Never mind that Obama and the mainstream media move in lockstep, Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine attempts to spin Mitt Romney’s ascendance as nothing but a mainstream media creation.
Romney Says He’s Winning — It’s a Bluff [New York]
In recent days, the vibe emanating from Mitt Romney’s campaign has grown downright giddy. Despite a lack of any evident positive momentum over the last week — indeed, in the face of a slight decline from its post-Denver high — the Romney camp is suddenly bursting with talk that it will not only win but win handily. (“We’re going to win,” said one of the former Massachusetts governor’s closest advisers. “Seriously, 305 electoral votes.”)
This is a bluff. Romney is carefully attempting to project an atmosphere of momentum, in the hopes of winning positive media coverage and, thus, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.
He goes on to list the ways that the Romney camp is faking out the media. But here’s the kicker…
Obama’s lead is narrow — narrow enough that the polling might well be wrong and Romney could win. But he is leading, his lead is not declining, and the widespread perception that Romney is pulling ahead is Romney’s campaign suckering the press corps with a confidence game.
Saying “his lead is not declining” disqualifies this as actual journalism, and puts it squarely in the camp of Obama boosterism. Chait isn’t the only one pushing this narrative, TPM’s Josh Marshall echoes Chait’s points. What neither bother to do is show today’s ABC/Washington Post tracking poll:
Or the Rasmussen poll.
Chait and Marshall are just plain wrong. Obama is not leading the race anymore (it’s either a slight Romney advantage or a statistical tie), and the lead Obama really did have has vanished. The new mission for Obama’s media boosters now appears to be “hide the decline.”