Probably the biggest value shift that’s taken place in journalism over recent years has been the increasing centrality of argument to the minute-by-minute lives of writers and reporters. Of course, the give-and-take of debate has always had a cherished place in journalism, whether on op-ed pages or in opinion magazines. But with the rise of blogging and especially Twitter, journalists are spending more and more time immersed in the world of retorts and clever one-liners than ever before. Today it’s inarguable that the journalistic world places a much higher premium on debaters’ skills than it did even four years ago. Last week, we were reminded that Mitt Romney has those skills in abundance. And journalists—not surprisingly, given the current values of our profession—rewarded him handsomely for it.