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HARRISBURG, Pa. — In one of this year’s most competitive U.S. Senate races, the biggest moments aren’t playing out on the campaign trail. They’re unfolding on social media.
For one stunt, Democrat John Fetterman of Pennsylvania rolled out an online petition to get his Republican rival, celebrity heart surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, enshrined in New Jersey’s Hall of Fame — a nod to Oz moving from his longtime home in New Jersey to run in neighboring Pennsylvania.
For another, Fetterman paid $2,000 for an airplane to haul a banner over weekend beachgoers on the Jersey Shore welcoming Oz back home to the Garden State. And in particularly viral posts, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, star of the infamous MTV show “Jersey Shore,” and “Little” Steven Van Zandt of “The Sopranos” and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band recorded videos telling Oz to come home.
“Nobody wants to see you get embarrassed,” Van Zandt says. “So come on back to Jersey where you belong.”
For a campaign that could ultimately cost more than $100 million, the stunts are cheap ways for Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, to generate attention. The millions of views are helpful for a candidate who has largely been sidelined from personal appearances after suffering a stroke in May.
And it’s about more than getting laughs: The social media strategy could prove potent in defining Oz as a carpetbagger disconnected from the state’s residents and culture.
“The reason it stands out is he seems to be doing the best job of anyone this election cycle at contrasting his personality versus that of his opponent,” said Dante Atkins, a Democratic campaign strategist based in Washington, D.C., who has not done any work for Fetterman.
Republicans acknowledge that Fetterman’s social media game is top-notch. But they question the value. Even at a time when most Americans use social media, many Pennsylvania voters on social media don’t see Fetterman’s material and, anyway, elections aren’t about who’s got the best troll game, they say.
Republicans also argue that Fetterman’s greatest hits are missing the issues that voters are most likely to consider when making up their minds: inflation, gas prices and the economy, for instance.
“People don’t really care where I’m from,” Oz said in an interview. “They care what I stand for.”
A lot of the material comes from Fetterman himself, said campaign spokesperson Joe Calvello. He does a lot of the posting on Twitter and if Fetterman himself doesn’t post it, he helps originate ideas.
He’ll shoot texts to campaign staff saying, “‘Hey what about this,’ or ‘did you see this,’” Calvello said. “He’s still very involved.”
Other material comes from campaign staff who develop ideas that stay on-brand for Fetterman and on turf that the candidate has staked out, Calvello said. That includes accusing oil companies of jacking up gas prices.
The concept of trolling Oz, and a lot of the memes, also came from Fetterman, Calvello said. The idea for the video by Snooki emerged from a brainstorm by a couple members of the staff, Calvello said.
Campaign staff wrote the script and Snooki — who was paid less than $400 through the video-sharing Cameo website — ad-libbed some of it, but was not in on the joke until afterward.
With 3.2 million views, it scored the most engagement on Twitter ever on Fetterman’s account, “and that’s a high bar,” Calvello said.
Van Zandt did his video for free and ad-libbed his script after the campaign contacted him directly to see if he’d cooperate, Calvello said.
It is difficult to know how much this will help Fetterman in a year when Democrats face stiff political headwinds, including high inflation and a traditional mid-term backlash against the party of the president.
Political scientists have had a hard time isolating the forces that affect how voters make up their minds, said Christopher Borick, an assistant professor of political science at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
In addition, voters tend to be older than the average social media user, Borick said.
Still, Pew Research Center last year estimated that seven in 10 Americans use social media, and it is unquestionable that the medium is becoming more important to reaching voters.
“The proof in the pudding is that campaigns have increasingly turned to it, and so they’re going on the belief that it is a necessary and key component,” Borick said.
Maggie McDonald, a post-doctoral fellow who studies social media in congressional campaigns at New York University’s Center for Social Media and Politics, said Fetterman’s social media game is among the best, if not the best, she’s seen.
“I imagine in future years people will try to emulate this,” McDonald said.
In addition to making people laugh, she said she thinks Fetterman’s stunts could motivate appreciative viewers to contribute money to his campaign and push apathetic Democrats to get off the sidelines to vote for him.
Oz has tried to harness the power of social media for his campaign, and tried to respond to Fetterman online. He has drawn particular focus to Fetterman’s absence from traditional retail campaigning in the aftermath of his stroke, including using a meme from the TV series “Lost.”
In response to a Fetterman tweet about high gas prices, Oz retorted, “Curious as to why you have to fill up your tank so often when you’re not out on the campaign trail meeting with Pennsylvanians.”
Fetterman responded, “Dude, you’re literally from Jersey,” before he referred to a New Jersey state law that requires gas station attendants to pump gas for motorists. “I bet you don’t even know how to pump your own gas.”
Fetterman’s campaign argues that its trolling of Oz is on point with issues that matter to voters. Some elements of it — such as a “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” parody video — try to ask whether a man who is worth nine figures can advocate for regular people who are pinched by high gas prices.
Besides contrasting himself with Oz, Fetterman is well versed in internet culture.
“He’s extremely online, he knows his memes, he knows his internet subcultures, his campaign knows how to make things go viral and obliterate his opponent with online owns,” Atkins said.
Don’t expect the posts to stop anytime soon.
Fetterman now says he’ll put up a billboard on the Betsy Ross Bridge connecting the states over the Delaware River that reminds motorists that they are leaving New Jersey for Pennsylvania “just like Dr. Oz.”
By: Ny Post
Kourtney Kardashian uses Kopari Coconut Melt to ‘look good naked’
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Kourtney Kardashian’s no stranger to showing skin.
Whether the reality star’s modeling lingerie, baring it all in a bikini or packing on PDA with husband Travis Barker, she’s clearly confident about her body — and relies on a selection of tried-and-true products to keep her skin in tip-top shape.
In one of her first-ever Poosh stories, fittingly titled “How to Look Good Naked,” the 43-year-old outlines some of her body care essentials, including La Mer The Body Crème ($300), Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Aging Body Cream ($95) and Le Labo’s Pin 12 Candle ($82) — the latter because “lighting is everything.”
“In order to achieve glowy skin, it’s important to moisturize everything — everywhere — at least once a day,” the Poosh piece reads. “Don’t forget to care for your hands and feet as well; we recommend focusing on these areas at night.”
Billed as “a deep conditioner for your bod,” the product is comprised of 100% organic, unrefined coconut oil, and Kopari suggests applying it “as soon as you step out of the shower and at the end of the day.”
What’s more, the multitasking product also works well as a hair mask, dry shave oil, bath mix-in and belly balm, per the brand.
Snag a tub for yourself below — and get ready to look fabulous in your birthday suit, too.
By: Ny Post
Carlos Carrasco’s gem, three homers propel Mets past Marlins
MIAMI — He’s one tough Cookie these days.
Carlos Carrasco isn’t going to win any contests blowing away hitters, but the right-hander’s offspeed pitches and command — and most importantly, his health — have converged this season to give the Mets an invaluable rotation piece.
On Saturday, he gave his team 7 ²/₃ shutout innings in a 4-0 victory over the Marlins at loanDepot park. Carrasco extended his scoreless streak over his past three starts to 18 ²/₃ innings.
The win was No. 100 in Carrasco’s career, making the 35-year-old the eighth Venezuelan-born pitcher to reach the milestone. Carrasco last surrendered a run on July 9 against the Marlins at Citi Field.
The Mets (63-37) won their fifth straight and reached the 100-game mark with the franchise’s most victories since 1986.
Overall, Carrasco allowed four hits and struck out seven with two walks. Seth Lugo replaced Carrasco in the eighth inning after Charles Leblanc had doubled with two outs. But Leblanc was picked off second base by Tomas Nido, ensuring Carrasco’s scoreless streak continued.
Lugo remained in the game to pitch a scoreless ninth inning, allowing Edwin Diaz a day off following a 10-pitch outing Friday in which he struck out the side.
The Mets will try for a three-game sweep of the reeling Marlins on Sunday with Taijuan Walker on the mound.
After scuffling at the plate for seven innings, the Mets gave Carrasco breathing room in the eighth when Francisco Lindor and J.D. Davis each blasted a solo homer to give the Mets a 4-0 lead. Davis’ homer, in a pinch-hitting appearance, came as the Mets are searching on the trade market for a right-handed bat to solidify the DH spot.
The Mets have traded for two lefty bats in the last week-plus to bolster the other half of the DH equation. One of those additions, Tyler Naquin, debuted for the Mets on Saturday in left field and went 0-for-4. Daniel Vogelbach started at DH and drew a walk in four plate appearances.
Carrasco’s gem was the latest strong performance by a Mets starting pitcher. Entering play, the Mets had a 2.45 ERA from the starting rotation in July, which ranked second in the major leagues. Chris Bassitt had a rare flat start for the Mets a night earlier, when he allowed four earned runs over six innings.
Jeff McNeil hit a solo homer in the third against rookie Nick Neidert to give the Mets their first run. The homer was the first since June 14 for McNeil, who entered the day with a .162/.240/.191 slash line in July.
The Mets weren’t finished in the inning: Nido, Brandon Nimmo and Lindor all singled. Lindor’s hit extended the Mets’ lead to 2-0 and gave the shortstop 68 RBIs for the season before he reached 69 with his blast later.
Carrasco was challenged in the first inning, when he allowed a single to Miguel Rojas and walk to Jesus Aguilar before retiring JJ Bleday for the final out. In the fourth, Carrasco surrendered a leadoff single, but he escaped the inning when he got Bleday to ground into a double-play.
By: Ny Post
Career NYC criminal tries to steal moped from NYPD station
A brazen career criminal with more than 50 arrests on his rap sheet, including rape, was busted for trying to steal a moped from outside a lower Manhattan police station.
Jon Matos was caught red-handed approaching the $1,200 bike outside the 5th Precinct, sources said.
He was allegedly using a set of burglary tools Friday to try to bust the lock of the bike, which was vouchered property, cops and sources said.
Matos, a homeless father of three, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of attempted grand larceny and possession of burglary tools.
The proceeding was delayed for hours, sources said, after Matos allegedly became angry with a cellmate who used the facilities — but didn’t courtesy flush.
“I was just f–king with it. It’s not my tools,” he allegedly told an NYPD detective, said Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Megan Mers during the court proceeding.
Judge Valentina Morales Saturday agreed to give Matos supervised release in the moped case.
“Thank you, your honor,” Matos told Morales.
But instead of hitting the streets once again, Matos was held on outstanding charges from the 23rd Precinct in an unrelated case, authorities said.
It was his second appearance before a judge in a week: Matos was in court days earlier, charged with grand larceny, petit larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property and was released in yet another incident.
Matos has racked up dozens of busts for burglary, robbery, fare evasion — including the 1999 rape of a 14-year-old girl.
Crime is up in six of the seven major crimes measured by the department contributed to the increase — though the seventh category, murders, dropped a noticeable 31.6% last month in comparison to numbers compiled in June 2021, according to the NYPD’s preliminary statistics.
Grand larceny spiked 41%, robbery rose 36.1% and burglary went up 33.8%.
When addressing the crime spike last month, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the department was arresting the same people for crimes “over and over again.”
Other recent and brazen repeat offenders include veteran shoplifter Isaac “Man of Steal” Rodriguez, who was finally locked up in January after dozens of arrests for stealing to support his drug habit.
Laron Mack, whose catchphrase is “I steal for a living,” has been arrested more than 50 times. Another serial stealer, James Connelly, was busted in December for involvement in 28 separate incidents over three months.
Last month, accused serial shoplifter Lorenzo McLucas, 34, was nabbed for stealing from the cosmetics counter at a Duane Reade on Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, according to cops and court documents.
McLucas, who was released on his own recognizance, has notched 122 prior arrests.
By: Ny Post
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