Here’s how the mainstream media creates a political narrative about a candidate.
1) First of all, they project a trait onto a candidate. “Crazy,” “Stupid,” “Lazy,” “Out-of-Touch,” “Racist,” “Bad Tempered,” “Cool,” “Combative,” “Inexperienced,” “Radical,” “Controversial” — you get the idea. This trait may or may not have anything at all to do with reality, but usually, if it involves a Democratic candidate, it’s a positive trait and if it’s a Republican candidate, it’s a negative trait.
2) Any piece of evidence that fits the narrative is played up. So, for example, if Sarah Palin had just noted on a guestbook at Westminster Abbey that it is 2008, it would be scandalous evidence that she is actually so stupid that she didn’t know what year it is or it would be evidence that she’s so “crazy” that she doesn’t know what year it is. It would be talked about for days on the cable networks, Tina Fey would do a skit about it on Saturday Night Live and it would be regularly worked into articles for years.
3) Any evidence that contradicts the narrative is ignored. Barack Obama’s “57 states” gaffe and his 2008 screw-up are both bigger, more embarrassing mistakes than Dan Quayle’s notorious “potatoe” gaffe that forever branded him as dumb. So, why was that so devastating for Quayle while this will be written off as “jet lag?” Because Barack Obama is a Democrat and therefore, the mainstream media has decided he’s smart. That means it doesn’t fit the narrative. On the other hand, Quayle was a Republican, which means he’s dumb, and any mistakes he made were obviously a result of his caveman-like stupidity. Put another way, if Barack Obama were a Republican, this would be strong evidence of his incredible stupidity, but since he’s not, it means nothing.