Bernie hired a ‘Milkshake Duck.’ So what?

Justin Ward
4 min readOct 14, 2019
(DonkeyHotey / Flickr / CC-BY)

Matt Orfalea’s time on Bernie Sanders’ staff was short. In less than 24 hours after the YouTuber announced he was joining the campaign’s communications team as a videographer he was fired. Someone turned up some problematic videos of his as well as instances where he had used the word “retarded.”

He got “Milkshake Ducked,” which is Twitter slang for when a viral phenomenon is undone almost immediately by the revelation of something unsavory about their character or past.

Putting aside the questions of whether Orfalea’s behavior was wrong or if the Sanders campaign showed bad judgment in hiring him, the incident was wielded against the Vermont Senator in a display of appalling bad faith.

Orfalea’s videos were first brought to light by Twitter user M. Mendoza Ferrer, a Kamala Harris supporter who has been aggressively trolling the Sanders campaign for more than a year now (mostly by pointing out how consistent his principles have been for his entire career.)

Evidently Ferrer ran out of old clips of Sanders saying that war and inequality are wrong—which she inexplicably thought made him look bad—so she turned her attention to his new hires.

Employing the dishonest modus operandi that has become her calling card, Ferrer’s thread lists Orfalea’s videos, including a 2016 rap about Clinton and Trump that identifies them as members of the oligarchy (objectively), which she mischaracterizes by saying it claims the two are “no different.”

She references a 2009 video titled “Media Manipulation 101” in which Orfalea splices up the audio of MLK’s famous speech into a pornographic rant, which she describes as “the most offensive video about Martin Luther King, Jr. I have EVER seen.”

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Justin Ward

Journalist and activist. Founder and co-chair of DivestSPD. Bylines at SPLC, The Baffler, GEN, USA Today. Follow on Twitter: @justwardoctrine, @DivestSPD