Tea Party Senators and a conservative newspaper came — briefly — to Apple’s defense.
FORTUNE — Steve Jobs wasn’t given to making political statements, but he did send signals: He dated Joan Baez, he toasted Barack Obama and, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography, he chewed out Rupert Murdoch privately for letting Fox News become “an incredibly destructive force in our society.”
But when Tim Cook testified before a Senate subcommittee about Apple’s (AAPL) taxes, it was a Democrat, Carl Levin, who gave Jobs’ successor the hardest time, and two Republicans elected with Tea Party support — Ron Johnson and Rand Paul — who came to his defense. (“I’m offended by the tone of these hearings,” said Sen. Paul, “Apple has done more to enrich people’s lives than politicians will ever do.”)
Perhaps Apple’s most surprising support after the hearing came from the Washington Examiner, a free daily newspaper owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschultz and described by Politico as “a megaphone for [Anschutz’s] right-wing views on taxes, national security and President Barack Obama.” Under the headline “Apple becomes latest target of the Beltway Shakedown” columnist Tim Carney wrote:
In this context, the appointment this week of former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson as Apple’s vice president for environmental initiatives could have a double effect. She’s a Beltway insider who could give the company access to the corridors of power. And as a long-time scourge of conservative columnists who saw her as “tyrant” and an “especially abusive and willful regulator” (to quote the
Wall Street Journal
), she could shake loose Apple’s support from the right.