CNN’s John King, left, under fire on Twitter for “screen” and “map.” (Rebecca D'Angelo/For the Washington Post)

The media wasn’t technically competing in the Iowa caucuses. It was covering them. Yet to judge from reactions on Twitter, the media is the clear loser, the one candidate that must get off the trail before the rest of the party lands in Nashua, Claremont, Lebanon.

Want a taste of this consensus? Behold the negativity in the tweets below. In the interstices, the Erik Wemple Blogger has assigned himself the task of defending his peers with a full throat, no matter the charge against them. We’re playing the role of media apologist, at least for this night. Here goes: