amendment. They are the foundation to so many of our rights."

Cook gathered applause in proportion to the other selectees of the night following the presentation, if not a bit louder and longer, from a crowd mostly consisting of luminaries in government, civil rights, and journalism.

"This is a responsibility that Apple takes very seriously," Cook said. "First we defend, we work to defend these freedoms by enabling people around the world to speak up. And second, we do it by speaking up ourselves. Because companies can, and should have values."

Relating those undeniable rights to tech, Cooks echoed recent statements regarding what place the tech industry should have -- if any -- in the political process.

"At Apple we are not just enabling others to speak up, we are doing so ourselves," he said.

Indeed, with Cook at the helm, Apple has become an increasingly outspoken voice when it comes to personal data security, environmental awareness and human rights. Most recently, Apple publicly decried the Trump administration's withdrawal of federal protections for transgender students, an issue for which the company has long fought. Earlier this year, Apple signed on to an amicus brief opposing Trump's immigration ban, a measure that was later blocked in federal court.

The Newseum announced its picks for the 2017 Free Expression Award in February. The award honors those individuals who "have taken personal or professional risks in sharing critical information with the public, have been censored or punished by authorities or other groups for their work, or have pushed boundaries in artistic and media expression."

Some other notable winners this year included U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the organization, and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who received an Arts and Entertainment Award shared with Hatch Beauty chairman Christie Hefner.

The Newseum, primarily funded and controlled by the Freedom Forum, is a First Amendment advocacy museum, tracing the evolution of journalism, print, and electronic communication from earliest days of the United States to the technologies of the present and the future. The museum attracts over 800,000 visitors per year.

During Cook's speech -- the longest of the night -- nearly the entire body of invitees and attendees seated close to the podium snapped photos on their iPhones.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    Pretty hypocritical: Saying "companies should have values" in some cases this means taking a side in social/political debate and the consequence a shutting down of free speech.
    How do you think a person working for Apple would feel when the company they work for expresses "values" associated with one political cause
    and therefore get pressured into following the "company values" against their own conscience? Or alternatively get ostracised by colleagues
    when they try to freely express their opinion?

    "Companies having values" is in conflict with diversity and freedom of speech when the context of the value is one side of a political debate.

    Tim, If you want to truly support free speech, don't force "Apple" to takes sides in current political or social issues. Just express the generic values for example: "diversity" which should allow for the freedom of speech of opinions other than that of the upper Apple management. When you speak out on one side of a debate it should never be as CEO.
    You should make it clear your opinion is not an "official Apple value", rather you personal view, which, by the way, carries a lot on influence just by being yourself. But don't use Apple, which consists of a diversity people with many different opinions to falsely represent your own opinions.

    Companies (and CEOs) should be aware of their moral role in society which is to obey the laws, contribute back to the community and respect the diversity of all people.
    It is immoral of a company to misuse its power to in debates that the community should resolve on its own through open and free debate.

    As soon as companies speak for their employees they are silencing or drowning smaller voices in the community.
    As soon as companies sponsor political causes or lobby groups they create a massive imbalance in the fair and open exchange of ideas.

    Don't get me wrong. I love Tim Cook and what he does as CEO for Apple and the IT and music industries - but that's where the CEO's and company's sphere of influence should end: at IT and music INDUSTRIES.
    I also love the fact that Tim, personally speaks out about human rights and is engaging in the debate. But when these two get mixed up there is a conflict of interest and an abuse of power.

    Food for thought
    smurfmanmacseekerentropysewtheckmantechprod1gyxzuallmypeople
  • Reply 2 of 41
    smurfmansmurfman Posts: 119member
    Well said Daringdev.

    Additionally, Tim needs to spend more time developing an innovative 10-year vision instead of riding his political horse.

    I've been an Apple fanboy for over 2 decades now and really feel they've lost touch with intuitiveness, quality, and innovation in their products.

    Hardware designs are nice but software is really lacking in intuitiveness and functionality. They've placed design over function in their software and it's sad for me to watch.

    Hopefully they'll get some true vision and snap out of it. Maybe take some clues from Tesla and Elon Musk. That company (and man) is running on all cylinders (no pun intended ;-). 
    spacekidewtheckmanxzu
  • Reply 3 of 41
    SoliSoli Posts: 2,897member
    How do you think a person working for Apple would feel when the company they work for expresses "values" associated with one political cause
    and therefore get pressured into following the "company values" against their own conscience? Or alternatively get ostracised by colleagues
    when they try to freely express their opinion?
    OK, so how exactly does that work? Apple says we "we have values," and we support equality for women, different races, nationalities, LGBTQ rights, freedom of religion, the disabled, and all the other civil rights Tim Cook believes people are entitled. In your scenario this will offend some misogynistic dickhole who now feels, as you put it, ostracized that he can't express his hate filled views to his colleagues, which may or may not be in one of the aforementioned categories because of Apple isn't run using an antediluvian business model. You say this is hypocritical because it doesn't respect his values. Boo-fucking-woo, go work for Uber.
    edited April 19 aussiepaulshrave10macxpresspg4g0001paxmananomejony0
  • Reply 4 of 41
    Soli said:
    How do you think a person working for Apple would feel when the company they work for expresses "values" associated with one political cause
    and therefore get pressured into following the "company values" against their own conscience? Or alternatively get ostracised by colleagues
    when they try to freely express their opinion?
    OK, so how exactly does that work? Apple says we "we have values," and we support equality for women, different races, nationalities, LGBTQ rights, freedom of religion, the disabled, and all the other civil rights Tim Cook believes people are entitled. In your scenario this will offend some misogynistic dickhole who now feels, as you put it, ostracized that he can't express his hate filled views to his colleagues, which may or may not be in one of the aforementioned categories because of Apple isn't run using an antediluvian business model. You say this is hypocritical because it doesn't respect his values. Boo-fucking-woo, go work for Uber.
    Nailed it.
    i do wish Tim would spend more time making the Mac great again, though...
    Soli
  • Reply 5 of 41
    entropysentropys Posts: 647member
    MMGA.. Cook could put it on a blue cap.  Sadly, don't think he cares about what is in his pipeline anymore.

    Also, what is it about lefties and their desire to award each other all the time? I wonder who gets more virtue points, the awarded or the awardee?
    edited April 19
  • Reply 6 of 41
    entropys said:

    Also, what is it about lefties and their desire to award each other all the time? I wonder who gets more virtue points, the awarded or the awardee?
    Perhaps they care about each other rather than the ME, ME, Me, I'm all right and F*** You attitude of some on the right?
    I know this word is like a red flag to a bull with some but some places believe in Social Justice and Equality.
    It does not make you a rabid left wing socialist (aka Communist) but you slightly left of Centre.

    singularity
  • Reply 7 of 41
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 1,603member
    Would Tim Cook be receiving an award like this if he hadn't come out?

    Also both the left and the right are hypocritical...they love it when companies speak out and support causes they agree with but then want companies to shut up and stay out of politics when those views don't match their own.
    ewtheckman
  • Reply 8 of 41
    Would Tim Cook be receiving an award like this if he hadn't come out?

    Also both the left and the right are hypocritical...they love it when companies speak out and support causes they agree with but then want companies to shut up and stay out of politics when those views don't match their own.
    Given that the most attention was given to Apple's conflict with the FBI, I'll say yes.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,689member
    Soli said:
    How do you think a person working for Apple would feel when the company they work for expresses "values" associated with one political cause
    and therefore get pressured into following the "company values" against their own conscience? Or alternatively get ostracised by colleagues
    when they try to freely express their opinion?
    OK, so how exactly does that work? Apple says we "we have values," and we support equality for women, different races, nationalities, LGBTQ rights, freedom of religion, the disabled, and all the other civil rights Tim Cook believes people are entitled. In your scenario this will offend some misogynistic dickhole who now feels, as you put it, ostracized that he can't express his hate filled views to his colleagues, which may or may not be in one of the aforementioned categories because of Apple isn't run using an antediluvian business model. You say this is hypocritical because it doesn't respect his values. Boo-fucking-woo, go work for Uber.

    Thank you. Very well put.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 122member
    From a business point of view which is how shareholders should rate Cook, this CEO has had significant issues. A major one being that a significant product (Mac Pro) was not designed for upgrading and it took years for Apple to realize it. And it's not like no one complained. What else have they not realized?
    ewtheckman
  • Reply 11 of 41
    The primary value a company should have is to maximize shareholder value for the long run, legally and ethically. You can't do that unless you produce and sell something that people want that is of good quality at a price that they're willing to pay, stand behind that product, and treat employees, suppliers, and society well.

    Fortunately, Apple checks all of those boxes for me.

    The rest is pap.
    urahara
  • Reply 12 of 41
    entropysentropys Posts: 647member
    I don't think it is well put at all.  If someone disagrees with the approved position, according to Soli this person is "some misogynistic dickhole who now feels, as you put it, ostracised that he cant express his hate filled views to his colleagues". There is no middle ground, Soli believes if you don't conform absolutely to the approved views, you are total scum. No Ned Flanders types, people that are conservative when it comes to values, just hater scum.
    While I believe it extremely doubtful that such an olympic class hater as Soli describes would have the skill set to work at a computer company, I also find it quite interesting that these days those that are most keen to preach tolerance are in fact most likely to aggressively express their intolerance.  
    ewtheckmandaringdeveloper
  • Reply 13 of 41
    spacekid said:
    From a business point of view which is how shareholders should rate Cook, this CEO has had significant issues. A major one being that a significant product (Mac Pro) was not designed for upgrading and it took years for Apple to realize it. And it's not like no one complained. What else have they not realized?
    The Mac Pro is not a significant product to Apple's bottom line.

    The Mac is 10% of Apple's business. Generously, the Mac Pro is 5% of that 10%, or about 5% of 50% a decade ago. Even if you call these people influencers and multiply what they mean to Apple by many times, it still doesn't amount to much.

    In fact, the Mac Pro probably induces a loss based on what it costs to develop and produce overall versus what it gives back directly to the company. The complainers are a loud minority of the user base.
    edited April 19 uraharamacxpress
  • Reply 14 of 41
    entropys said:
    I don't think it is well put at all.  If someone disagrees with the approved position, according to Soli this person is "some misogynistic dickhole who now feels, as you put it, ostracised that he cant express his hate filled views to his colleagues". There is no middle ground, Soli believes if you don't conform absolutely to the approved views, you are total scum. No Ned Flanders types, people that are conservative when it comes to values, just hater scum.
    The problem is, when a company just says it is "Pro XYZ" and those are it's values, and you say "I disagree with the company on it's values", that means you have to be anti X, Y, or Z, or a combination. There is no logical other conclusion.

    In this case, being anti any of those policies of inclusion is deliberately hurting at least one of those groups because you "disagree" with it...

    If you believe discriminating against someone for being trans, gay, a person of color, or disabled, or any other minority group, you're a hate filled bigot. That's not generalisation. If its a person of color you discriminate against, you're a hate filled bigot. If it's a person who's gay, you're a hate filled bigot. If you're discriminating about some guy who's disabled... you're a hate filled bigot. Does it change anything when I tell you that he lost use of his legs in Afghanistan? If it does, you're a hate filled bigot. All people who are disabled deserve respect and dignity, not just those who lost it due to war (despite how honorable their sacrifice was, and I say that as a veteran).

    This isn't generalisation and "shades of grey". "I only killed a few people" isn't a defence, neither is it here.
    ai46
  • Reply 15 of 41
    spacekid said:
    From a business point of view which is how shareholders should rate Cook, this CEO has had significant issues. A major one being that a significant product (Mac Pro) was not designed for upgrading and it took years for Apple to realize it. And it's not like no one complained. What else have they not realized?
    Mr. Jobs was also known for making mistakes, learning from them, & changing his mind. I'm glad to see Tim et. al. follow the same approach.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    spacekid said:
    From a business point of view which is how shareholders should rate Cook, this CEO has had significant issues. A major one being that a significant product (Mac Pro) was not designed for upgrading and it took years for Apple to realize it. And it's not like no one complained. What else have they not realized?
    The Mac Pro is not a significant product to Apple's bottom line.

    The Mac is 10% of Apple's business. Generously, the Mac Pro is 5% of that 10%, or about 5% of 50% a decade ago. Even if you call these people influencers and multiply what they mean to Apple by many times, it still doesn't amount to much.

    In fact, the Mac Pro probably induces a loss based on what it costs to develop and produce overall versus what it gives back directly to the company. The complainers are a loud minority of the user base.
    Apple used to fight for the underdog categories that were unique even if they were not the "money maker".  This company has so many resources they can continue to be a financial juggernaut while building out its niche revenue streams.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    entropysentropys Posts: 647member
    pg4g0001 said:
    entropys said:
    I don't think it is well put at all.  If someone disagrees with the approved position, according to Soli this person is "some misogynistic dickhole who now feels, as you put it, ostracised that he cant express his hate filled views to his colleagues". There is no middle ground, Soli believes if you don't conform absolutely to the approved views, you are total scum. No Ned Flanders types, people that are conservative when it comes to values, just hater scum.
    The problem is, when a company just says it is "Pro XYZ" and those are it's values, and you say "I disagree with the company on it's values", that means you have to be anti X, Y, or Z, or a combination. There is no logical other conclusion.

    In this case, being anti any of those policies of inclusion is deliberately hurting at least one of those groups because you "disagree" with it...

    If you believe discriminating against someone for being trans, gay, a person of color, or disabled, or any other minority group, you're a hate filled bigot. That's not generalisation. If its a person of color you discriminate against, you're a hate filled bigot. If it's a person who's gay, you're a hate filled bigot. If you're discriminating about some guy who's disabled... you're a hate filled bigot. Does it change anything when I tell you that he lost use of his legs in Afghanistan? If it does, you're a hate filled bigot. All people who are disabled deserve respect and dignity, not just those who lost it due to war (despite how honorable their sacrifice was, and I say that as a veteran).

    This isn't generalisation and "shades of grey". "I only killed a few people" isn't a defence, neither is it here.
    Sure, but most people do not discriminate against people that are different to them, or hate people different to them, or hate those that hold views different to them.   it is also true a lot would not promote those choices, or seek to hold them up either.  That doesn't make them bigots.  A bigot holds strong views.  Views like "if you don't agree with my position on 'X" you are a hater and a bigot". Pot meet Kettle.   People are complex and have a range of views, and their views are held with a range of intensity and while they may be consistent with one officially endorsed 'correct' view they may not be consistent with another.   There is no dichotomy here, no straight forward good vs evil.  Life is more complicated than that.
    edited April 19
  • Reply 18 of 41
    Also both the left and the right are hypocritical...they love it when companies speak out and support causes they agree with but then want companies to shut up and stay out of politics when those views don't match their own.
    Perhaps that's got to do with the fact that the right has policies that hate people for things those people cannot change? Like their skin color, their sexuality, their perceived gender, their disabilities... need I go on?

    As far as I can tell, the only thing the left wing hates is the fact that the right wing are so selfish to actually believe that theirs is even a valid viewpoint...
    singularityaussiepaul
  • Reply 19 of 41
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 315member
    Apple is not the only company which makes statement in regards to politics. Most companies donate money to the campaigns of various politicians which you may or may not share support for. The the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights has language supporting equality and freedoms for all. Apple supports those values and is vocal about maintaining and expanding those values. Our personal rights can be threatened by new legislation so the fight to maintain them is always needed. I personally don't give my money to companies which I find a support leaders who threaten our freedoms, our environment and discrimination. If I was offered a position at such a company I would not accept it either so those that are saying right or conservative Apple employees must suffer in silence I doubt that is the case. Try working high up at a Wall Street investment firm and see how easy it is to be openly gay. I am not sure if those that want Cook to shut up just feel uncomfortable with what he is saying or have some ungrounded fear the company will tank due to it's socially and political progressive stance. To those people you have nothing to fear.
  • Reply 20 of 41
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 315member
    spacekid said:
    From a business point of view which is how shareholders should rate Cook, this CEO has had significant issues. A major one being that a significant product (Mac Pro) was not designed for upgrading and it took years for Apple to realize it. And it's not like no one complained. What else have they not realized?
    Unless you work in the upper management of Apple I don't know how you can say this. The Mac Pro is a tiny segment of this company's products and income. I don't disagree with you that it was a lot of hype for Cube 2.0 but seriously Cook job is not endangered due to that one device.
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