March 31, 2020

I returned to Joe Biden's website to see if the mystery of the "Daniel outbreak" had been solved.

Yesterday — here — we were talking about Joe Biden's new podcast, which I did not listen to but read in transcript form. The transcript was awful, but since I hadn't listened to the podcast, I didn't know how much of the awfulness was bad transcription, and it amazed me that the candidate's website didn't have an editor to make the text as coherent as possible. It could have been vastly improved simply with punctuation, but some things were just weird, possibly misheard.

If you go to that link to yesterday's post, you'll see that we talked about the line "we’ve grappled three crises from Daniel outbreak to the Iran nuclear deal to the auto industry rescue." What's "Daniel outbreak"? Many ideas were bandied about. Was Daniel a hurricane? Can you "grapple" (grapple with?) a hurricane? Was "Daniel" a mishearing of "ebola"?!

I went back to the website to see if they'd edited the transcript. And the transcript is gone! It was embarrassing. But they could have employed an editor... unless the raw audio itself is embarrassing. I know I didn't listen. Who will listen to a podcast of Biden talking? I don't see how Biden can win any new votes with this podcast.

At least with a transcript, we can search for interesting things to pass on in social media, but Biden's people have got to worry that his antagonists will look for the worst thing he said and use it to stir up contempt for their man. You know, like the mainstream media do to Trump every damned day.

58 comments:

Kevin said...

but Biden's people have got to worry that his antagonists will look for the worst thing he said and use it to stir up contempt for their man. You know, like the mainstream media does to Trump every damned day.

Very few people could stand up to that kind of treatment.

The media thinks they’re making Trump a buffoon when instead they’re making him a superhero.

Kevin said...

If you think this is crazy, wait until they erase his entire campaign.

By 2021 it will be like he never ran at all.

Rae said...

Is the podcast still there? If it was that embarrassing....

zipity said...


Biden is the Chauncey Gardner candidate.

I keep waiting for him to say "I like to watch...."

tim maguire said...

In a public forum, on the road, with much that is out of the candidate’s control, anything can happen and much should be forgiven. In Biden’s own house, with lot of people, money, and time, where all the details are under control, there is no excuse for not getting it right.

How can anyone think that a guy who can’t handle making a prepared statement at home can handle...anything at all?

tim maguire said...

zipity said...Biden is the Chauncey Gardner candidate.

Obama was Chauncey Gardner. Biden is what Truman’s opponents only said he was.

gspencer said...

“Doctor” Jill’s the CEO and CFO of this pathetic enterprise which the rest of us call elder abuse. Joe’s the gravy train that they’ve all ridden for years, getting rich on the corruption of Joe’s public office. They’re not about to stop this train when they can all see the Big Rock Candy Mountain (corruption of POTUS) in the near distance.

exhelodrvr1 said...

I think the Demos are ceding the Presidential race to Trump, and going for control of the Senate

Wilbur said...

"You know, like the mainstream media do to Trump every damned day."

Years ago, when I first came to this blog, I'd have never expected you to actually see this as the truth. It's no small thing for someone who strongly dislikes Trump to see the reality of the situation.

Stay Safe said...
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Stay Safe said...
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TreeJoe said...

"In a public forum, on the road, with much that is out of the candidate’s control, anything can happen and much should be forgiven. In Biden’s own house, with lot of people, money, and time, where all the details are under control, there is no excuse for not getting it right.

How can anyone think that a guy who can’t handle making a prepared statement at home can handle...anything at all?"

This, so much this.

A guy running for President in the middle of a global pandemic can't figure out his role or how he can help. He's focused on how he can CAMPAIGN, but the problem is he's not actually showing any leadership and this is obviously a presidential campaign run by other people - not him.

He's spent 40 years in government. He can't offer to organize efforts somewhere? He can't drive one of the logistical workstreams? He's not coordinating an international effort?

No, he wants Trump to be both president and be campaigning and he wants to sit on the sidelines and not do jack shit except snipe at Trump and make bland platitudes.

stevew said...

Last night I commented that Joe Biden 2020 is Bob Dole 1996. Reading about this latest Biden campaign fiasco I wish to retract my comment and apologize to Bob Dole.

Joe Biden would do himself and his campaign a world of good by just showing up every few days to thank and congratulate all the people doing the necessary and heroic work of helping those inflicted with the virus, and those that are keeping the rest of us alive by keeping us well stocked with food and supplies. He doesn't even have to mention Trump.

Michael K said...

Pathetic.

Another "profile not available" troll.

Stay Safe said...
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Darkisland said...

Stay safe sound like a rather squeamish kind of fascist

John Henry

Stay Safe said...
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David Begley said...

And Biden thinks he can be President, Commander-in-Chief and Leader of the Free World?

Stay Safe said...
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Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Somehow my comment explaining this was deleted from yesterday’s post. I believe Biden said “the Nile outbreak” referring to West Nile Fever which showed up during his stint as Veep. The horrible AI-powered transcript rendered it “da Nile outbreak” possibly due to his mumble-ish delivery. Perhaps the transcript was autocorrected from da Nile to Daniel. That’s my hunch.

rhhardin said...

I looked for the Biden podcast but couldn't find it, last night. I'm a fan of dysfunction. There are hidden forces in it.

rhhardin said...

Maybe it's a bad lip-reading.

Temujin said...

Stay Safe- it's very hard to listen to a snippet of Joe Biden. I think you need to give Ann credit for trying. It actually hurts the brain. Trump can be confusing, head slapping, bizarre. But you can at least understand him and see that he's getting to a point. Biden? The Daniel outbreak?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Ritmo doesn’t understand art. This is an art project. He can find Trump bashing in any mainstream media but he comes here to be disappointed so he can complain about coming here and being disappointed. Dude go find Chuck and start your own little blog because you are t interesting funny witty or sensible. In short pixels are just wasted in your employ. Have a nice day.

Lurker21 said...

Could the transcript have been computer-generated? They tell some harried staffer to run the speech through voice recognition and put it online. Of course the software doesn't recognize "Ebola." Now the question is, who did it? Aspergery tech geek or tech newbie? Paid staffer or harried student intern? Whoever it is - they're gone, or put someplace where they won't do the campaign any more harm.

rhhardin said...

Veronica Lueken, the prophet of Bayside, was one of my favorites. She talked crazy but in the vocabulary of middle management.

https://ia800908.us.archive.org/26/items/BaysideMessageOfJune181990/900618.mp3

Her transcription of the words of Our Lady starts at 2:50

Biden might be as good.

Pachydermis2 said...

Ah yes, the West Nile outbreak. It has a few tangential similarities. It had an awful lot of minimally symptomatic cases that are/were hard to track. It prominently hit New York City, where everything, every storm, heat wave, trend is Way More Important because it is in NYC. It had foreign origins but also a real cause that was obnoxious and worthy of a vigorous slap. (Mosquitoes then, Orange Man now). It overlapped with and was confused by several similar illnesses that came around every year. And still do. Definitive testing had limits. I used to tell people that while serology could tell us things a spinal tap would really be diagnostic. Many folks suddenly decided their headache and low grade fever were not all that bad after all.

But there were a lot of differences. Deaths probably in the hundreds, not thousands. For sure a seasonal break in cold weather - see mosquito vector. Lots of dead crows, in fact real disease surveillance involved road kill autopsies!

If Joe Biden actually takes questions some day please ask him why the OBAMA-biden admin did not institute wide spread DDT spraying. Or better still, ask him if he knows that "Daniel" disease can be harbored by squirrels, chipmunks and alligators. His answer to that one just might stand for all eternity - like a polished metal obelisk on some distant airless moon - as the stupidest thing ever said by a politician....

T. Wolter

Owen said...

Mike (MJB Wolf): interesting idea that “the Nile [virus]” was AI-enhanced to “Da Nile” and re-garbled “Daniel.” No denying that the Nile is not just a river... But if the transcript has been disappeared, how will we ever know? Isn’t that disappearance a non-denial denial, as was done in Nixon’s day? Isn’t Biden himself a creature of Nixon’s era? Is the missing transcript...18-1/2 minutes long?

Cue theme music from “Twilight Zone”.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Owen I’ll be looking for a reason to reuse “non-denial da Nile” in another thread now. Thanks for that gem.

Gahrie said...

Years ago, when I first came to this blog, I'd have never expected you to actually see this as the truth.

That's not the problem. the problem is that every time the Democrats behave this way, Althouse acts like it's the first time, and not a pattern of behavior going back to 1964.

Sebastian said...

"Biden's people have got to worry that his antagonists will look for the worst thing he said and use it to stir up contempt for their man. You know, like the mainstream media do to Trump every damned damned day."

Some worry. Sure, some Dems will try to sideline him. But most of his "antagonists" are deplorable, easily dismissed. And of course, the MSM will step in to defend him.

They will, right? Like the good Dem soldiers they are? Until they won't. Until Dem PTBs cave to the inevitable and replace the placeholder.

It's gonna be tricky.

Wince said...

I think it was the "damned" that set Stay Puft off.

Howard said...

Ya, hoo cares about Biden? If Joe was smart he just go into hibernation until we get ahead of the corona numbers to determine how many tens of thousands of people died because of Trumps delay and then start selling that back via campaign ads. until they can calculate how many equivalent 911s that Trump inflicted on the United States, it doesn't make any sense for Biden to do or say anything. Biden Time.

Sebastian said...

tim: "How can anyone think that a guy who can’t handle making a prepared statement at home can handle...anything at all?"

Right. No one with brains and eyes will think that.

Let's be charitable and assume Dems have brains and eyes. No Dem thinks the guy is up to the job. (Is there? Maybe I missed it.)

Which means they vote for him and support him even though they know he can't handle "anything at all."

What does that mean? I ain't no Dem, but I think it means 1. They prefer incompetent Joe over leftist Bernie, senility over socialism. 2. They don't care about a nominee being able to "handle" anything, as long as he is willing to be handled. 3. Anybody But Trump. 4. There's still time to pull a Torricelli.

Joel Winter said...

Whenever I read about something that doesn't make sense, I go to the source material--so I listened to the first few minutes of the audio. Easy enough for anyone to do. He clearly says "Ebola"--not "Daniel."

No mystery at all (except for maybe how the transcriptionist came up with "Daniel!").

Michael McNeil said...

So, Joel, why don't you provide the minute-second coordinate for that phrase so others can experience how clear it is themselves?

Gusty Winds said...

Biden represents the best Democrats have to offer. Close to brain dead.

Rick said...

I ain't no Dem, but I think it means 1. They prefer incompetent Joe over leftist Bernie, senility over socialism. 2. They don't care about a nominee being able to "handle" anything, as long as he is willing to be handled.

Choosing Biden is not a rejection of socialism. It's a preference to enact socialism incrementally and surreptitiously rather than transparently. It's only a choice of tactics.

Stay Safe said...
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Stay Safe said...
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Maillard Reactionary said...

"...You know, like the mainstream media do to Trump every damned day."

It almost sounds like Our Esteemed Hostess has become tired of the lamestream media's schtick, which is after all both predictable and stupid. Now it's time to move on to consider the question "What kind of people would do that, and why?"

Now that will be an interesting blog post.

Howard said...

Phidippus: the brilliance of the confidence game being run by Donald Trump is that it works both ways. You people will defend him to the hilt no matter what and his enemies will blindly attack every single faint and Perry and disgrace himself in the process.

mezzrow said...

Ann Althouse intellectually is a coward. That is why Ann has created this hermetically sealed blog for herself.

Is this just an expression of political Tourette's syndrome, or do you have a point? Bot detector on.

Mary Beth said...

Perhaps the transcript was autocorrected from da Nile to Daniel.

No, I listened to that part of the podcast. It was near the beginning, and he clearly said Ebola.

The transcript is back up and it now has "Ebola". I think I remember that it had timestamps before each section (the Ebola section was :04.), but those are gone.

Shane said...

Another possible explanation is in the use of the word "grapple."
Biden is from Delaware, and therefore its entirely possible he was talking about, or meaning to talk about "Scrapple", the main ingredient of which is "paiste."

If read in this context, it all makes perfect serse.

Maillard Reactionary said...

I don't know what "paiste" is, but I like scrapple.

You don't have to tell me.

Unknown said...

Yes, it was "Ebola". Surprised no one listened to the thing - at least the beginning. His monologue section is heavily edited. The music overlay seems to be there to hide the obvious splices. If the guy lives to compete in the general election, expect to have them either adjust any debate format to accommodate is obvious infirmity or find excuses to prevent them altogether. Maybe we will have the first presidential campaign in history where one candidate runs entirely from his basement.

Lurker21 said...

Older skills and technologies - shorthand, dictaphone, stenotype - get replaced by voice recognition software and spell check, and things like this happen, saving time and labor costs, but increasing errors.

Lurker21 said...

Biden is in decline, but it's more noticeable now that he has all this time on his hands. When he was out on the campaign trail the routine kept him going. He made mistakes and gaffes, but he didn't seem as out of it then as he does now.

There's a theory that the staff and the party knew all along that he wasn't up to it, but kept him running because they wanted to block Sanders. Possible, I guess, for those who saw Joe up close, but from a distance it seemed like he might possibly make it through the campaign season. Would the other candidates have pulled out if they knew Joe wasn't going to make it?

Shane said...

Phidi - biggest mistake of my life was looking up that word. Don't do it, if you like it

Gunner said...

Biden must be pissed that this corona thing is going to mess up his fundraisers with Hollywood celebrities. That is what Hillary lived for!

Maillard Reactionary said...

Shane-- Oh dear. Thanks for the warning.

tcrosse said...

Would the other candidates have pulled out if they knew Joe wasn't going to make it?

The other candidates have to be in on it.

DanTheMan said...

Joe Biden: "We could run Mickey Mouse against this president and have a shot."

Joe has graciously volunteered to test that theory himself.

elkh1 said...

An outbreak is not a hurricane.

Mayhaps the Swine Flu outbreak in 2009-10? The H1N1 outbreak? Someone might have reminded him about the H1N1 outbreak. Since he is oblivious to things around him in his best days, he misheard it as the Daniel outbreak. His faithful under-paid under-educated underage transcriber transcribed what he said.

Kylos said...

He clearly said Ebola. Daniel is a mistranscription. It's at the very beginning of the podcast so you don't have to listen to more than a minute. Commenters pointed this out in the original post as well.

Roughcoat said...

"Every damn day" not "every damned day." Unless the day itself is damned, as in "damned for eternity."

Marc said...

Veronica Lueken, the prophet of Bayside, was one of my favorites. She talked crazy but in the vocabulary of middle management.

I was trying to remember her name the other day. A newsworthy woman in certain circles when I became a Catholic in '76, I never could understand how she attracted the devotées she did. Had tried to recall the name after I read a report somewhere online to the effect that Our Lady has stopped communicating with the Medjugorje seers 'for the duration of the Covid-19 emergency'-- that made me laugh aloud.