Nov 12, 2019

The fringe internet frets over Mike Bloomberg's place in the 2020 race

Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Since entering the presidential fray last week, billionaire Mike Bloomberg has become a popular topic on fringe internet forums, where users have dished about what his war chest could mean for the race, according to data provided to Axios from social intelligence firm Storyful.

Why it matters: Discussions on Reddit, as well as fringe-right sites 4chan and Gab, discuss whether Bloomberg's well-financed entrance into the race will upend President Trump's second bid for The White House.

On Reddit, the most popular discussion — amassing over 1,400 comments since it started on November 8 — is titled "Michael Bloomberg, the Billionaire No One Likes, Is Here to F*** Up 2020." That title came from a Vice article that published with that headline on November 7th.

  • The most upvoted comment criticized Bloomberg and said he just had "the money to make sure everyone pays attention to him."

On 4chan, a thread started on November 7 entitled "It’s happening, It’s over" had multiple comments stating Bloomberg’s indication he would enter the race was a prelude to Hillary Clinton joining as well. 

The big picture: Bloomberg's candidacy is picking up steam online.

  • Bloomberg received more mentions across Twitter, public Facebook pages, Reddit, Gab, and 4chan between November 5 and 10 than Cory Booker and Amy Klobuchar combined, according to analysis from Storyful senior journalist Catherine Sanz.

Be smart: For Bloomberg Media, which has long had a rule that the company can't cover Michael Bloomberg itself, coverage of Bloomberg's candidacy is complicated.

  • According to Politico's Michael Calderone, "Bloomberg News has no idea how it will cover [Bloomberg's] candidacy."
  • According to the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg would likely cover him like they covered him as mayor, which included coverage of Bloomberg as a candidate through a dedicated correspondent and a disclosure about the media company's ties to the politician.

What's next: According to an internal memo obtained by NBC News' Claire Atkinson, "If Bloomberg runs for president, a management committee will run his company."

Go deeper:

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Michael Bloomberg is off to an attention-grabbing start

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios - Note: Hover over the weekly rank on desktop to see articles and interactions for each candidate and issue.

In just three weeks, billionaire Michael Bloomberg has captured a level of media attention that's eluded most 2020 Democrats with months on the trail and in debates.

The big picture: Recent stories about Bloomberg generated more social media interactions than Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Julián Castro or Tom Steyer have ever gotten, according to data from NewsWhip provided exclusively to Axios.

Go deeperArrowNov 30, 2019

Mike Bloomberg: Bloomberg News employees "just have to learn to live with" 2020 policy

Mike Bloomberg told "CBS This Morning" Friday that Bloomberg News' editorial staff will "just have to learn to live with" the organization's decision to extend its policy of not investigating him — as its owner — to all Democrats running for president in 2020.

The big picture: The decision has garnered criticism from both Bloomberg News' staff as well as President Trump, whose campaign said it won't credential Bloomberg News reporters due to "unfair reporting practices."

Go deeperArrowDec 6, 2019

Trump campaign to blacklist Bloomberg News

Trump at a rally in Florida on Nov. 26. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

President Trump's 2020 campaign announced Monday it will no longer allow reporters from Bloomberg News to obtain credentials to cover Trump campaign events.

The big picture: Campaign manager Brad Parscale described the decision to ban Bloomberg reporters as a reaction to Bloomberg News' announcement that it would no longer do investigative journalism on Democratic 2020 candidates, following the entry of the media outlet's owner, Mike Bloomberg, into the presidential race.

Go deeperArrowDec 2, 2019