What’s Mightier, a Murdoch Tweet or a WSJ Editorial?

Mitt Romney

It all began with a July 1 tweet from News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch: "Met Romney last week. Tough O Chicago pros will be hard to beat unless he drops old friends from team and hires some real pros. Doubtful."

On July 5, the Washington Post reported that Mitt Romney is "planning to fortify his communications and messaging team by adding seasoned operatives."

Also on July 5 but before the Post's report was published, an editorial in the News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal criticized Romney's "insular staff and strategy that are slowly squandering an historic opportunity."

The New York Times reported that Murdoch, WSJ and other Republican Party establishment voices like talk radio host Laura Ingraham, who also this week criticized the Romney campaign, want more influence over Romney's messages. In years past, this kind of maneuvering would have played out in archetypal smoke-filled back rooms, not in the media—and most definitely not on Twitter.

Murdoch's tweet did not create a ripple effect—it began a powerful wave that has now forced action within the Romney camp. Messaging and media relations are at least as important as policy itself in a presidential election, and the battle over campaign messaging will continue to be waged in public forums.

If you want to see which way the wind blows, check your Twitter feed for the early forecast.

Follow Steve Goldstein: @SGoldsteinAI