What is MeidasTouch? Meet the PAC that is leading the charge to get Trump out of White House
MeidasTouch released on Friday, July 31, its new video targeting President Donald Trump and it is titled ‘Evict Trump’ and it was circulated on social media with the hashtag #EvictTrump. In a report accompanying the video, MeidasTouch slammed the president for considering delaying the November 3 election in the wake of the economic downfall caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the death of Herman Cain from the virus after he attended Trump’s Tulsa rally in June. It said the incumbent has no power to tamper with the election schedule.
“Trump’s authoritarian instincts combined with his utter lack of basic competence has combined to make him a weapon of mass destruction against the well-being of the American people. The fact that a sitting president would even so much as float the idea of delaying a presidential election is hard to fathom,” the MeidasTouch report said, adding: “It is vital to our democracy that we vote Trump out of office and make it clear now, as Joe Biden is doing, that if Trump refuses to leave the office, he will be escorted out by the American public. We will EVICT TRUMP!”
The video showed Trump’s presumptive presidential opponent Joe Biden taking him on over various issues, including objecting to the idea of postponing the election or how Trump has treated the military and intelligence (the case of Russia offering to pay the Taliban to kill American troops in Afghanistan). It also mentioned the words the former veep once said about a likely situation where Trump would be escorted out of the White House by the military if he loses the poll and refuses to vacate.
Last month, a day after a university in Kansas scrapped an online commencement address by Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, a MeidasTouch video appeared on Twitter, turning a lot of heads. The video showed Ivanka’s words getting punctuated with scenes of police using force to remove peaceful protesters from Washington DC’s Lafayette Square and troops occupying the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It had happened when President Trump was set to appear for a photo-op outside an age-old church in the capital. The video, which came with the hashtag #ByeIvanka, generated more than six million views.
The website is a new political action committee (PAC), which has been founded by three brothers from Long Island while serving quarantine in times of the Covid-19 pandemic in March. The PAC's video-production team comprises the three brothers with their 14-year-old sister also chipping in with contributions. Their political ads that come out
every day or two have got over a million views each. According to Fritinancy, MeidasTouch’s name and slogan “Because Truth is Golden” involves a bit of a dual family wordplay. The name blends the founders’ father’s last name ‘Meiselas’ and mother’s maiden name ‘Golden’.
In its debut video on April 22, MeidasTouch mentioned the famous line that former president Ronald Reagan had uttered during his 1980 election campaign, asking: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” Other ads targeted Trump’s obsession with Twitter (the question this time being “Had enough?”) or his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. In another, it called the White House a “Hate House”. Each of the ads that MeidasTouch make come with a call to action, like: “Vote Out Hate”, “Vote Blue”, “Wake Up America,” etc.
The mantra: Use Trump's words against him
The founders of MeidasTouch have a strategy in place: Use Trump’s words against him, or those against his family. “There is a thematic piece that goes throughout the videos — we use real pictures and real imagery and juxtapose them with their words,” Ben Meiselas, one of the brothers who is also a partner at Geragos & Geragos which represented Colin Kaepernick’s lawsuit and settlement with the NFL, Deadline reported. His brother Brett, who is also in the production team, serves as the head of digital post-production on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. The third brother is Jordan, who is a marketing and advertising professional in New York.
According to Brett, the #ByeIvanka video came on a day when “we woke up and we were talking to each other and saying, ‘What are we going to do today?’ ” Seeing the speech, he said, “I was just amazed how out of touch and tone-deaf the speech was,” Deadline reported.
If 2016 is held as the benchmark, these types of videos, made outside an official political campaign or candidate-backed super PAC, are set to become more popular in election times. Author Don Winslow recently produced a spot that showed how the White House was blaming the Chinese Communist Party for the pandemic.
Ben, however, believes that more progressive voices are needed for “connecting hard-hitting messages to the public in a way that looks like movie trailers.” Most of the videos that MeidasTouch produces have background music with the intensity similar to theatrical previews.
Ben said speed is one of the key components of their strategy in producing the hard-hitting videos. In a span of two to three hours, they make them. For example, they made a video called “Trump Golfs, You Die” the day the president went for the sport for the first time since March when things started shutting down. The video earned 1.5 million views on Twitter. A similar spot by the Biden campaign the same day earned 4.4 million views.