Conservative firebrand Ted Cruz, who claims few friends on the other side of the aisle, won big praise for his unrelenting interrogation of TikTok executive Michael Beckerman this week. And a whole bunch of “Go Ted!” cheers came from the liberal side of the coin.
Even Republican prodigal son Adam Kinzinger, former Congressman from Illinois, gave Cruz his propers. Kinzinger wrote: “Not a fan of Ted but he is absolutely right here. Delete TikTok.”
Another writes: “The only time Ted is useful is in his attorney element,” a reminder that the populist Cruz went to Princeton University, and then Harvard Law School.
Not a fan of Ted but he is absolutely right here. Delete Tik Tok https://t.co/rPxhNl7XkL— Adam Kinzinger #fella (@AdamKinzinger) March 23, 2023
TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance are targets of what is truly bipartisan rage at present, even as its product — a social media app with a genius for turning up likable video content — is beloved by Americans addicted to its screen magic.
Congress thinks that love comes at a price — easy access by the Chinese Communist Party to American citizens’ data, espionage at a personal level — and it’s a price far too high, they say. Americans outraged about the downed Chinese spy blimp willingly carry China’s most powerful espionage tool in their own pockets, the lawmakers lament.
Cruz didn’t impress everybody. There is a certain contingent he has worked so hard to alienate that they’ll never see his side of things. One commenter sums up this thinking: “If Ted is against it, I’m for it. And I mean that most sincerely.”
But Congress — Cruz included — risks alienating millions of votes by banning the app. It’s a tightrope they’ll find hard to walk, even after the showy legal hearings are done. Here’s one TikTok user who speaks for many: “I understand the need for changes, but I learn more on tiktok then anywhere else. It’s not just dancing and funny videos for kids. Nothing compares to it. I get more out of it then the other apps, in a good way. We just only hear about the bad parts.”
I understand the need for changes, but I learn more on tiktok then anywhere else. It's not just dancing and funny videos for kids. Nothing compares to it. I get more out of it then the other apps, in a good way. We just only hear about the bad parts.— Sandy Watson (@sandy_sloth_81) March 23, 2023