Yes, We Have No Biden Launch Today

So this kinda summarizes the laughable depths to which the the Biden Presidential Story has now descended (per Politico‘s Tom McGeveran):

The Washington Post published an item Monday evening to its website with the headline “Biden to launch a presidential campaign.”

But even the fast clickers were disappointed to reach a page on the Washington Post website titled “Editor’s Note” that read, “This file was inadvertently published.”

Now ponder the next question McGeveran poses:

Was an embargo deal inadvertently broken in a publishing flub? It appears not.

The first thought was that the story was entirely accurate, but published too soon despite an embargo deal with Team Biden, or Dick Harpootlian, or somebody. But no:

Post congressional reporter Paul Kane, whose byline appeared on the article, was quick to tweet out the details. It seems this wasn’t news published before it was ready—just a “shell” story prepared so that the Post could push the button faster in case Biden did announce.

“Earlier tonight, a technical glitch caused publication of a just-in-case/when-we-kno story of VP running for president,” he told his 10,000 followers on Twitter. “It happened when editors were embedding video file. It carries my byline. I regret that it was published accidentally. Deep apologies.”

Just how “what-if” was this story when written? “Finally, to be clear, we don’t know if it’s a yes or a no. Full disclosure: I have a he-says-no-story also written,” Kane wrote in a post to Twitter.

How about a “nobody knows and this whole thing may be a media souffle” story?

Here’s my favorite Twitter commentary on the whole fiasco:

That sums up what we actually know.

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.