Lots of discussion and handwringing about this, like it's somehow bad for the Republic. It's not. The assumption is that the media reliably informs the electorate. It doesn't.
A marketing person would say that they're damaging the brand. We certainly see this with the public's reaction to the media: By 5-to-1 Public Thinks Media Trying To Elect Obama. Chart the New York Times share price over the last 5 years and you'll see the downside of what they are doing. Perhaps the most important intellectual tool I learned in Economics, was qui bono? When something doesn't look rational, ask yourself "who benefits"? This is the key to the mystery.The media establishment has rotted to its very core, over a very long time. The rot is institutionalized, meaning that the media cannot reform itself, any more than Gorbachev could reform the communist system - there are too many members of that establishment who are inested in the system to let it reform.
So if the news is so slanted that the public overwhelmingly thinks that it's biased, is it possible for someone who follows the media to understand what's happening in the world? And if not, isn't the world better off without them? They - along with much of the rest of the Intellectual Class - are actively damaging the fabric of society.
From the article, the most clueless graf:
If you’re hearing few howls and seeing little rending of garments over the impending death of institutional, high-quality journalism, it’s because the public at large has been trained to undervalue journalists and journalism.As Obi-wan would say, you have done that yourself.
And the horse you rode in on, fellows.
UPDATE 6 January 2009 22:13: Steven den Beste says more or less what I said, but in more words. And smarter.