- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2020

The conservative humorists at Politizoid have returned to the digital arena for the 2020 campaign season, sensing that President Trump’s use of Twitter to boost memes and content supporting his candidacy has “opened a door” for their work.

With a captive audience caused by the coronavirus outbreak’s social distancing requirements, Politizoid is planning to regularly produce content in the run-up to the November elections.

Politizoid formed more than a decade ago to create funny animation lifting Republican lawmakers back into power in 2010. The group faded to the periphery in subsequent years but returned alongside the impeachment of Mr. Trump to lambast the president’s critics.

Politizoid’s creative director, who asked to remain anonymous so that his work in Hollywood would not suffer from his conservative politics, said Mr. Trump has instilled new hope in California conservatives.

“So many in the political realm still hold to the old adage of running TV ads and now Facebook and such that ‘just run your ads from August to November and just hit em hard,’ but most people really don’t tune into those ads,” he said. “Those that hold the opposing political ideology, they got a 24/7 messaging machine going, and that’s where Politizoid can help really kind of counter [it].”

An animated video, “Schiff Hits the Fan,” depicting Rep. Adam B. Schiff’s failure to remove President Trump from office as akin to the “Looney Tunes” character Wile E. Coyote’s failed efforts to nab Road Runner went viral last fall and represented Politizoid’s entrance into 2020 politics. The video racked up more than 500,000 views on YouTube and nearly 1 million views on Twitter where it was shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino, with many views coming across other platforms as well.

Meme-makers and social media influencers have had unprecedented access and influence on political affairs in the Trump administration. Mr. Trump convened a “social media summit” in July 2019, and he said he has been told he may not have won the 2016 election without the online influencers and social media users who attended the summit.

The political left has attempted to bridge the gap with Mr. Trump’s perceived social media advantage. Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg spent $500 million on advertising for his failed Democratic presidential campaign and worked to court Instagram influencers and other social media users with a niche following.

Similarly, former McKinsey & Co. consultant Misha Leybovich built “Warren’s Meme Team” to help Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign by “saving the nation w/ selfies and memes.”

Both Mr. Bloomberg and Ms. Warren dropped out, with former Vice President Joseph R. Biden — who has not focused on new media politicking — the presumed Democratic nominee.

Politizoid’s creative director said he is already at work preparing to lampoon Mr. Biden in the coming months.

“I just find it interesting though that 10 years later, we’re still animating the same people,” he said. “I guess you could say we’re dusting off our Biden character, getting ready to put him back to work.”

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