Mainstream media has had a shift in news values

“The problem is that elite media gatekeepers have abandoned their moral mandate to stigmatize uncivil discourse. Instead, too many outlets reward it. In fact, it is an ironic token of the ideological confusions of our age that they do so in the service of upholding what they understand to be a cornerstone of civility: the notion that every public question must be framed in terms of two equal and opposite positions, the “liberal” one and the “conservative” one, each to be afforded equal dignity, respect — and (the more crucial currency) equal space. This has made the most mainstream of media outlets comically easy marks for those actively working to push public discourse to extremes. Don’t blame the minister and his bait-and-switch bonfire either. Once upon a time anticommunist book burnings and threats of book burnings were not unheard of. The difference is that Associated Press reporters did not feel obliged to show up. That shift in news values, not the rise of the Internet, is the most profound way that times have changed.

- Rick Perlstein via AZspot