The Biden Campaign removed a political ad Wednesday, featuring a fabricated struggling bar owner blaming President Trump for his business economic downturn amid the coronavirus, only to be revealed that he is a wealthy tech investor.
The one-minute ad was published last Thursday and aired during Sunday’s Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steers NFL game. It features Joe Malcoun, one of the co-owner of a Michigan iconic music venue, The Blind Pig. In the clip, Malcoun complains about his bar not being able to survive “the reality of Trump’s COVID response” and fears that the establishment may need to close.
“For 50 years, The Blind Pig has been open and crowded – but right now it’s an empty room,” Malcoun says inside his bar venue. “This is the reality of Trump’s COVID response.”
“We don’t know how much longer we can survive not having any revenue,” Malcoun adds. “A lot of restaurants, bars that have been mainstays for years will not make it through this. This is Donald Trump’s economy.”
The 1994 song “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys is featured playing in the background of the ad. According to Variety, it marks the first time the hip-hop group licensed one of its songs to be used in a political advertisement.
However, the con man is not a struggling business owner unlike the majority of Americans really struggling to keep their doors open, but a wealthy tech investor with numerous businesses. Based on a simple Google search, it found that Malcoun in 2013 started CKM Capital Partners after coming into a huge inheritance following his wife’s grandfather died and became an “angel investor” in a handful of growing tech companies, according to his Crain’s Detroit Business 40 under 40.
Besides being a co-owner of the music bar, Malcoun is the CEO of Nutshell, a leading customer relationship management (CRM) software company, a co-founder of Cahoots, the new co-working tech hub in downtown Ann Arbor.
Malcoun puts the blame solely on Trump, not Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) for the prolonged lockdowns on bars and restaurants. However, in an interview with MLive in June, The Blind Pig co-owner was the one to willingly closed, citing coronavirus safety after testing the water from one event.
“We were kind of dipping our toe in the water and we decided we would have some shows we knew were not going to be big,” Malcoun said. “There weren’t a lot of people showing up, which is frankly what we wanted and expected. The real struggle was … folks talking about what we were doing. It’s really easy to communicate ‘are you doing the show or not.’ It’s really hard to communicate the nuance and precautions.”
In the ad, Malcoun says his “only hope” is Democratic nominee Joe Biden winning this November.
“There’s no plan, you don’t know how to move forward. It makes me so angry,” Malcoun claims. “My only hope for my family and this business and my community is that Joe Biden wins this election. That’s the kind of person we need.”
Malcoun is an avid Democrat supporter, donating over $12,000, according to FEC filings to various Michigan Democrats, Act Blue, and just recently $5,000 to Biden presidential bid.
The ad was removed not for its false prop, but due to the bar owner and his family facing threats, according to the Biden campaign.
“The price for having a voice in our political process cannot be endless harassment,” Bill Russo, Biden campaign spokesman told the NY Times. “And yet, that is what Joe Malcoun and his family currently face as he was doxxed, harassed and threatened after the Trump campaign has sought to smear a community leader who dared to speak out against Trump’s failed response to the Covid crisis. It is shameful.”