I have a new column at CJR on how Mitt Romney has increasingly been portrayed as "confident" since his campaign chances have improved. Here's how it begins:
One of the most frequent problems with campaign reporting is the way that journalists construct candidate-centric narratives that coincide with the ups and downs of the race.
We’ve seen this pattern recur with Mitt Romney in the last few weeks. The weak May jobs report and economic turmoil in Europe have helped to push down the estimated probability of President Obama’s re-election on the Intrade futures market by approximately five percentage points this month. With the GOP finally closing ranks behind its presumptive nominee, Romney’s chances of winning appear stronger than ever.
As if on cue, the press corps that previously savaged Romney as a flip-flopper and phony has started to portray him in a more positive light (though soul-crushingly stupid gaffe coverage continues).
In particular, Romney’s manner on the campaign trail, which has previously been derided as wooden and inauthentic, is now being described as more “confident,” which is journalism-speak for “seeming more likely to win.”
Read the whole thing for more.