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U2's Bono assails Donald Trump at Salesforce conference

Technically Incorrect: Salesforce's annual conference is adorned with a famous rock band offering political sentiment.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Bono and friend.

U2/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

I used to think that corporate conferences were merely vast affairs, limited to people talking about money and getting drunk.

This must surely be also true of Salesforce's Dreamforce conference, taking place this week in San Francisco.

Still, Salesforce likes to get involved in social concerns. It fights a very good fight against social injustice. It's very keen not to create a world of Us vs. Them.

Until it pays to have whole streets closed down for the Dreamforce conference, that is.

On Wednesday night, Salesforce had U2 give a concert to its dreamy enforcers of sales.

They need motivation to sell more, more, more.

Opening it, lead singer Bono dedicated a pulsating three minutes to Donald Trump. Well, he might win. This could affect the future of all corporate conferences. Which could affect the revenue of numerous bands.

Bono addressed Trump directly, but only referred to him as "Candidate." That's very respectful, let me tell you.

This was one night when Trump's hands seemed enormous. He was on a huge screen behind the band, which made even Bono seem just a tiny speck in his firmament.

Soon, the heart of what was going on was revealed: Bono was worried that Trump's projected wall would keep him out of America.

He played a clip of Trump saying: "If I win, they're going back."

"All of them," pleaded Bono. "All of us?"

The Irish singer pulled himself together and fought back: "Good people are not going to stay silent, while you run off with the American Dream."

This was quite poetic. Bono suggested that there were important words for all Americans at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

Trump is, for him, threatening the very essence of those words. This is a nation of immigrants -- including, as some have pointed out, the Trumps.

Some fear, though, that too many good people will, indeed, stay silent on voting day, preferring to go about their daily business, headphones blocking ears, phones swallowing attention spans.

The singer slipped into cliche when he looked up at Trump and exclaimed: "You're fired!"

It all ended well, however.

There on the screen was Donald Trump promising to punch anyone he doesn't like in the face and chanting that the wall will be built. And there, opposing him, was a combative Bono hoping that this nation wouldn't be turned into Fortress America.

Meanwhile, perhaps few would have observed that here was a conference for salespeople where one of the greater practitioners of their craft was being vilified.