Bad news: “Pajama Boy” not exactly a hit with target audience

posted at 10:41 am on December 19, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Okay, I admit that Morning Joe is probably not exactly the target audience for the White House’s latest attempt to hijack a holiday for its flailing ObamaCare system, but MSNBC is certainly the target network. Clearly, this strategy isn’t selling even with the more sympathetic members of the Morning Joe panel. Giggles abound as Mika Brzezinski described the onesie-wearing figure in the ad a “hipster-ish model,” while the rest of the panel seemed amusingly appalled (via Jammie Wearing Fool):

Described as a “hipster-ish model” by co-host Mika Brzezinski, the appearance of the bespectacled, sideways-glancing, cocoa-drinking, onesie-wearing manchild drew guffaws from Joe Scarborough, and the rest could hardly get through their comments without laughing themselves.

When Brzezinski said it was an attempt to get young people to sign up, Scarborough replied, “That ain’t how you do it.”

Politico’s Jim VandeHei mocked it as well, calling the Obamacare launch “one of the most flawed rollouts in the history of mankind,” and alluded to Rich Lowry’s column shredding the campaign.

Rich Lowry’s column touched off the discussion, and it pokes fun at MSNBC, the White House, and liberals in general:

Pajama Boy is about as threatening as Michael Cera and so nerdy he could guest-host on an unwatched MSNBC show. He is probably reading The Bell Jar and looking forward to a hearty Christmas meal of stuffed tofurkey. If he has anything to say about it, Obamacare enrollments will spike in the next few weeks in Williamsburg and Ann Arbor.

Perhaps the goal of OFA was to create a readily mockable image to draw attention to its message, in which case Pajama Boy was a brilliantly successful troll. The right immediately Photoshopped him into the Mandela funeral selfie and emblazoned his photo with derisive lines like, “Hey girl, I live with my parents,” and, “How did you know I went to Oberlin?”

But it’s hard not to see Pajama Boy as an expression of the Obama vision, just like his forbear Julia, the Internet cartoon from the 2012 campaign. Pajama Boy is Julia’s little brother. She progressed through life without any significant family or community connections. He is the picture of perpetual adolescence. Neither is a symbol of self-reliant, responsible adulthood.

Was this an epic troll? I doubt it, for a couple of reasons. First, this White House doesn’t have the sense of humor necessary to conceive it.  Second, as the Obamas’ suggestion yesterday that moms should start conversations in grocery stores promoting ObamaCare demonstrates, this White House has a big disconnect from the cultural experience of most Americans. No one in their right mind would start collaring strangers in a grocery store to offer political harangues. This ad and their supposed grassroots strategy speak to the same disconnect — they have no idea how people outside the Beltway bubble and activist circles behave.  That’s another reason that this is not a particularly good time for Democrats, and it’s not going to get any better by adding John Podesta to the mix, either.


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First, is it a coincidence that right below this story is an ad for pajamagram? Second, before we exult that the WH has no idea how Americans outside the beltway think, it would be good to remember that they knew enough to get Barky reelected when he should have lost 42 states.

xkaydet65 on December 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM

No one in their right mind would start collaring strangers in a grocery store to offer political harangues.

People in their right mind or people who listen to Obama? They are not the same people. I can easily see some idiot in my liberal area collaring people to lecture about signing up for Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Neither is a symbol of self-reliant, responsible adulthood.

some chick named Rand wrote a wonderful novel wrapped around this concept. Howard Roark walked out of court smiling.

DanMan on December 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

And by inference the health care overall is owned by demoncrats.

jake49 on December 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Maybe it’s awkward and unrealistic and unwelcome for a mom to bring up Obamacare in the grocery store, but it’s perfectly natural for your dorm’s RA to bring up awkward topics — which encompasses this administration’s whole experience.

jdpaz on December 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM

“If this is the strategy … this is not a good time for Democrats.”

If not a strategy, perhaps a tactic?

Ask the GOP.

socalcon on December 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

I’d prefer to have a conversation about Free Speech, the Freedom to express your Religious Beliefs, the left’s War on Christianity, and Obama’s impeachable offenses with Phil Robertson than with a onesie wearing liberal effete metrosexual.

That’s just how I roll…

Roy Rogers on December 19, 2013 at 10:54 AM

Maybe it’s awkward and unrealistic and unwelcome for a mom to bring up Obamacare in the grocery store, but it’s perfectly natural for your dorm’s RA to bring up awkward topics — which encompasses this administration’s whole experience.

jdpaz on December 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM

I can think of no serious talk that starts with snuggling up in a onesie with a cup of hot cocoa. Seriously, what is the message here- hey kids, hold an Obamacare slumber party! Get your friends together and instead of telling ghost stories, fire up the laptop and sign up for Obamacare!!!! Trust us, in the end Obamacare is every bit as scary as a ghost story.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM

If 40 is the new 30, 22 is the new 12.

PackerBronco on December 19, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I am livid douches like van de Hei and the slobberer Mike Allen NOW find Black Jesus ridiculous.
We knew he was ridiculous before it was “cool”.

Marcus on December 19, 2013 at 10:59 AM

He is the picture of perpetual adolescence.

John Wayne, Charlton Heston, and Robert Mitchum must be rolling over in their graves.

BuckeyeSam on December 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Someone needs to market the obozo Wonsie. Instead of plaid it can have the obozo swastika/circle all over it.

Flange on December 19, 2013 at 11:01 AM

We dump on Pajama Boy, but that President O’Breezy video deserves extraordinary scorn as well.

BuckeyeSam on December 19, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Maybe he should just lay down supine and become a checkerboard…

hillsoftx on December 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

If 40 is the new 30, 22 is the new 12.

PackerBronco on December 19, 2013 at 10:58 AM

The patients are running the asylum

Roy Rogers on December 19, 2013 at 11:04 AM

People in their right mind or people who listen to Obama? They are not the same people. I can easily see some idiot in my liberal area collaring people to lecture about signing up for Obamacare.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 10:51 AM

And I can easily see myself decking any moron that collars me in a store to talk about 0scare….
Ok – I might give him/her fair warning of what’s coming with a “fvck off @sshole” first – then the decking will commence if they continue.

dentarthurdent on December 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM

He will outgrow that Won-sie before he is able to get a policy off KevorkianCare.gov…

hillsoftx on December 19, 2013 at 11:05 AM

obama and his gang of thugs exist in their own little bubble, and are about the most politically tone deaf group of clowns I have ever seen.

rjh on December 19, 2013 at 11:06 AM

I wish Lee Atwater was still alive . He would make the left eat this.The current GOP will defer.

celtic warrior on December 19, 2013 at 11:07 AM

xkaydet65 on December 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Yes, Obama’s team knew enough to get him reelected, but there is no Romney to turn into the second coming of Genghis Khan with just enough stupid people to believe their distortions with Obamacare. Obama’s team bought them off cheap with the promise of free BCPs and the lie that the Rs are taking them away in 2012, but we are now fast approaching 2014.

In terms of positive policy vision, they are awful and have always been so. Now they actually a have to implement a policy and they are worse than awful. It’s not the presidential campaign anymore.

mwbri on December 19, 2013 at 11:08 AM

So how long before he’s complaining about being abused like Healthcare .Gov picture girl?

SittingDeadRed on December 19, 2013 at 11:09 AM

“Comrade citizens, we suggest that all of you start conversations at the monthly Party meetings and local OFA offices with the ignorant members of the unconverted proletariat. Tell them of the wonders of ObamaCare, and its shining perfection under the guidance of Dear Leader!”

Yes, I’m sure that will be most effective in the entire United States that isn’t Massachusetts, Hawaii, New York City or the Bay Area.
Make sure you wear your onesies to the meetings. Makes for an easier target when we drive by in our pickups.

orangemtl on December 19, 2013 at 11:10 AM

No one in their right mind would start collaring strangers in a grocery store to offer political harangues.

Unless, perhaps, it’s Whole Foods.

(But I wouldn’t know, as I don’t patronize any place that doesn’t sell Diet Coke and Little Debbie pies.)

Wethal on December 19, 2013 at 11:13 AM

Is Jammie Wearing Fool annoyed that Pajama Boy gives jammie wearing fools a bad name?

Wethal on December 19, 2013 at 11:14 AM

I wish Lee Atwater was still alive he would make the left eat this.

celtic warrior on December 19, 2013 at 11:15 AM

Seriously, what is the message here- hey kids, hold an Obamacare slumber party! Get your friends together and instead of telling ghost stories, fire up the laptop and sign up for Obamacare!!!! Trust us, in the end Obamacare is every bit as scary as a ghost story.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 10:57 AM

Here, we understand your sarcasm. This idea brought up with a straight face at a policy meeting on Obamacare at the White House might get you a promotion.

DaveDief on December 19, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I showed this pajama boy nonsense to my 21 year old daughter. She rolled her eyes and said thats lame mom. My 24 yr old sons comment was that not only was this lame but he questioned the sexual orientation of the man-child in the ad.

neyney on December 19, 2013 at 11:19 AM

No one in their right mind would start collaring strangers in a grocery store to offer political harangues.

Er, um, clean up on aisle 3.

This is what happens when your world view is based on hanging out in Dupont Circle….hipster dufus.

MichaelGabriel on December 19, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Paper or plastic or Obamacare, what kind of options are those?

petunia on December 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Democrats are like the new D lumberjack in that pajama picture. They are all gays now.

Schadenfreude on December 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

Okay, it’s official. It is time for conservatives and other “tea baggers” to start making lists of what offends us about liberals, atheists, progressives, etc.

For example:

Kings Park schools officials removed several religious references, including “Holy infant” and “Christ the Savior,” from the popular Christmas carol before a student concert last week, WCBS 880′s Mike Xirinachs reported.
The intent was to avoid offending non-Christians, but the change upset others.

Why do non-Christians get to be offened but not Christians? Why do the gays get to be offended but not straights? It is time to be become as annoying and over-sensitive as anybody on the left.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM

PJ Boy is probably wondering if Obamacare covers pre-metrosexual anxiety syndrome.

TXUS on December 19, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Paper or plastic or Obamacare, what kind of options are those?

petunia on December 19, 2013 at 11:23 AM

In a lot of stores now, when you swipe your card, they proceed to ask if want to donate to x, would you like to buy y, do you want cash back…
I can see them programming the card machines for when you checkout to ask if you want to buy 0scare or donate to 0scare.

dentarthurdent on December 19, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Here, we understand your sarcasm. This idea brought up with a straight face at a policy meeting on Obamacare at the White House might get you a promotion.

DaveDief on December 19, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I hadn’t thought of it in those terms but, sadly, I suspect you’re right.

Happy Nomad on December 19, 2013 at 11:26 AM

John Wayne, Charlton Heston, and Robert Mitchum must be rolling over in their graves.

BuckeyeSam on December 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

Lee Marvin, Ronald Reagan, the Rat Packers… Basically anyone with a pair.

CaptFlood on December 19, 2013 at 11:31 AM

he could guest-host on an unwatched MSNBC show

Using unwatched seems unnecessary, no?

VibrioCocci on December 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Why would anyone buy lousy insurance because a gay Obama-looking girly-boy says to?

pat on December 19, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Oh goodie another post by Ed going to his fav host Morning Joe, no thanks

KBird on December 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

For a laugh, go to youtube and watch the “Get Enrolled” commercial done to target the gay and lesbian community. It really is in poor taste and should outrage that community, but probably won’t.

bopbottle on December 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

He’s not a model, he’s an actor. Or, he was an actor. I think his career is seriously damaged. He also did the video where his parents invite him to dinner and then they start talking to him about enrolling in obammycare.

Blake on December 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM

For a laugh, go to youtube and watch the “Get Enrolled” commercial done to target the gay and lesbian community. It really is in poor taste and should outrage that community, but probably won’t.

bopbottle on December 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Couldn’t watch more than a few seconds.
I just can’t handle watching scantily clad gay dancers…..

dentarthurdent on December 19, 2013 at 11:55 AM

He’s not a model, he’s an actor. Or, he was an actor. I think his career is seriously damaged. He also did the video where his parents invite him to dinner and then they start talking to him about enrolling in obammycare.

Blake on December 19, 2013 at 11:52 AM

Career as an actor damaged? Really?
This wuss will be a Hollywood star in no time….

dentarthurdent on December 19, 2013 at 11:57 AM

No one in their right mind would start collaring strangers in a grocery store to offer political harangues.

Of course not. The first step is to start turning in your neighbors for unapproved political thoughts you may have overheard. Once the fear of individual thought is established, then you can start collaring people in grocery stores. This should preferably be done by government officials.

mankai on December 19, 2013 at 12:02 PM

For a laugh, go to youtube and watch the “Get Enrolled” commercial done to target the gay and lesbian community. It really is in poor taste and should outrage that community, but probably won’t.

bopbottle on December 19, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Ya know, I don’t think Pajama Boy could even have made the cut for that casting call. Although the Rudolph nose prosthetic matches his pjs.

de rigueur on December 19, 2013 at 12:02 PM

How long before the government tells us our criticism of pajama boy is the equivalent to bullying?

tbrickert on December 19, 2013 at 12:04 PM

If Pajama Boy really wanted to talk to his parents about health insurance, he would probably say, “The President said I could stay on your health insurance plan until I’m 26, right, Dad?”

To which his Dad might reply, “Sorry, son, my health insurance will be cancelled on New Year’s Day. Could you help me get on that @$#& Healthcare.gov website that I can’t make head or tail of?”

Steve Z on December 19, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Pajama Boy’s real name is Lance and he’s Rachael Maddow’s brother.

joe btfsplk on December 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Pajama Boy is about as threatening as Michael Cera and so nerdy he could guest-host on an unwatched MSNBC show.

Could guest host on MSNBC? I thought that WAS a host from MSNBC. You mean that’s not Racheal Maddow?

iurockhead on December 19, 2013 at 12:16 PM

joe btfsplk on December 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Beat me to it. Partly.

iurockhead on December 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

I can see them programming the card machines for when you checkout to ask if you want to buy 0scare or donate to 0scare.

dentarthurdent on December 19, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Of course, it will cost another $600 million to get them to work properly…

de rigueur on December 19, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Obama ’08: If they bring a knife to the fight, we’ll bring a gun!
Obama ’13: If they bring a knife to the fight, we’ll bug ‘em in the produce aisle…in our footie jammies!

86 on December 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

I have to turn off every sitcom I’ve watched for the first time because all the men are depicted like pajamaboy (except Ed O’Neil in Modern Family). I can barely stand 5 minutes of their namby pamby, whiney, henpecked ways.

lea on December 19, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Every D is a pajama boy.

obama is the pajama boy in chief.

Schadenfreude on December 19, 2013 at 1:05 PM

and then hotair will run out of material to bash the President on…that’s what you’re really afraid of, right?

nonpartisan on November 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Chris of Rights on December 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM

and then hotair will run out of material to bash the President on…that’s what you’re really afraid of, right?

nonpartisan on November 19, 2013 at 4:47 PM

Chris of Rights on December 19, 2013 at 1:06 PM

@nonpartisan: Cripes I wish we COULD….but this Administration is full of more missteps and pratfalls than a Chevy Chase/Leslie Neilson 1970′s SNL skit…combined.

BlaxPac on December 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

the Obamas’ suggestion yesterday that moms should start conversations in grocery stores promoting ObamaCare

Could they be any more sexist? Hey moms, when you’re in the grocery store, harangue people about Obamacare. Why didn’t they just add the beauty parlor, nail salon, and car-pool line? Talk about a war on women.

PatMac on December 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Clearly, this strategy isn’t selling even with the more sympathetic members of the Morning Joe panel. Giggles abound as Mika Brzezinski described the onesie-wearing figure in the ad a “hipster-ish model,” while the rest of the panel seemed amusingly appalled (via Jammie Wearing Fool)

..know I am late to the dance on this one, but what is chilling (for those pumping out this bravo sierra) is that on BOTH the set Morning Joke AND Megan’s show last night on FNC, there were giggles and belly laughs over this poor sunuvabeyotch.

Add to that the proffering of the First Woookie as a spokesthing for StupidPOTUSCare and you have a lightening elevator ride to the basement and beyond.

The War Planner on December 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Could they be any more sexist? Hey moms, when you’re in the grocery store, harangue people about Obamacare. Why didn’t they just add the beauty parlor, nail salon, and car-pool line? Talk about a war on women.

PatMac on December 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

lol, he should have said “while you are in the grocery store getting toppings so you can make me a sammich, make sure you discuss healthcare with all the other moms”

cptacek on December 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Curious that Pajama Boy doesn’t have his own wiki page yet. He’s rapidly becoming as famous as Tourist Guy.

Pajama Boy visits the Dust Bowl.

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2013 at 1:51 PM

If Mika likes this guy, she’d love seeing Seth Rogan in a banana sack.

NoPain on December 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

. No one in their right mind would start collaring strangers in a grocery store to offer political harangues.

Hey, it’s how communities get organized.

Axeman on December 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

That’s another reason that this is not a particularly good time for Democrats, and it’s not going to get any better by adding John Podesta to the mix, either.

Don’t minimize the threat of this. Podesta is a stone cold hit man. Yes, his addition is a sign of desperation, but it will yield results (from the D’s point of view). Ugly results.

bofh on December 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM

it would be good to remember that they knew enough to get Barky reelected when he should have lost 42 states.

xkaydet65 on December 19, 2013 at 10:49 AM

Wrong. The media and pop-culture got this Barky elected and re-elected. Throw in government education and parental indifference and you get a black man of indeterminate sexual preference with no skill at anything other than reading a teleprompter as president.

Let us remember what Hitler and Stalin said of repetition. How many times did you hear about how women wanted to sleep with obama, or even how manly he was? The more easily led among us ate that up.

Bahbwa Wawa was even convinced that this possibly homosexual skinny black man was Jesus Christ. That reminded me of what Tex Watson said about Charles Manson. I was slack-jawed.

Lanceman on December 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

How many times did you hear about how women wanted to sleep with obama, or even how manly he was?

Lanceman on December 19, 2013 at 3:01 PM

Well, yayaaaa.
Is there anything more manly than a clean articulate skinny (half) black dude in nicely creased mom-jeans?

dentarthurdent on December 19, 2013 at 3:11 PM

dentarthurdent on December 19, 2013 at 3:11 PM

You certainly heard it on the television. I reacted with the stop the world I wanna get off thing. Convinced it would never sell. How’d that work out for us?

obama is the culmination of the perfect cultural storm.

Lanceman on December 19, 2013 at 3:14 PM

Revealed!

Meet Ethan Krupp: Pajamacare boy and Organizing for Action employee

Pajamacare boy is Ethan Krupp, an Organizing for Action employee and the subject of ridicule after OFA created a social ad encouraging everyone to sign up for Obamacare.

-snip-

Congratulations Pajamacare boy. You have gone viral! Keep on fighting for what you believe in.

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2013 at 3:21 PM

PS, h/t to Power Line.

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Meet Ethan

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Funny. I was just about to call him that…

Lanceman on December 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Second, as the Obamas’ suggestion yesterday that moms should start conversations in grocery stores promoting ObamaCare demonstrates, this White House has a big disconnect from the cultural experience of most Americans. No one in their right mind would start collaring strangers in a grocery store to offer political harangues. This ad and their supposed grassroots strategy speak to the same disconnect — they have no idea how people outside the Beltway bubble and activist circles behave.

Actually, hard-core liberals around the country would — and I speak from personal experience with having to deal with it.

They’re also the kind that frequent message boards and news forums where people like the Team Obama staffers who come up with these absurd ads also go to get their rant on, which is also part of the problem. Aside from being inside the Beltway, they only communicate outside the Beltway with people who think like they do, and as a result, believe that a few progressive cranks on message boards willing to harangue people in the hinterlands about ObamaCare represents some vast swatch of the public across the country chomping at the bit to turn every activity of life into an indoctrination class.

jon1979 on December 19, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Pajama Boy’s real name is Lance and he’s Rachael Maddow’s brother.

joe btfsplk on December 19, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Oh and up yours!

Lanceman on December 19, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Meet Ethan

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2013 at 3:21 PM

Funny. I was just about to call him that…

Lanceman on December 19, 2013 at 3:38 PM

And guess where Ethan went to school? Why, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, of course!

Claude Rains could not be reached for comment.

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2013 at 3:49 PM

The bios of the mom’s in attendance at Obama’s meeting were a couple from OFA and one from AARP. Those organizations have already drank the Koolaid. My retort in the grocery store will be ” it’s great a 26 year old can stay on their parents insurance, I wonder how many there are that are affected of the 5 million policies just cancelled by Obamacare?”

TulsAmerican on December 19, 2013 at 3:58 PM

That folks in this country still have the monetary resources to spend on developing (and later sitting around laughing about on a major cable network) such nonsense is in a weird way encouraging.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 19, 2013 at 4:24 PM

Curiouser and Curiouser…

Daily Caller, 12/19/2013 4:08 PM:

Ethan Krupp, the little man who played “Pajama Boy” in a widely-mocked Obamacare ad, was accused in college of racism and anti-Semitism.

-snip-

Krupp was the editor of Wisconsin’s college-town “Madison Misnomer” as recently as 2010, noting that “Nothing is ever accomplished” at editorial meetings and “It probably won’t last more than another year.” But while Krupp’s failures at getting people to care about his projects make him a less-than-ideal spokesman for Obamacare, Krupp brings some larger baggage to Obama-world.

The “Misnomer” ran a piece joking about 9/11 and was accused of running offensive content, according to a 2010 Krupp interview with The Badger Herald.

“We have gotten complaints about the paper being too harsh on Jewish students. It’s a comedy newspaper. Is there any doubt 95 percent of the writers are Jewish?…Actually, people have called us racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, fascist, ageist, homophobic, self-loathing, Glenn Beck supporters, Coasties and other negative words people commonly mistake with communism. To them I give a huge middle finger, and then probably agree with their concerns,” Krupp said.

“That person was murdered,” Krupp said of the critic who compared him to a Glenn Beck supporter.

“We have no morals, and we will attack you. But you really don’t have to worry because no one reads the paper anyway,” Krupp added.

Del Dolemonte on December 19, 2013 at 5:27 PM