Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden’s first virtual town hall on Friday was denounced as “an absolute technical nightmare.”
Biden had been scheduled to hold a traditional campaign event in Illinois on Friday.
However, in light of restrictions on gatherings that are being put in place in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the campaign decided to make the event a virtual town hall.
As CNN reported, the event was pushed back by two hours from its original start time, and then still started 15 minutes late.
Makena Kelly, who dissected the event for The Verge, explained what greeted her when she clicked in.
“When I logged onto Joe Biden’s first-ever virtual town hall, I was greeted with one Illinois senator adjusting the angle of her webcam and another showing off an adorable (but screaming) baby in an oddly intimate video call before the former vice president even appeared onscreen,” she wrote in her piece, which was titled simply, “Joe Biden’s first virtual town hall was an absolute technical nightmare.”
“What was at first an awkwardly silent video conference evolved into a complete technical nightmare that resulted in Biden sounding as if he was screaming in TV static for the first few minutes of the event,” she wrote.
Those attending the event pointed out the problems.
In fact, the first question was actually a critique from a viewer who noted, “Mr. Biden’s speech was garbly the entire time.”
Biden also seemed flummoxed by the technology.
“Am I live?” he said when the third questioner of the evening was speaking.
“Am I on camera?” he said as the fourth person asked a question.
Near the end of the town hall event, Biden wandered off screen.
At one point, only the back half of his head was visible.
While he soon came back, the campaign eventually decided that was enough. The video stream was cut, and the rest of the event was audio only:
Before Biden signed off, he made a comment that summed up the evening, according to Breitbart.
“I’m sorry this is such a disjointed effort here,” Biden said.
Twitter was not kind to the event:
What’s he talking about? Wow.
— Scott Sheridan (@SSheridan74) March 14, 2020
This is part of the virtual town hall the Biden campaign wouldn’t post
Garbled/cut out audio, blank screens, randomly going live to unsuspecting participants
A complete disaster pic.twitter.com/eLGgHyPm91
— Zach Parkinson (@AZachParkinson) March 14, 2020
Joe Biden is the worst presidential candidate of all-time.pic.twitter.com/rEVyjBy7hu
— Jason Howerton (@jason_howerton) March 14, 2020
“Biden’s first-ever virtual town hall was a sorry first sign for the future of digital campaigning, something that will become ever more important as the presidential race heats up and coronavirus spreads across the country,” Kelly wrote.
“Hopefully the Biden campaign and others can get it together before November, or at least until the pandemic fades.”
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