"If there's one thing the media won't tolerate for long, it's an unchanging media narrative," says Robert Wright at The Atlantic. So the current story of the race between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney — "Obama sits on a lead that is modest but increasingly comfortable, thanks to a hapless Romney and a hapless Romney campaign" — will almost certainly take a pro-Romney tilt soon. Perhaps it will be that "Romney has a previously undiscovered sense of humor" or that "suddenly it's Obama who seems off balance and gaffe-prone," but Romney's three weeks of media hell are likely over. Despite conservatives' complaints about leftist media bias, will the mainstream press really start cheering for a Romney resurgence?
The press will never turn on Obama: Democrats can relax, says Jonathan Tobin at Commentary. The media hasn't just declared Obama the winner, it has started "demanding that Republicans play along." The level of media boosterism of Obama and the Democrats is unprecedented this year, and the only thing that will change that is a Romney win. Luckily, the obvious bias is just motivating Republicans to work harder. "Romney may be trailing in this race, but so long as the liberal press keeps declaring him dead, he's got more than a fighting chance."
"Media shocked GOP hasn't conceded"
Actually, the media roots for drama, not candidates: "Why the political press raiseth up only to taketh down, and vice versa, is a matter of speculation," but only fools and hacks deny the phenomenon, says Neal Gabler at The Los Angeles Times. Remember, only a month ago Romney was "a candidate with a bulging war chest facing an opponent saddled with a creaky economy." Now he's toast. Even if nothing changes in the race, it's "an iron law of American presidential campaign coverage that what goes up must come down," so a Romney "media bounce" isn't just likely — it's "practically guaranteed."
"Wait for it — Romney's media rebound"
The problem is Romney, not the press: People love to imbue the media with godlike powers, says Jason L. Riley at The Wall Street Journal. So conservatives are griping about pollsters and punditry, "but the press didn't treat Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush any less unfairly, and both men managed not only to win the presidency but get re-elected." And conversely, "if whining about the liberal media was a winning strategy for Republicans, Newt Gingrich would be the nominee."
"Mitt's media blame game"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Sorry, GOP, tax cuts don't pay for themselves
- Alien conspiracy theorists think the government is on the verge of spilling big secrets
- Pope Francis' American problem
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
Subscribe to the Week