Meet the company behind the viral stunt.
Around New York City Tuesday night, couples were headed out for Valentine’s Day, publicly declaring their love (or, at least, their willingness to spend time in one another’s proximity). And watching over them, projected at huge scale on three separate buildings, was another loving couple: President Donald Trump and Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.
The billboards, two in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, depicted an extremely pregnant Trump—nipples protruding, disgusting!—being tenderly spooned by the Russian leader for whom he has many times expressed admiration. They bore the slogan “love through hate.”
Was this the work of the anti-Trump #resistance? A commentary on the probable Senate investigation of the administration’s ties to Russia? Eh, kind of.
It was a publicity stunt by the dating app Hater, which matches potential dates based on the things they mutually profess to hate. Eighty percent of Hater’s users say they hate Donald Trump—hence, the Valentine’s Day billboard operation.
Although it was a marketing gimmick and not a purely political move, the timing couldn’t have been better. The night before, Trump’s national security advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, had resigned over failing to disclose details from conversations he’d had with Russian intelligence.
And nothing gets to Trump like being portrayed as weak, soft, and feminine. A Politico report cited White House insiders as saying that Trump’s biggest problem with Saturday Night Live‘s spoof of his press secretary, Sean Spicer, was that Spicer was played by a woman.
Trump probably won’t take notice of these goings-on in very liberal New York City unless the billboards make his morning cable news shows, but if he does, one imagines he won’t be happy. You might even say he would … hate it.
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