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All day, I’ve been waiting for someone to debunk the claim on Drudge Report that Mike Bloomberg is considering Hillary Clinton as his running mate. All day, I’ve been disappointed. I’ve watched my favorite conspiracy theory sites. I’ve watched the usual suspects among Bernie Bro journalists, MAGA-hat-wearing bloggers, and DNC shills on Twitter. Nothing. Nobody’s talking about the sham of this news report.
It seems that everyone took the bait for one reason and one reason only: It was broken by Matt Drudge. For over two decades, he’s dropped several scoops on his homepage regarding scandals that usually turned out to be true. The faux-conservative broke the news just as Bloomberg was about to get blasted across the board following the release of his infamous booklet, The Portable Bloomberg: The Wit & Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg, by the Washington Post. It was the first time the booklet, published in 1990 as a birthday gift to the financial and media mogul with very limited circulation, was released in its entirety. A handful of news outlets have copies and have posted snippets, but WaPo was the first to publish all of it.
By releasing the fake “blockbuster” report on Drudge, the Bloomberg campaign was able to dodge a bullet that could have carried over into the week. Now, it’s gone. All media talk about Bloomberg is associated with Clinton. It’s the perfect con to get moderate Democrats excited, progressive Democrats outraged, and Trump supporters licking their lips at the prospect of chanting “lock her up” once again.
Was Drudge used or is he in on the con? It’s possible he knew, but unlikely. He’s probably just a useful idiot handpicked because of his reputation and his site’s heavy traffic. If Drudge reports it, people listen even if he has hemorrhaged nearly 30% of his traffic since embracing anti-Trump sentiment.
Is Bloomberg really considering Clinton? Not likely. In fact, I’d put the chances as close to zero as possible while leaving a sliver of a possibility open; one never knows what kind of dirt the Clintons have on someone like Bloomberg. There’s a 99% chance his campaign picked the one woman whose rumored reentry into the White House equation would be big enough news to overshadow the damaging booklet that happened to get published the same day. Lest we forget, the Bloomberg campaign was aware WaPo was dropping the booklet yesterday.
Their response to it was humorous. First, they said he didn’t say the damaging things that were published in the booklet. Campaign spokesperson Stu Loeser said, “Mike simply did not say the things somebody wrote in this gag gift, which has been circulating for 30 years and has been quoted in every previous election Mike has been in.”
But in the same breath, they also said that he was wrong to have said them. “Mike openly admits that his words have not always aligned with his values and the way he has led his life and some of what he has said is disrespectful and wrong.”
The Bloomberg campaign unleashed this contingency plan they’ve had prepared for months. They pre-selected bombshells ready to drop through Drudge and other journalists to distract from negative news. It’s all about narrative-control.
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