What’s The Press For, Anyway?

Source: The Pamphleteer
by Davis Hunt

“The new thing is abortion. Is it good, is it bad, and what should the government do about it? We’re meant to gin ourselves up into a frenzy over these questions, so if you haven’t already, get to it. Democracy is at stake. Way back in 1891, Oscar Wilde wrote: ‘In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. … We are dominated by Journalism.’ … In Wilde’s view, the Press absconded with the role of enforcer following the revolutionary ferment of the 19th-century, and in the process, swallowed up the Church, the Government, and the Common Man.” (05/04/22)