Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (CNN)What you’re about to read is the true story — told in full for the first time — of how an obscure video editor with the help of an absurdist comedian, a tattoo artist named Elvis and a town called Bethlehem trolled a presidential campaign and pulled off one of the most impressive pranks of the campaign season. The episode serves as a cautionary tale about the challenges campaigns can face when they choose to engage with the public online and the challenges of reporting in the Internet era.
Tucked away in a home office above his garage here this summer, Vic Berger, the freelance video editor with a sharp eye for absurd humor, tinkered with a short video of Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush that he had ripped from YouTube. The video he put online a few minutes later would change his life.
The video, which Bush’s campaign had posted as part of a series to make the candidate seem more relatable, showed the former Florida governor talking about his favorite Apple products. Berger thought Bush came across as awkward in the videos, and he isolated and manipulated a section to make it cringe-inducing. He posted on Vine, a video app, shared that on Twitter, and, just for fun, told his followers that if it received a million views, he’d get a Jeb Bush tattoo on his neck. He tagged Bush’s official Twitter account and some Bush campaign staffers so they would see it on their feeds.
— Vic Berger IV (@VicBergerIV) July 25, 2015
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