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For the holidays, HP attacks the cable news mentality

Commentary: A new ad from the company presents a Christmas dinner where a family discusses global warming. Things get heated.

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

HP ad features TV showing cable news program

A terrible influence on us all?

HP/YouTube; screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Look, I'm right, you're wrong.

Frankly, I can't believe how an intelligent person like you can be so, um, stupid about this.

Stupid? Who are you calling stupid? 

And so will go one or two Christmas dinners all around America.

HP would like you all to stop. 

In a searing new ad, it celebrates Christmas, while observing the chasm that's grown between decent people. 

An extended family gets together for Christmas. It's a warm and happy event. Hugs and gifts are exchanged. Laughter is dominant. 

But the TV is turned to cable news, where two people are screaming at each other. Not listening, just screaming. Not trying to find common ground, just dividing.

Soon, that atmosphere makes its way to the dinner table.

"They say global warming's like a real thing, right?" says one condescending dad. "It's 35 degrees."

The temperature around the table begins to climb. To the point that the commentators on cable news seem like reasonable people.

The two sisters at the heart of this family fall out. One kicks the other out of her house. 

Ah, the family Christmas.

It takes a member of the younger generation -- equipped, as it happens, with a cute little HP Sprocket mobile printer -- to try to bring the family back together.

"If we never reach out, we'll never come together," says the ad. Which seems to be what one or two politicians want.

HP, which hasn't yet replied to my request for further insight on the ad, isn't the first tech company to offer sociopolitical sentiment. Microsoft last week released an ad that pleaded for inclusiveness and diversity. 

It's not hard to imagine that these companies are concerned about the tenor of "debate" emanating from the White House on down. 

Selfishly, of course, they're concerned that division, isolationism and immigration policies will affect their ability to hire the best people from around the world -- some of whom prove cheaper than domestic hires, thanks to the H1-B visa system.

Moreover, some might have noticed that tech companies are being a little quieter about Donald Trump's tax plan, which may (or may not) benefit them greatly.

This ad is pulsating and meaningful because it feels both true and familiar. The product is extremely well integrated into the message.

Some might worry, however, that it also suggests those with strong feelings about sociopolitical issues need to hush up in order to make nice.

It's so hard to know how to behave these days, isn't it?

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