What does desperation look like? How about paying social media influencers to make you look cool on the campaign trail?
Because that’s what Michael Bloomberg is doing. After the Iowa caucuses went up into proverbial flames faster than a 1984 Pontiac Fiero’s engine, Bloomberg thought it was time to double that campaign advertising budget.
Bloomberg recently went through some of the more traditional routes as expected when it comes to campaign advertising. There were radio adverts, television spots, various forms of online ad placements — the typical modern campaigning outlets.
Yet, Bloomberg also decided that paying all sorts of online influencers some coin to make him look cool would help him gain success in popularity.
The Bloomberg campaign has been collaborating with the company Tribe to help spread the word on how hip and flip the billionaire candidate is. What Tribe does is connect people who want their brand advertised through social platforms to have access to social media influencers and content creators to spread the word on their brand.
Essentially, you can outsource not only the creative behind advertising there – but also have their network proclaim to love your brand/platform/service or whatever your spiel is.
Of course, this isn’t a free service. For $150 per post, Bloomberg is tapping into their creative minds and networks of micro-influencers (someone online who has anywhere between 1,000-100,000 followers). Apparently, the Tribe campaign about creating some content for Bloomberg boasts:
“Show+Tell why Mike is the candidate who can change our country for the better, state why YOU think he’s a great candidate.”
Honestly, Bloomberg should be paying these creative folk way more than $150 per piece of generated content, because it’s awfully hard to explain why he’d be a good candidate. Then again, Lawrence Jones said it best as to why Bloomberg needs all the social media help he can get:
“His meme game is off.”
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Jones, who hosts the shows Man on the Street and Keeping Up with Jones on Fox Nation, made the comment while appearing on Fox & Friends recently. The Fox Host is pretty well known for his wit overall, as while on the program he described Pete Buttigieg as a generic Walmart brand of Barrack Obama:
“They think Mayor Pete is the guy? This guy is a “Great Value” Barrack Obama. And I like a lot of cheap stuff, but people don’t like cheap politicians.”
Although, can you really blame Bloomberg wanting to tap into social media and influencers to gain traction politically? It’s often been noted that one of Trump’s differentiating factors in gaining a fanbase was the viral spread of online memes of the then-campaigning Trump in 2015/2016.
Here’s the difference though: Trump never paid anyone to make memes to make him look cool.
Trump’s personality on the campaign trail was so different than anything before, his persona inspired content creators to create memes and video montages of his most hilarious statements. In turn, Trump would find some of these memes and videos and share them online through his personal social accounts. Once Trump started doing that, the Internet began to flood with more original Pro-Trump content with creators hoping that their meme would be shared next by Trump.
A classic example was the “You Can’t Stump the Trump” montage that was created by the “Comrade Stump” YouTube channel back in 2015 – which Trump then shared on Twitter. And the comments from the original YouTube video are quite telling. The channel has over 100,000 subscribers and the YouTube video over a million views.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015
One comment from four years ago reads:
“Yo [I’m] about to vote for Trump because of this.”
Another comment from four years back stated:
“This video just gets better when you realize that Trump retweeted it and watched it.”
Another gem of a comment stated this:
“I can’t believe the God Emperor himself tweeted this. #MAGA.”
The thing is, Michael Bloomberg isn’t that stupid. He knows that there’s power in the Internet culture, but he’s missing that one special ingredient Trump had while campaigning.
Creatives with huge online followings weren’t payed or asked to create the memes and videos paying homage to Trump and his humor – they just did it because they thought Trump was funny. When you have to pay someone to say why they like you as a candidate, it will never be quite as impactful as someone doing it as a labor of love.
But the Internet is doing its best to remind Bloomberg that it’s eternal.
Bloomberg jumped into the circus known as the Democratic presidential primaries late in 2019 and quickly apologized for his past transgressions, namely doubling down on the “stop and frisk” program started in New York City under his predecessor Rudy Giuliani.
After some of his comments touting the program resurfaced, he gave an apology for participating in the program.
This past week, comments he made at a forum in Colorado resurfaced and Bloomberg was forced to do damage control.
In referring to his 2015 remarks said they “do not reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity.” Funny how things change when they come back to bite you in the ass, especially when you’re running for president.
In a case of extremely bad timing for Bloomberg, an audio tape has resurfaced where he defended the strategy of the New York City Police Department aggressively patrolling minority neighborhoods, in a speech to the Aspen Institute.
The Aspen Times quoted Bloomberg at the time as saying, “Cities need to get guns out of [the] hands” of individuals who are “male, minority, and between the ages of 15 and 25.”
And they say that Trump is a racist?
An audio of the speech then revealed more evidence of the racial overtone of Bloomberg’s speech, in which he said of young minorities:
“…throw them against the wall and frisk them,” and admitted “we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods…because that’s where all the crime is.”
Tuesday morning, clips of the speech have gone viral, thanks to posts from President Trump’s campaign, as well as from associates such as the president’s don, Donald Trump Jr.
Omg! Leaked audio of Mike Bloomberg talking about the high crime rates among urban minorities.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) February 11, 2020
In fact, the president himself shared the clip from his official Twitter account, saying:
“WOW, BLOOMBERG IS A TOTAL RACIST!”
The tweet has since been deleted.
Speaking to the primarily white crowd in the video, Bloomberg said,
“It’s controversial but first thing is all our—95 percent of your murders, and murderers, and murder victims fit one [unintelligible].”
“You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all of the cops. They are male, minorities, 15 to 25. That’s true in New York, it’s true in virtually every city in America.”
“You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people getting killed. The first thing you need to do to help that group is keep them both alive.”
He went on to suggest that these “young men do not have any ‘long-term focus’ because they believe they are going to get killed anyway. So, ‘it’s a joke to have a gun, it’s a joke to pull the trigger.'”
“And in New York, before Giuliani got elected we had 2,300 murders. When he left that was down to 660 murders, when I left office it was down to 333 murders a year, and it was all the same group.”
“No one in New York gets murdered. If you get murdered, the first thing we want to do is, ‘What were you selling?’ or ‘Who were your family members?’ There is no other kind of murder whatsoever.”
Bloomberg continued that a lot of people don’t understand how important it is to know the population [emphasis added](or moreover demographic, the implication was) which commits crime was an important foundation to stop and frisk.
Bloomberg suggested that “other cities” fail by not getting guns out of the hands of young minorities. He said:
“You have to spend money on your police department, a lot of people don’t like the fact that is what you do, that is what stop and frisk is all about.”
“People say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana, they’re all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true, why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes that’s true, and why do we DO IT?
Do it? Because that’s where all the crime is. And the first thing we can do for people is stop them from being killed.”
Bloomberg went on:
“We did a calculation on how many people would have been dead if we hadn’t brought down the murder rate and gotten guns off the street.
And the way you got the guns out of the kids’ hands was to throw them against the wall and frisk them. They say, ‘Oh I don’t want to get caught,’ so they don’t bring the gun. They may still have the gun but they leave it at home.”
The Aspen Institute is the think tank behind the Aspen Ideas Festival, a Utopian conference for western elites that has earned some criticism and mocking for its high-brow and convoluted response to first-world problems.
In trying to deflect from the controversy, Bloomberg said that he “inherited the practice of stop and frisk” from the previous administration,” ostensibly trying to blame Rudy Giuliani for the mess he now finds himself in.
He said that by the time he left office he had significantly reduced the use of stop and frisk. He now says:
“I should have done it faster and sooner.”
Ah, gotta love saying things for political expediency.
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