Pizza Man Bear Hugs Obama, Starts 'Yelp' Troll War

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo

In the world of the web trolls, this was an unqualified call to arms.

When Big Apple Pizza owner Scott Van Nuzer bear-hugged and hoisted President Obama off the ground during their brief meeting in Fort Pierce, Fla., Sunday, it wasn't only the (startled) press corps that took notice.

Earlier today, users flooded the rate and review website Yelp, sending Big Apple Pizza's overall rating in a tailspin.

"Talk about committing business suicide. After picking up Obama, your books are gonna be in the red pretty soon. Not too smart," wrote one commenter, who delivered his one star (out of five) rating from Cottonwood, Ariz., about 2,200 miles away.

But just as quickly as Big Apple's stars disappeared, they were back. The backlash to the backlash was delivered swiftly. By late afternoon, Van Nuzer's pizza spot was back up in the rankings, registering a full five stars.

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Another user, this one checking in from Brooklyn, N.Y., 1,165 miles away, chirped: "Really, conservatards? You try to trash a man's business because he likes a different political candidate than you? What scum you all are. Go crawl back in your holes. SCOTT VAN DUZER IS MY HERO!"

Of the 229 comments listed on the page (30 of them "filtered," one removed for violating terms of service), only two were published pre-bear hug, the most recent coming in 2010.

The oldest review, the first posted on the Big Apple page, delivers a less partisan evaluation.

"Nice variety of food for lunch or dinner," Bob O. from hometown Fort Pierce wrote on Dec. 26, 2009. "Love the Pizza, wings, subs and the best strombolie in town. Great atmosphere in newly renovated dinning area, and flat screen TV's to enjoy sports. Family setting as Scott VanDuzer (sic), Fish and the rest of the staff make you feel right at home. 'Special People' and good food make for a local favorite."