Overreach: At some point, a mainline media outlet gets too cocky and goes a step too far in its boosterism. Other media momentarily shrink back in embarrassment.
Pendulum: Prompted by this misstep, a few media commentators rub their chins and publish thoughtful analysis pieces that ask if everyone is being a little too hard on the accused. The accused is still wrong, mind you, but we can be nicer about it.
Silence: After this, coverage ceases as the nation’s attention runs elsewhere.
Introspection: Finally, months later, on a Sunday news program, journalists will gather and ruminate about how they unfairly overstated one side of the debate. They pledge to do better next time.