The superficial assessments of Obama’s performance Tuesday night—from boring to professorial to unemotional—are frustrating for that reason: they seek to resolve a media narrative (how will he appease the crowds?) that has largely been expedited and shaped by the dramatic potency of creating sides—an overwrought messiah vs. the crowds type of scenario, if you will.

But popular anger by itself shouldn’t (and ultimately won’t) drive Obama’s agenda (as George Packer notes in a smart blog post), and Obama knows that. So let’s stop blowing the president-responds-to-public’s-anger story out of proportion. Plus, as Dan Froomkin at the Post notes: “Polls continue to show that the American people are considerably more patient with and appreciative of Obama than the daily drumbeat of media coverage might have you believe.” Indeed.

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Jane Kim is a writer in New York.