Newspapers: Bush’s Lapdogs, Creeping Socialists, or Both?

Nicholas Lemann in The New Yorker explores the troubles of the mainstream media, denounced as hopelessly biased by both left and right:

“Conservatives are relativists when it comes to the press. In their view, nothing is neutral: there is no disinterested version of the news; everything reflects politics and relationships to power and cultural perspective. If mainstream journalists find it annoying that conservatives think of them as unalterably hostile, they find it just as annoying that liberals think of them as the friend who keeps letting them down. Mainstream journalists want to think that the public is aware of—and respects—the boundaries that separate real journalism from entertainment, and opinion, and propaganda, and marketing. If, instead, the public not only enjoys the quasi-journalistic pleasures that lie outside the boundaries, but also doesn’t accept that what’s inside really is distinct and superior—well, that would sting.”