Document Drop Duds
The Obama campaign is using a mailer modeled after online cat memes as part of their final get out the vote push in the crucial battleground state of Ohio. On the mailer, there is a picture of a cat peeking out from behind a laptop decorated with Ohio-themed Obama campaign stickers highlighting the push to get people to vote early.
“STOP LOOKING AT CATS ONLINE AND GO VOTE,” text on the flyer says.
This week, a mysterious website counting down to an “October Surprise” document drop that would change the election sparked frenzied speculation. Yesterday, the site was taken down after Politicker and others identified some of the developers who were behind it and connected them to past internet activity including a massive 2007 hoax prank involving a site that promised the release of a new Radiohead album and instead “Rickrolled” visitors by giving them a link to the video for Rick Astley’s 1987 song “Never Gonna Give You Up.” In a note posted on “October Surprise” last night, the site’s creators admitted that, rather than releasing explosive documents, they were planning to Rickroll people yet again.
Earlier, a mysterious website popped up online promising to reveal an election “October Surprise” document drop showing that one of the “presidential candidates isn’t being honest.” The site is nothing but a countdown clock and accompanying Twitter account promising all will be revealed at 5:30 p.m. on October 22. On Twitter, the unknown people behind the site have claimed they’re “not at liberty to say which campaign this affects, just yet” and that the site “has the propensity to turn this election from a nail-biter into the biggest electoral landslide.” They have also posted tantalizing blurry photos of documents to back up their claims. Politicker was able to identify at least two people involved with this secretive “October Surprise,” and we spoke with one of them earlier this afternoon.
Last night, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appeared at the NYC Connects 2012 reception in Gracie Mansion wearing glasses designed by eyewear startup Warby Parker, which sells chunky hipster frames online. The brand, understandably excited to have Mr. Bloomberg don their “Waldo” glasses and shared a photo of the event on Facebook. Seeing the picture of Hizzoner in the trendy frames instantly reminded Politicker of the popular internet meme “Hipster Mermaid” and we decided to make a new version of the meme starring Mayor Bloomberg.
A plane mocking Paul Ryan, with a pro-choice variation of the “Paul Ryan Gosling” meme flew overheard as Mitt Romney’s running mate spoke at an event in Lakewood, Colorado this afternoon.
“HEY GIRL. CHOOSE ME LOSE CHOICE- P RYAN,” a banner trailing behind the plane said.
Alex Laska, a communications aide and staff assistant to Democratic Connecticut Congressman Jim Himes apparently takes bagels pretty seriously. After reading a listicle entitled “84 Things That Aren’t On An Everything Bagel” on the online meme-machine BuzzFeed.com, Mr. Laska posted a comment expressing his wish the writer of the list, Katie Notopoulos, would commit suicide.
“I want the next thing Katie Notopoulos posts on here to be her suicide note,” Mr. Laska wrote via his personal Facebook page, which identified him as an employee of the House of Representatives.
Village Voice Media’s general counsel Liz McDougall sent a statement to The Politicker today calling the effort by City Council members Melissa Mark-Viverito and Brad Lander to shut the controversial “adult” section of their classified ad site Backpage.com “misguided.” Ms. Mark-Viverito and Mr. Lander announced a resolution yesterday calling for the site to be closed because it “serves as a platform to traffic minors for sex.” Ms. McDougall, acknowledged children are trafficked in ads on the site, but she argued policing the traffickers will be harder if the ads move elsewhere.
“The demand to shut down this section on Backpage.com will simply drive such content to other Internet portals who will move their advertising websites into offshore entities and out of reach of US law enforcement — and the ability to trace the traffickers and the children that they are trafficking for rescue and prosecution will be lost,” Ms. McDougall said.
Councilman Brad Lander and Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito introduced a resolution today asking Village Voice Media to shut down the controversial “adult” section of its classified ad site Backpage.com. The resolution criticizes Backpage as a “platform to traffic minors for sex.”
“Whereas, Backpage.com’s adult section is facilitating sex trafficking and should alter its current practice; now, therefore, be it resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on Village Voice Media to shut down the adult section of its online classified site, Backpage.com, because it serves as a platform to traffic minors for sex.”
FishbowlDC writer Betsy Rothstein created a huge controversy yesterday by publishing a story declaring an “unusual trend” of female “campaign and White House reporters … using provocative, sometimes sexy photographs of themselves for their Twitter accounts.” Today, Ms. Rothstein spoke with The Politicker to give her side of the sexy photo flap.
Ms. Rothstein’s post inspired a huge backlash including a Twitter campaign launched by this reporter to get male members of the media to switch to sexed up Twitter profile photos to express solidarity with our female colleagues who were subjected to this story that was, in my view, “a clear example of the objectification and double standards that have existed far too long surrounding women in the workforce.” Ms. Rothstein fired back at some of her critics on Twitter including Gawker writer Maureen O’Connor who called her “a skank” leading Ms. Rothstein to reply in kind.
Since, I have already weighed in with my opinion on this story, I am presenting the conversation between myself and Ms. Rothstein as an interview edited only for length. Read on hear Ms. Rothstein explain why she felt the story was worthwhile, how the word “skank” is different from “sexpot,” and why she won’t address Ms. O’Connor in the future.
News Corporation media mogul Rupert Murdoch took to Twitter today to weigh in on Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City address. Mr. Murdoch praised Mayor Bloomberg’s education proposals, encouraged the United Federation of Teacher’s to drop their opposition to the initiatives and wondered how New York’s “chicken” governor will respond.
“Bloomberg’s bold teacher proposals today terrific. How will chicken Cuomo respond? If UFT refuses this money good teachers will scream,” Mr. Murdoch wrote.