Retrospective: Five Years After Mainstream Media Go Bankrupt, America Getting Its Groove Back
It’s been five years since the “mainstream media” – ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN – met an untimely demise at the hands of what was then-called “New Media.” Rather than being a blow to “real” journalism and public accountability, America finds itself getting its groove back.
Defying the concerns of political pundits across the land, the country has unexpectedly managed without the mainstream media just fine. Some even think the death of the old media was addition by subtraction.
“Ever since the CBS evening news went the way of the Dodo bird, my blood pressure’s down, I no longer have chronic diarrhea, and I’ve started talking to my neighbors again,” said 85 year-old Darlene Middleton of Waterbury, Connecticut. “My life just couldn’t be better.”
“At first I was kind of bummed out, scrambling to find trustworthy sources of information,” commented Dale Langford of Bedford, Arkansas, a lifelong Democrat. “After doing a little digging, turns out the bastards were lying to me. A lot.”
National polling finds Americans less divided, generally happier, and more productive than ever. Republican and Democrat neighbors say they get together much more often, have civil conversations about politics, and report being less envious and bigoted about others.
“It’s like a renaissance for public discourse,” said Michael Baringer, a media expert. “And to tell you the truth, no one saw it coming.”
Others are less thrilled about the development. University professor and renowned media scholar Dr. Joseph Puddington at the New School for Social Research in New York believes the development will be fatal for democracy.
“Without media outlets carefully crafting a message in sync with one another, how can government run efficiently?” the professor asked. “Being constantly challenged on the facts and narratives in every major news story is undermining our democracy. Politicians are forced to take a civil tone with their constituents, knowing they don’t have the media to run cover for them, are deliberating more extensively on bills, and a few of them are actually reading them! This could be the end of America as we know it.”
Mildred Tuckingworth of Fort McLellan, Alabama disagrees. “Now that the government is slowing down and people are using the Internet to stay informed and involved, it seems like things are getting back to normal. Sure, it’s a little bit more work to find out what’s going on, but it’s worth it. I garden instead of watching the network newscasts, and if I think about it, I don’t miss them at all. We’ve all gotten back to leading our own lives instead of worrying about what outrage the media will fail to report or misreport next. And that’s a good thing.”