The premise of this blog project is that there’s not much good reason to have a protected press if that press isn’t going to use that protection to maintain an overtly adversarial relationship to power, since that is what most in the public desire and need from it. It’s pretty obvious that the corporate press long ago foreclosed on the idea that it must do so, and barely bothers to even keep up appearances much of the time. Instead, the news production apparatus has become fully integrated into the system of power, which is nice if your a media executive or an editor or an elite journalist interested in sending your kid to a prep school, but not all that nice for the rest of us.
But now that the corporate press understands (whether it admits it publicly or not) that it bears considerable responsibility for electing a president it loathes, one who could only win if he found a way to successfully channel energy from the public’s hatred of the press into his campaign, and who has already made clear he sees no reason to justify the existence of the press for reasons unrelated to democratic principles – now that this reality has dawned, perhaps a reckoning will be forced and a true conjunctural period may be in the offing. And so this is a small effort to make sure it’s a little harder to forget than it otherwise might be just how much responsibility the press and its status-seeking denizens bear for what may come, and to agitate for the creation of a new model with new logics and different incentives that justify the special protection and great affordances a fourth estate that deserves the name would enjoy.