The subject of a recent Joe Biden campaign ad says he and his family have been subjected to vicious and disturbing harassment since the one-minute TV spot debuted and sparked backlash from the President’s campaign Donald Trump and his conservative media allies.
“All I’ve done is speak up for my employees and my community, and yet is that the price my family and I have to pay?” Joe Malcoun said in an email shared with The Daily Beast.
Earlier this week, the Biden campaign ran the national TV commercial featuring Malcoun, a businessman who owns a concert hall in Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Blind Pig. In the ad, Malcoun described the struggles small independent music venues face due to the coronavirus pandemic and the shutdown of live performances with seemingly no end in sight.
“Right now it’s an empty room,” Malcoun said in the ad. “This is the reality of Trump’s COVID response. We don’t know how long we will be able to survive without income. “
But critics of the former vice president were quick to assert that the announcement misrepresented Malcoun’s financial situation and interests.
Conservative media like Fox News, The Daily Caller, the Washington Free Beacon and the New York Post all of the published articles attacking Malcoun’s appearance because he is in fact a well-off businessman with technological investments and wealth inherited from his wife’s family. Indeed, Trump allies have suggested that the Biden campaign inflated the suffering of local music hall owners by portraying a wealthy man as a struggling bar owner.
The Trump campaign reinforced that narrative, ultimately claiming that Biden’s team withdrew the ad because they were caught in a lie about Malcoun’s background. “In their desperation to pin something else on the president, they fabricated a story in a last ditch effort to lie to voters because nothing else worked – and they got caught,” the porter said. word of Trump, Ken Farnaso. The New York Times.
The Biden campaign told the Daily Beast that it was aware of the bar owner’s legacy – which Malcoun had publicly spoken about for years and described as “like winning the lottery” – but didn’t think it hurt the struggle that many small business owners were facing due to the coronavirus pandemic. Malcoun did not explicitly claim in the announcement that his personal finances would be in trouble if The Blind Pig were forced to shut down.
A spokesperson for the ex-veep team said they withdrew the ad because Malcoun informed them that the backlash on the TV spot resulted in a torrent of harassment against him and his family – both online and in person.
In an email shared with The Daily Beast, Malcoun wrote: “Since Fox News and the right-wing media decided to misinterpret the ad, my family and I have been constantly harassed online and offline.” He continued, “Our phone numbers and family home address have been canceled and published. Our phones ring nonstop with people threatening us. Our social media accounts are awash with hate and vitriol. Strangers showed up at my family’s doorstep to harass us after a Craigslist ad posted all of our personal information. “
Concert halls and bars have been among the businesses hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, having remained closed in many states for more than seven months due to restrictions to prevent large gatherings in poorly ventilated indoor spaces. – what public health experts agree to make perfect breeding grounds for COVID-19.
Earlier this year, a number of these bars formed the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA), which lobbied Congress and the Trump administration for a financial bailout, one of which recently passed the House representatives.
“We’ve been sounding the alarm bells since April that if our members don’t receive emergency help, they will fall indefinitely – and it does,” NIVA spokeswoman Audrey Fix Schaefer said in a statement. “This is real. We need help. We urge Congress and the White House to continue negotiations and reach an agreement quickly, otherwise there will be a massive collapse of this industry.
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