Nov 30, 2019

Axios AM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

💈 Happy Small Business Saturday!

  • Today's Smart Brevity™ count: 872 words ... a 3-minute read.
1 big thing: Bloomberg's attention boom
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Data: NewsWhip. Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

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

What's new: Stories about Bloomberg's announcement have generated more social media interactions than Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Yang, Julián Castro or Tom Steyer have ever gotten, according to NewsWhip data provided exclusively to Axios' Neal Rothschild of our "2020 attention tracker."

  • On Nov. 8, the day after it was first reported that Bloomberg was preparing to enter the race, the former mayor was mentioned more on cable news than any Democratic candidate other than Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders on a single day this year, according to the Television News Archive.
  • In November, Bloomberg has been mentioned more on cable news than every candidate except Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

Bloomberg's mentions this month on cable news (4,486) have more than doubled Yang's throughout his entire campaign (2,167). Yet Yang is polling ahead of Bloomberg.

  • For each of the last three weeks, stories about Bloomberg have generated more interactions (comments, likes, shares) on social media than another billionaire candidate, Tom Steyer, has ever gotten in the race.

Between the lines: Bloomberg is packaging this earned media with an unprecedented, self-funded, multimillion-dollar TV ad blitz, giving him unparalleled ability to reach voters.

  • For all the buzz, Bloomberg so far is at just 3% in a CNN poll released Wednesday — and 2.5% in the RealClear Politics average of six surveys released during the past two weeks.

By the numbers: The biggest wave of attention for Bloomberg came on the week of the N.Y. Times report that he was preparing to jump in.

  • While some of the early coverage has touched on Bloomberg's vulnerabilities with women and minority voters, the sentiment of the 10 biggest stories about Bloomberg was neutral and straightforward.

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2. A terrorist strikes; Londoners swarm
Photo: @HLOBlog via AP

In this amazing frame from video, members of the London public surround a knifeman before police arrived on London Bridge.

The 28-year-old man — Usman Khan, who had been imprisoned for terrorism offenses before his release last year — "was attending a program that works to educate prisoners," AP reports.

  • He stabbed several people, then was wrestled to the ground by members of the public on the bridge before officers shot him dead.

Two people were killed and three wounded.

  • The man "appeared to be wearing a bomb vest but it turned out to be 'a hoax.'"
  • "Police said they were treating the stabbings as a terrorist attack and were not actively looking for other suspects."

The big picture: "The attack raises difficult questions for Britain's government and security services. Police said Khan was convicted in 2012 of terrorism offenses and released in December 2018 'on license,' which means he had to meet certain conditions or face recall to prison."

  • Several British media outlets reported that he was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet.
  • "Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited the scene today, said he had 'long argued' that it was a 'mistake to allow serious and violent criminals to come out of prison early.'"
3. ⚖️ July 25: A day that changed Trump's presidency

A reconstruction by AP's Nancy Benac of Thurs., July 25, shows that even before daybreak, anxiety was coursing through the White House about a coming phone call with the new president of Ukraine.

  • By nightfall, Trump had set in motion events that would trigger the fourth impeachment inquiry in history, imperiling his presidency and further calcifying divisions in a polarized nation.

Here's the timeline that has emerged from weeks of House investigations:

Graphic: AP

Read the story.

4. Pic du jour
Photo: Petr David Josek/AP

This is an ad on a tram in Prague, Czech Republic.

  • As we told you in Axios PM, the Black Friday madhouse tradition is spreading around the world, while U.S. malls lose out to cybershopping.
  • Even in France, Black Friday is often translated as ... Black Friday.

🛒 The big picture ... Frenzy abates: "Thanks to online shopping and deep discounting that started weeks ago, the day after America’s Thanksgiving should probably be rebranded Blasé Friday," Bloomberg reports.

  • "Yes, people still shop at physical stores on this day, but it’s a far cry from the frenzy that once spawned human stampedes, anxiety and carnival-like atmospheres inside shopping malls."
5. Article of the day
Epstein's estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Photo: Marco Bello/Reuters

From the cover story of tomorrow's N.Y. Times Sunday Business section, "Jeffrey Epstein, Blackmail and a Lucrative 'Hot List'":

A colorful potential source (who turned out to be an apparent con man whose identity couldn't be learned) had told The Times that he had a vast archive of hidden-camera footage from bedrooms of Epstein’s properties, capturing "some of the world’s richest, most powerful men in compromising sexual situations":

Specialists at The Times set up a number of "air-gapped" laptops — disconnected from the internet — in a windowless, padlocked meeting room. Reporters cleared their schedules to sift through thousands of hours of surveillance footage.
On the morning of the scheduled delivery, [the source] sent a series of frantic texts. Disaster had struck. A fire was burning. The duplicate servers were destroyed. One of his team members was missing. He was fleeing to Kyiv.

Read the article (subscription).

6. 1 🏈 thing: Getting air — at 210 pounds
Photo: Tim Warner/Getty Images

SaRodorick Thompson of the Texas Tech Red Raiders is lofted by teammates after a Rivalry Weekend touchdown against the Texas Longhorns in Austin.

  • But the Chancellor's Spurs went to the Longhorns, 49-24.
Mike Allen

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