Earlier this month Katie Couric went on Bill Maher’s show (which still exists, somehow) and mentioned that Mike Bloomberg’s campaign was hiring a comedy writer.
This news came out right after it was revealed that Bloomberg was also paying popular social media accounts and influencers to create memes about his campaign. Those deals are fairly transparent—if you see some Instagram bottom feeder who normally just posts jokes stolen from actual comedians suddenly tweet about Mike Bloomberg, you can be pretty sure they’re getting paid for it. As terrible as most of those accounts can be, at least you know where they stand, and that’s wherever the money is.
The identity of the Bloomberg campaign’s comedy writer isn’t public knowledge, though. And many people would like to know who it is. If you follow enough comedians or comedy industry types on social media, you’ve probably seen them talking about who the Bloomberg comedy writer is, what exactly their job entails, and how much they’re being paid for it. So far nobody has been able to figure out who the writer is—if they do, in fact, exist.
Yesterday the official @Mike2020 Twitter account tweeted out a series of ostensible jokes riffing off of a 60 Minutes interview with Bernie Sanders this weekend. Sanders was questioned about some 35-year-old comments where he said that Fidel Castro might’ve done some good things for the Cuban people, which is apparently one of the worst political sins an American can commit. Bloomberg’s campaign spun that into a series of embarrassing jokes, at least one of which dipped its toes into homophobia, that were all eventually deleted. Fortunately the internet knows to screencap everything, so here they are.
The question, then, is did Bloomberg’s comedy writer write these “jokes”? If so, did the campaign rescue that writer from whatever 1970s talk show writer’s room they’ve apparently been stuck in for the last 50 years? And after the mockery, outcry and quick deletion of these tweets, what’s the current status of the Bloomberg campaign’s comedy writer strategy?
Satire typically needs to have at least a vague resemblance to what it’s actually satirizing. Other than putting the names of Bernie Sanders and a historical despot in the same sentence, none of these tweets reflect what Sanders actually said about Castro, or how he said it. They’re terrible jokes, and even worse politics, and the Bloomberg camp essentially admitted that by deleting all of them. This whole situation only makes people even more interested in finding out who this supposed comedy writer actually is.
Speech writers for high-profile politicians are public figures in their own right, and if somebody has been hired as a full-time comedy writer for Bloomberg’s campaign, that should apply to them, as well. America deserves to know. Are you the Michael Bloomberg comedy writer? Do you know who the Michael Bloomberg comedy writer is? Feel free to contact me at garrett at pastemagazine.com if you have any tips or anything to share on the subject. We protect our sources, when they want or need to be protected. And if you just want to reach out to privately dunk on this entire trainwreck, that’s cool, too. Let’s talk.
Senior editor Garrett Martin writes about videogames, comedy, travel, theme parks, wrestling, and anything else that gets in his way. He’s also on Twitter @grmartin.