Meanwhile, try the new stout. Particularly good barrel, I think.
This’ll be brief, but it’s interesting to me, and…well, this is where I write about stuff that’s interesting to me.
Today, in the digesting of the first Presidential debate, we are confronted with the collision of two nearly independent media realms: traditional broadcast, and the newly-risen social media, which have orders of magnitude more penetration, sophistication, and response speed than they did in 2008. And what we’re hearing from those two media realms is, for perhaps the first time ever, sharply divergent in relation to the same single event.
Traditional broadcast media: “Romney won!!!!!”
Now, don’t get me wrong: Romney swung for the rafters because he had to, Obama played it cautious because he could—but too cautiously, in the end— and so the “optics”, as pols and pundits like to say, were clearly in Romney’s favor. This, too, was noted in the record-breaking avalanche of tweets, liveblog streams and Facebook posts that tracked the debate in real time and continued after it.
But let’s face it: the traditional broadcast media has turned strictly into entertainment, and it needs a competitive horse race. So it was nearly impossible for Romney to lose this debate in their eyes, given how badly they needed him to win it.
What is interesting to me is that the sense I am getting of the emerging gestalt of the debate—the narrative understanding by the mainstream public—is a merging of these two story lines.
In other words: “Mitt Romney won by lying.”
So while Romney’s team feels momentarily invigorated, and the likes of CNN and ABC News happily chatter about a “game changer”, what is percolating into voters’ consciousness is a validation of Obama’s core messages: Romney is untrustworthy. He’ll say anything. He’s Machiavellian, just as he was in business. You’ll never really know what he stands for. You can’t trust him can’t trust him can’t trust him can’t trust him.
It takes awhile for fact-checking to catch up to felt sense. In some ways it never does. But what Romney gave Team Obama last night was a bonanza of tailor-made “after” clips for devastating “before, he said this, but now he says this” spots. Instead of having to reach back to dusty campaign footage no one cares about, now they have Mitt Romney lying his ass off in front of 67 million people…yesterday.
Meanwhile, his “win” doesn’t appear to have moved the needle at all…except among those who were supposed to be his base. And he still has nearly no possible roadmap to 270 electoral votes.
Take a breath, friends.
At publication, the Dragon was NOT WORRYING ABOUT IT