The media take “pen” in hand, hold camera to eye, adjust to a sense of the new reality each morning and attempt to dog-paddle through the sludge passing for current events of the day. In years past it was noble to expose sleaze and rottenness, not just wallow in the ooze of sexual predatory behavior, political extremism, false religiosity, and corporate greed.
Teddy Roosevelt, using John Bunyan’s term from Pilgrim’s Progress, proclaimed investigative journalists during his term, 1901-1908, to be muckrakers. The goal of during this Progressive Era was to attack mainstream journalism, institutions, and their leaders as corrupt.
Now, journalists portray extreme versions of daily events, promoting a doomsday version of past exploits and future traumas. The muck being raked includes American ideals, principles, and the private lives of national and local leaders, motivations of reporters, credentials of professionals, and the thinking process of individual citizens.
This is the post-modern version of journalism.