Former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg has attempted to make many things uncool: Big Gulps, being a person of color, and now, as he makes his White House run, he has one last job: making memes as unpalatable as his campaign.
In what can only be described as Leech Synergy, the Bloomberg campaign has enlisted the help of Mick Purzycki, the chief executive of Jerry Media (the daddy company of Fuck Jerry) to helm Bloomberg’s digital tryhard effort, titled the Meme 2020 project, as first reported by the New York Times.
This effort has engaged Instagram accounts with large followings that usually attempt to capture relatable occurrences that happen at the gym (@doyouevenlift), or on the golf course (@golfersdoingthings), and across the white diaspora (@whitepeoplehumor) and dozens other with no discernible theme except sharing other people’s content. These accounts have now all shared some version of a screenshot of DMs with Bloomberg.
It’s not surprising how Bloomberg comes off in these interactions—trying hard to be self-aware, purposely making bad jokes, and repeatedly mentioning he has 61.9 billion dollars. This is intentional, as the Meme 2020 project is meant to create a broken-brained vaping monopoly man type character, so as to appear relatable to Instagramming masses who are probably too young to vote.
While these accounts have proven adept at gaining massive followings and monetizing those audiences, they do not appear to be good at getting people to think Mayor Mike Bloomberg is very cool. Consumers of these meme accounts, while they accept baby-birded Tweets, stolen Tumblr content, and this, are largely rejecting Bloomberg’s attempt to hit the memestream. The political leanings of the comments have been mixed, but there is consensus in that the posts are bad. Bloomberg’s post on the @Golfersdoingthings account was met with a steady flow of “TRUMP 2020🇺🇸” comments. Some have said “eat the rich.” Others say “Vote for Bernie Sanders” and “🤮 buying votes and having sellouts post for him.”
And credit where it’s due: one of the pioneer content thieves, The Fat Jewish, commented on one of the Bloomberg sponsored posts with @TankSinatra, said in part, “Bloomberg is a colossal shitbag. From the subjugation of minorities through stop and frisk policies to his hardline anti-marijuana stance, dude is a total hoe.” Once again, The Fat Jewish echoes a sentiment that many others have said before him, but this time it’s good.
The Bloomberg campaign has nearly unlimited funds to dedicate to their online effort, so we can only expect both the depravity and quality of an already septic meme community to get worse. They have not forgotten the Boomers, either— the campaign has dropped $12.9 million advertising on Facebook, according to Advertising Analytics. If Bloomberg doesn't make it to the White House, at least he can say he ruined memes along the way.
But the quality of the memes is beside the point. If an old man in Hammer pants and one of those hats with a propeller starts dancing around, perhaps you’ll forget how he blamed the 2008 economic crisis on the ...checks notes… demonstrably racist practice of redlining...as the Associated Press reported today. Fail!
This article originally appeared on VICE US.