Is This a POLITICO Story? Or a Biden Press Release? Who Can Tell?

March 13th, 2020 11:59 AM

Take a look at this Politico story about Biden's coronavirus speech on Thursday -- but pretend you're reading it as a release on Biden for President letterhead. This is written by Adam Cancryn, a professional reporter for a respected, national media outlet. But it's not a story, it is a press release.

Suggestion: Get some Biden for President letterhead -- put this on it, make the reporter the contact with his email ( ... and then post it, asking: Is this a Biden 2020 news release? Or a "news story" in a national media outlet? Can you tell the difference? We can't least not until deep in the story, when Cancryn finally quotes the Trump campaign's response. 

The headline was "Biden offers coronavirus plan, rebuking Trump’s ‘America First’ approach."

The story began: 

Joe Biden delivered a call for swift and urgent action to combat the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday, in a speech that rebuked the Trump administration’s isolationist response and sought to preview how he would steer the nation through a crisis as its president.

The 2020 Democratic frontrunner offered a detailed new roadmap for stemming the virus, emphasizing the need for solidarity and championing science.

He also painted a broader vision to restore the U.S. as a world leader — one day after President Donald Trump announced a shutdown of foreign travel from most European countries during an Oval Office address filled with errors that shook already troubled financial markets and confused the public.

“We’ll never fully solve this problem if we’re unwilling to look beyond our own borders and engage fully with the rest of the world,” Biden said. “We have to confront the coronavirus everywhere.”

After some more description of Biden's plan, more Bidenesque criticism of Trump followed: 

Trump’s vague description of his new European travel ban — which applies only to foreign nationals — sparked panic at airports, and White House officials spent the night and much of Thursday morning clarifying key elements of the administration’s response strategy.

Public health experts, meanwhile, panned the speech for falsely casting the outbreak as a “foreign virus” [it didn't start in China?!] while the U.S. sits on the edge of a new, more urgent domestic emergency that’s forced a wave of school closures and event cancellations, and prompted fears that a crush of new cases could overwhelm hospitals. The U.S. has more than 1,000 confirmed cases, though a lag in the country’s testing capabilities has likely allowed the virus to spread undetected on a much broader scale.

Biden laid out a multipart plan for combating the disease that includes guaranteeing no-cost tests to anyone who needs it, and rushing resources to providers on the front lines of the response.

He slammed the Trump administration for its rocky rollout of testing kits and called for the creation of hundreds of mobile testing sites and wide-scale testing of people in nursing homes.

The Trump campaign response came in paragraphs 14 and 15. The other 16 paragraphs were Biden campaign music and lyrics.