Slow News Week: Vice President Kamala Harris Trending For Not Using Bluetooth Headphones
Source: JIM WATSON / Getty
Maybe because the news week was slow or someone needed to get some traffic going on their site, Vice President Kamala Harris made the trending rounds for reasons not exactly tied to her political duties. The former senator was the talk of social media after a news piece came out noting that Harris uses wired headphones instead of Bluetooth wireless headphones for reasons that should make sense yet piqued the interests of grizzled journalists all the same.
POLITICO released a newsletter on Monday (Dec. 6) with a portion of the release titled "Kamala Harris is Bluetooth-phobic," which was seemingly framed to elicit the kind of chatter that followed. The tone of the story almost came from a snarky place but that's hard to prove. Take a look at a portion of the newsletter below.
While wired headphones have re-emerged as a hip vintage accessory among Gen Z, Harris' embrace of them is less about fashion than caution. Former aides say that the vice president has long been careful about security and technology - with some describing it as prudent and others suggesting it's a bit paranoid.
It's a recurring theme. An aide on her 2016 Senate bid said Harris often preferred texting to email for security reasons. And another former aide when she was attorney general in California said that when a person arrived for a meeting, staff were instructed not to allow them to wait in Harris' office alone. Instead, the person was asked to wait outside.
That caution and vigilance has not stood in the way of Harris' meteoric rise to the vice presidency - the first woman of color to do so.
But still, should someone who travels with the nuclear football be spending time untangling her headphone wires? The American people deserve answers!
According to experts, Harris might be correct in her caution considering she is the second most powerful person in the country and cyberterrorism is an actual thing. It could also just be a matter of overall preference as everyone isn't necessarily beset with FOMO because they don't have the latest audio buds.
Of course, there are more important matters of note happening with President Joe Biden's administration and beyond, but Bluetooth headphones are definitely trumping all of that now at the moment. See how silly that sounds?
We're not alone in our astonishment that an outfit like POLITICO would waste keystrokes on this non-issue but hey, we all need folks to click. We get it.
Check out the reactions below.
Sure, they ransacked the US Capitol, but Kamala Harris wears wired headphones.
Both sides have done bad things.
— Liam Nissan (@theliamnissan) December 7, 2021
Man, somehow I've got to get up in the morning and do journalism the day after that Kamala Harris headphones story broke.
I don't know how any of us in this profession can ever hope to live up to that standard.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) December 7, 2021
political messaging expert here: if kamala leans into this story and gets apple to restore the headphone jack, she's a lock for 2024
— Parker Higgins (@xor) December 7, 2021
Opinion | I was a lifelong liberal Democrat. Then I saw Kamala Harris using wired headphones.
— New York Times Pitchbot (@DougJBalloon) December 7, 2021
Really good, clever tweet.
I'm speechless pic.twitter.com/tRv6AOkP6C
— chris evans (@chris_notcapn) December 6, 2021
I'm sorry, let me attempt to summarize this: VP Kamala Harris is now being criticized for using wired headphones instead of Bluetooth because she's worried about security risks and this is bad because... we don't want a Vice President who goes the extra mile in national security?
— Charlotte Clymer (@cmclymer) December 6, 2021
It'd be one thing if this story attempted to provide any context about security concerns or other WH officials who were criticized for being lax about them. Instead we get the below graf. It's just blatant trolling. And right after a big Post piece about anti-Biden bias! Whew. https://t.co/z2hqAF8maO pic.twitter.com/nzsUy0orZA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 7, 2021
We have dangerous hotspots breaking across the globe. Russia is posturing for a further invasion into Ukraine that may draw in the region. Domestically democracy is hanging by a thread w domestic terrorists planning another insurrection... yet the breaking news is this. Phobia?? https://t.co/0xJUidTVbx
— Olga Lautman (@OlgaNYC1211) December 7, 2021
Ask me if I care.
Seriously. With all the issues at hand, you're concerned whether VP Harris uses Bluetooth or not? How about we focus on the fact women are at risk of losing reproductive rights? https://t.co/x9Dgi1EbpZ
— Rowan Moon (@oXxRowanxXo) December 7, 2021
A single call to a security expert would tell you that bluetooth headphones are a security risk.
The United States is moving towards authoritarianism and people are dying from climate change but instead you're wasting time creating this fauxtroversey? https://t.co/SrFdi9wk1N
— Kendra "Gloom is My Beat" Pierre-Louis (@KendraWrites) December 7, 2021
It's not paranoia or phobia if the threat is real. Bluetooth is a mess of protocols, some of which are even reasonably secure if used properly, but good luck finding a headset which will play along. Bluetooth's main security mechanism is the inverse-square law. https://t.co/O3DJImNX91
— @pndc (@pndc) December 7, 2021
You know what you should do a story on? The connection between East German gold and the last owners of POLITICO and the current owners.
Now run along. https://t.co/i0zWsmkcqd
— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) December 7, 2021
However you feel about VP Harris, this steady stream of stories about her attitude, preparation, her alleged rivalry with Pete Buttigieg and now use of a Bluetooth should leave the media feeling absolutely embarrassed. https://t.co/UxtMYgeUES
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) December 7, 2021
Imagine if she did use Bluetooth headphones: "Kamala Harris drops $225 on AirPod Pro earbuds!"
— Matt McDaniel (@themattmcd) December 7, 2021
Donald Trump lets Russian prostitutes piss on him while he is eating Big Macs in bed but please tell me more about Kamala's scandalous choice for using wired headphones.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) December 7, 2021