By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Gingrich loses the media primary

My latest for the Huffington Post:

Is it over?

A better way of putting it: Do the media want it to be over?

The Florida Republican primary ended last night with dual scenes reminiscent of campaigns past. The winner, hoping to consolidate his gains and close out a divisive intraparty battle, devoted most of his attention to his general-election rival. His nearest competitor vowed to fight on until the convention.

But the incompatible desires of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich do not matter nearly as much today as how the media will now frame the narrative.

Read the whole thing here.

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  1. Mike Benedict

    How about that? Gingrich, who so maligns the media, now finds his political future dependent upon them.

    As for John Heilemann asserting journalists hate Romney for being “phony,” or worse, well, Gingrich is worse. He’s a phony, a cheater and a liar all wrapped up in one stubby pork puff of a body. He’s the BLT of bad behavior.

  2. Al Fiantaca

    What would be nice from the media is if they could write with less absolutism, and more nuance describing developing trends with each change in the campaign. Illustrating, after the Romney’s New Hampshire win, the immediate media storyline was Romney’s got it in the bag, Gingrich is done, etc, etc. The South Carolina primary changed that 180 degrees to Gingrich is not done, Romney has a problem, and Florida’s conservatives could possibly finish him off. Fast forward through days of negative political carpet bombing by Romney and his allies, and now Gingrich is way down…the narrative changed…until what? Is this a series of discrete events, each with it’s own isolated outcome, or is it part of an extended campaign lasting months, leading to a nominee? I prefer the latter, I fear I’m being given the former.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Al: Or how about this? Fewer stories about who’s up and who’s down, period. More stories about what kind of president these guys might be.

  3. Al Fiantaca

    @Dan: Sound good.

  4. wilson tisdale

    It’s refreshing to find somebody writing “do the media,” especially when a medium such as television consistently gets it wrong.

    • Dan Kennedy

      Thanks, @wilson. Just glad no one at HuffPost changed it on me!

  5. No matter what happens with the republician primaries, the media will do all it can to destroy anyone who opposes the President. So all this fighting between canidates is pointless. They stand no chance with such a dishonest media unwilling to be honest about Obama’s failures.

  6. Brad Deltan

    Isn’t it amazing how Romney has such a grasp of how to exactly the wrong thing? Less than 24 hours after you post this insightful analysis, Romney throws it all away with a throughly idiotic comment about not being worried about the poor, and forces everyone to give new life to Gingrich’s campaign.

    I mean, you could feel it in all the coverage that nobody in the media really wanted to turn back to Gingrich. But then they just had to. Especially after Trump gleefully came in and shivved Romney in the back with an “endorsement” from a multimillionaire right after Romney says he doesn’t care about the poor.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Brad: If Romney doesn’t have the wit to tell Trump he doesn’t want his endorsement, then he should accept the shivving and say, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”

  7. Brad Deltan

    It’s possible that Romney was sure the endorsement would go to Gingrich until, suddenly, it didn’t. I heard NPR report that it was something of a surprise that Trump endorsed him and not Newt.

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