Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is trying to buy the presidency. His campaign is a “waterfall of cash,” offering free swag to rally attendees and luring political operatives away from state and local campaigns with lucrative salaries. Bloomberg has also begun a social media blitz, working with several popular Instagram meme accounts to help turn him into a “ironic, self-aware character” with what can only be described as painfully unfunny memes.
But at least one Instagram meme giant isn’t taking Bloomberg’s cash.
The Fat Jew has weighed in, said he was approached by Meme 2020/Bloomberg but that he declined citing Bloomberg’s stop and frisk policies. “This dystopian black mirror simulation is too much,” he says https://t.co/SYB2Ubd2ds pic.twitter.com/Gu4Zsu7JwE
— Taylor Lorenz (@TaylorLorenz) February 13, 2020
Joshua Ostrovsky, better known as The Fat Jew, said that he was approached by Bloomberg’s campaign but declined to participate. “I grew up in New York City, so I can tell you firsthand, Bloomberg is a colossal shitbag,” Ostrovsky wrote in an Instagram comment. He cited stop-and-frisk, Bloomberg’s “hardline anti-marijuana stance” and “subjugation of minorities” as reasons to consider the billionaire former mayor “a total hoe.”
Ostrovsky’s stance is refreshing, annoying influencer parlance and all. The world of Instagram memery is a wasteland of plagiarism and money. Accounts with millions of followers can make several thousand dollars for a single sponsored post, but face no repercussions for regularly stealing memes and jokes from comedians or smaller content creators. Ostrovsky’s done it himself and faced major backlash for posting uncredited memes as his own.
But his decision to call out Bloomberg’s racist and punitive political history instead of cashing out shows integrity. As the evergreen Clickhole article says, sometimes the worst person you know makes a great point. And it comes at a time when the Democratic Party seems especially eager to overlook Bloomberg’s overtly racist and Republican past, greasing the wheels for him to roll into the primary by changing its debate qualification rules to aid self-funded campaigns.
— Megh Wright (@megh_wright) February 13, 2020
Bloomberg was always going to spend huge amounts of money to make himself politically relevant. He has virtually no grassroots support and influencer content can create something that simulates organic support. And in a social media environment defined by money and vapidity, it’s nice to see at least one influencer stand up to the racist oligarch attempting to buy his way in.