Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is paying one of the meme makers who promoted the infamous Fyre Music festival to pump up his campaign ahead of the 2020 election.
Bloomberg’s campaign is working with Mick Purzycki, the lead strategist of the Meme 2020 project, a company behind a slate of successful social media influencers. Purzycki is also an executive of Jerry Media, a major media firm that played a crucial role in promoting Fyre.
“Mike Bloomberg 2020 has teamed up with social creators to collaborate with the campaign, including the meme world,” Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Bloomberg campaign, said in a statement Thursday to The New York Times.
She added: “While a meme strategy may be new to presidential politics, we’re betting it will be an effective component to reach people where they are and compete with President Trump’s powerful digital operation.”
Jerry Media was partially responsible for promoting what turned out to be a fraudulent music festival in 2017 created by Fyre Media to hype one of its apps. The festival’s organizers struggled to provide security, food, medical services and the like for those who attended the festival.
Attendees were promised luxury villas and gourmet meals at the event staged in the Bahamian island of Great Exuma but received packaged sandwiches and Federal Emergency Management Agency tents as their accommodations.
Billy McFarland, CEO of Fyre Media, pleaded guilty in 2018 to one count of defrauding investors and ticket holders in the event. He was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to cough up $26 million, but McFarland was not the only person on the hook. The festival’s organizers are wrestling with at least eight lawsuits stemming from their work on the event.
Purzycki’s meme promotional campaign elevating Bloomberg launched this week and has already placed posts on one account with a meme page with more than 2.7 million followers; Jerry Media’s own most popular account, “FuckJerry,” also pushed posts for the New York billionaire.
The accounts posted campaign ads in the form of fake direct messages from Bloomberg. (RELATED: Mike Bloomberg Ad Uses Obama-Era Footage Of Caged Migrants To Criticize Trump)
FuckJerry is doing sponcon for the Bloomberg campaign… pic.twitter.com/i5cyZvPu2V
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) February 13, 2020
Bloomberg’s team reportedly wants the accounts to describe “why Mike Bloomberg is the electable candidate who can rise above the fray, work across the aisle so ALL Americans feel heard & respected,” according to The Daily Beast. Bloomberg told reporters in November 2019 that he plans on spending $500 million or more to defeat President Donald Trump.
The president posted in July 2019 telling Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and others “to go back” to their own countries. His missives all but blanketed news media at the time, elevating those lawmakers while depriving Democratic presidential opponents of crucial coverage.
News articles about Trump generated more than 23.2 million interactions that month, according to NewsWhip, a social-media metrics company. The massive amount of media is a reminder that the president has the ability to drive media narratives, an argument that reporters often lamented after Trump’s victory in 2016.
Neither Bloomberg’s campaign nor Jerry Media have responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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