When Apple CEO Tim Cook appeared in front of Carl Levin today, I was hoping for an epic showdown, as presaged by Levin’s highly-aggressive press release yesterday. I was sorely disappointed — although I did end up with a newfound admiration for Tim Cook’s ability to acquit himself with dignity and intelligence and integrity in the toughest of situations.
Every investigative journalist occasionally dreams of what she might be able to do with monster resources and subpoena power. The answer looks something like Carl Levin, whose latest report on Apple’s tax strategies is Pulitzer-worthy stuff. When Apple CEO Tim Cook testifies in front of Levin today, it’s going to be one of the most uncomfortable grillings of his life. Steve Jobs could be intense — but Carl Levin, in full flow, is truly formidable.
It’s a sad day: only this morning I was reminiscing about my days exploring the Apple Macintosh in Palo Alto in 1984. Like much of the world right now, I’m reliving Steve Jobs’s greatest hits on YouTube, I’ve got a bit of a tear in my eye, and yet I can’t imagine how Jobs could possibly go out on a higher note than this.