New York magazine political reporter John Heilemann proclaimed the obvious as he discussed media bias: "No person with eyes in his head in 2008 could have failed to see the way that soft coverage helped to propel Obama first to the Democratic nomination and then into the White House. But in the course of the past three years, reporters, as is their wont, have arrived at a more measured (and even jaundiced) view of him. Let’s hope that means that in this fall’s horse race, both ponies get ridden equally hard."
Heilemann thinks that "the press may help keep Gingrich on life support into the spring," because he knows how to play the press game and be interesting. Mitt Romney, by contrast, is already in trouble with the journalists:
Most plainly, there is the media’s antipathy to the kind of disciplined, unspontaneous, inaccessible campaign that Romney is running. Also to the fact that, hey, let’s face it, he’s not exactly a Roman candle of a candidate. Then there is the temperamental gorge that separates him from most journalists. “Reporters are the kids in the back of the classroom, throwing spitballs,” says Lewis. “McCain would be sitting back there, too, saying, ‘I’m not listening to this B.S.,’ and so would Gingrich. Romney is the guy sitting up in front, raising his hand to every question. Reporters listen to Arcade Fire; Romney listens to the Carpenters and Donny and Marie.”
Honk if you find it unlikely that old political hands like Dan Balz of The Washington Post are jamming to the Arcade Fire on their i-Pod (or that Gingrich does). While it's true that Romney very safely listed the Beatles as his i-Pod favorite to NBC's Jamie Gangel, Heilemann's trying to imply Romney is stale and kitschy. He failed to notice how that back-of-the-bus-buddy routine ultimately worked out for McCain! He continued:
The suspicion of Romney is even deeper than that, however. Ever since his run in 2008, when his contortions on various issues earned him his reputation as an inveterate flip-flopper, the members of the media—and his rivals, then and today—have regarded him as a phony, his candidacy based on, as Smith puts it, “some really brittle half-truths about his consistency.” But now there is a creeping sense that he may be something worse; that on a range of issues, notably his finances, Romney is making claims that may be less than fully truthful. This perception may or may not be fair, but trust me, it is growing—and problematic. Much as the press enjoys poking at phoniness, it absolutely relishes demolishing a liar.