— The room was haunted by the specter of the liberal media. The crowd erupted when Newt Gingrich made a point about news media bias, while Jonah Goldberg noted that “the press is not as pro-Obama as they once were, but they’re as anti-Republican as they’ve ever been.” This is perhaps the main reason why Mitt Romney is so popular here. One man noted that he’s a Romney supporter “because not only does the candidate have to beat the president, he has to beat the liberal media, and we all know that the liberal media can’t get anything on Romney, because he’s a Boy Scout.” Goldberg added that “Romney is Republican enough for the media to hate him, but not enough to make it easy to demonize him.”

As a member of the liberal media, I want to assure these people that I, for one, am not out to demonize anybody. All I’m out for is egg rolls and conversation, which the National Review debate party had in spades. It’s no monster truck rally, but it’ll do.

Justin Peters is editor-at-large of the Columbia Journalism Review.