It certainly began further back than we all realized. It began with the illusion that media could be even-handed. Journalism could be an occupation like cardiology, subject to verification and highly professional. But it never was. It was always biased – written by humans.
Nevertheless, there was a plot to make us think we were hearing the truth.
When the New York Times claimed they published “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” what they were really doing was publishing the news they determined was worth our seeing. It was the news their way. It always is, no matter who is doing it.
Then, in 1972, Watergate happened and became a turning point this new class was waiting for. Journalists became heroes played by movie stars. They overcame presidents and were more powerful than kings. Suddenly their way was the way. Competing visions were swept aside or relegated to also-ran status like a token conservative on the op-ed pages of the Times. A certain bias became the bias became “the truth.” Schools adopted this truth and taught it to children as early as kindergarten and as late as graduate school. It became the sub-text or the uber-text of many movies and TV shows.
And a coup began – the coup we are living under now.
It was a slow-motion coup. For a while we didn’t know it was happening. But soon enough it was all around us.
It was so powerful that this year the Republican Party allowed the coup plotters to control the debates, even those that determined their own nominee.
And the rest of us sat outside, tweeting, blogging, hoping Charles Krauthammer would say something smart on Fox News or Rush would get his revenge. But the narrative is set. The coup has taken hold. It’s too late now — or is it? We live in a Media State.