I have a new column at Columbia Journalism Review on the way the media has overhyped the risk that Mitt Romney will be "defined" in early campaign skirmishes. Here's how it begins:
The message war in the presidential election got underway in earnest last week, with the Obama campaign releasing a new attack ad and super PACs on both sides announcing their own big buys. If you believe some prominent voices in the political press, the stakes in these exchanges are already extremely high—especially for Mitt Romney, the likely GOP standard-bearer.
Many reporters and commentators have suggested that Obama could “define Romney” in the minds of the public—or at least, that he’s trying to do so—and thus establish an image now that would prevent Romney from winning in November. Evidence for the idea that we’re now in a crucial part of the campaign, however, is generally lacking.
Read the whole thing for more.