The biggest story this week was Mitt Romney’s stellar debate performance. WRM assessed the likely impact on the race:
Governor Romney didn’t win the election last night, he just stopped losing it. That may not last; the road to the election is still very long and we are more likely than not to see momentum shift back and forth some more. But for committed Democrats who, with a lot of encouragement from their friends in the MSM, were already measuring the drapes for a second term, the night was a shock. Governor Romney emerged as a much stronger candidate, and President Obama as a much weaker one, than the narrative of this campaign to date would lead one to believe. […]Romney’s strong performance in the debate will further undermine public confidence that the media is telling the truth about the ex-governor. Where was the plastic, uncaring clown we’ve been reading so much about, people asked? Voters had been led to expect an incompetent bumbler, a comically maladroit rich man’s son. Now, given the contrast between the caricature and what appeared at least to be a competent, serious and caring man whose head is on straight, many voters will now give Governor Romney more benefit of the doubt when, inevitably, new negative stories begin to appear. The elite, the effete media is down on him; to many Americans that will now be a reason to support him and to tune out the detraction and the nitpicking.
We passed a sad milestone: 2,000 American troops killed in Afghanistan, a forgotten war that no one, including the president, wants to talk about. And the media is giving him a pass on it, in a mirror image turnaround from when George W. Bush was in office. The second essay of the week tackled how the MSM has screwed up its coverage in both cases:
And so, while we are glad this morning that we are being spared the kind of vitriolic hatred and relentless criticism that the press would be pouring on President Bush if he were in office at this critical time, we don’t want the press to do unto Obama that which it did unto Bush. For a period after 9/11 the press was too indulgent toward President Bush; then as the post invasion situation in Iraq went all pear-shaped, the press snapped back to its natural anti-Bush animus and made up for lost time by becoming unremittingly, destructively and undiscriminatingly hostile. There is a happy medium between clueless cheer leading and attempts to destroy: it is called responsible analysis, and we could use a lot more of it. A press that neither waves pom-poms nor throws stink bombs non-stop is an important component of healthy democratic society; there are plenty of excellent reporters out there who want to do exactly that. May their tribe prosper and their numbers increase.
Elsewhere around the world, Neo-Nazis in Greece are taking over policing duties in Athens and elsewhere, leading to serious friction between Greeks and immigrants. Spain geared up to ask for a multibillion dollar bailout from the ECB. Pigeons protested French President François Hollande’s economic policies. Mikhail Saakashvili conceded defeat for his party in Georgia’s contentious parliamentary elections. And Germany is having trouble with its electric cars.Iranians protested and clashed with police as the value of the rial plummeted. Syria bombed Turkey, and Turkey bombed Syria right back—a sign that the Syria war is bleeding out of its borders? Al Qaeda, we learned, is not dead and gone or “on its last legs” but alive and well. And American authorities investigating the 9/11/12 attack in Benghazi are looking suspiciously at an Egyptian US-hating militant who was freed from prison during Arab Spring turmoil. Meanwhile, the Libyan after-party continues a dreadful dance, this time featuring child soldiers wielding machine guns in Mali.In domestic news, social security is in the red for the second year in a row, while the boomers declared a war on the young.