A Biden campaign ad released Sunday attempts to portray a humble Michigan small business owner struggling to stay afloat while his business is being decimated by President Trump's "COVID response."
"For 50 years, the Blind Pig has been open and crowded, but right now it's an empty room," says Joe Malcoun in the ad, describing popular Ann Arbor, Mich., live music venue "The Blind Pig," which he co-owns.
"This is the reality of Trump's COVID response," he continues. "We don't know how much longer we can survive not having any revenue. A lot of restaurants and bars that have been mainstays for years will not make it through this."
What's the problem?
The ad would certainly be effective if not for its misleading portrayal of Malcoun and its incoherent attack on the president's pandemic response, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
But as it turns out, struggling small business owner Malcoun is actually a wealthy Democratic donor who contributed $5,000 to the former vice president's presidential campaign in July as the pandemic raged on, Federal Election Commission filings show.
In an interview with a local news outlet in 2018, Malcoun described becoming a well-known angel investor for local tech startups after inheriting a large sum of money from his wife's late grandfather. During the interview, he characterized the inheritance as "like winning the lottery" and described money as "no object" after that.
"Usually you become a CEO and you make money, and then the money allows you to become an angel investor first," he said. "I happened to have different circumstances where I had money [first]."
While there is certainly nothing wrong with Malcoun coming into money and using it wisely to further his family's financial success, the full context of his financial situation gives reason to doubt that he is just like many small business owners in America who have been negatively impacted by coronavirus lockdowns.
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Furthermore, as noted by the Free Beacon in its report, President Trump has actually railed against the kind of lockdowns that the ad seems to be describing.
Rather, such lockdowns, which have resulted in thousands of Americans being put out of work, were implemented in Michigan by order of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Joe Biden has warned that he'd implement a national lockdown if needed to combat the coronavirus.
Nevertheless, Malcoun complains, "This is Donald Trump's economy. There's no plan and you don't know how to go forward. It makes me so angry. My only hope for my family, and for this business, and my community, is that Joe Biden wins this election."
Yet in a June interview with MLive.com, Malcoun indicated Bling Pig owners weren't necessarily forced to stop having live music shows but chose to.
"There weren't a lot of people showing up, which is frankly what we wanted and expected," he told the news outlet. "Now that we tried it and saw it's really hard to communicate what it means to have a really socially distanced and live music show, we decided it's not really worth trying."
Malcoun did not return a request for comment to the Free Beacon.
(H/T: The Washington Free Beacon)