Reality Is What The Media Makes It

Check out this article from a couple days ago.

Basically Mitt Romney is doing very few events as though he’s coasting to victory and Barack Obama is ruthlessly campaigning himself hoarse as a scrappy challenger. Isn’t it clear that Romney has the confidence and poise of a winning candidate? Isn’t it shameful to watch a sitting President have to campaign constantly?

Now look at this article from September 18.

(skip to the part with the header “Romney’s sparse battleground state schedule”). Notice that Obama is in command of the race because he is astutely using his time to campaign at multiple events a day while Mitt Romney’s campaign is flagging because he is unwilling or unable to bring himself to do more than a single event a day.

Despite what the media is trying to convey here, the actual lesson is that nothing has changed in the approach of the two campaigns. Barack Obama continues to campaign in person while Romney prefers a few meager appearances while relying on advertising buys. And yet  the media have fallen hook, line, and sinker for the narrative of the Romney campaign casting the candidate as “confident” rather than lazy.

Perhaps this is an accurate interpretation of the competing schedules of Obama and Romney, but if that is the case then it was equally the case in September when the media fell all over itself to portray Obama’s strategy as a winning one.

This is just another lesson in the importance of media literacy. To a less engaged viewer tuning in for the last couple days of the election, the whole pallor of the election is cast through a narrative “reality” that shifts innocuous facts like the candidates’ schedules into definitive proof of the current prevailing angle — currently that Romney is winning a horse race.

1 comment for “Reality Is What The Media Makes It

  1. Robin G.
    October 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Mitt Romney’s campaign is flagging because he is unwilling or unable to bring himself to do more than a single event a day.

    People have been observing recently that Mitt’s age/health seems to be getting to him. He’s quite a bit older than he presents himself.

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