CNN “Reliable Sources” host Howard Kurtz concludes the segment above by declaring that the media overplayed Mitt Romney’s early and controversial statement about the mayhem in the Middle East. “I can’t avoid the feeling that this tragedy — four American diplomats killed — was just overshadowed by the intense focus on the Romney gaffe, if it was a gaffe.”

No waffling on “gaffe” allowed here. Any judgment about whether the media went overboard has to include a judgment on whether Romney acted in error. If he did, then the press’s coverage is understandable; if he didn’t, then it looks like a bias mob. My take: Romney issued a premature, politically charged and factually suspect statement. When he recommitted himself to that statement the next day, he had given the media altogether too much sustenance.

As Kurtz himself says earlier in the program: “Romney started it.”