I am not sure when journalism became more about collaborating with a predetermined narrative than about uncovering actual facts. I remember in the early days of Donald Trump thinking that his constant invocation of the words “fake news” was nothing more than a wildly exaggerated and misdirected appeal to his base and their obvious animosity to “media elites.” But I do know that being isolated and hunkered down for most of calendar year 2020 gave me a keen awareness that there were competing narratives on television that did not depend on the truth of any actual facts on the ground. This was not a sudden revelation, but a slow and iterative circumstance that developed into a crisis in much the same way that a frog can be put in water and the heat turned on. By the time the water is about to boil and kill the frog, the frog becomes aware of the change, but too late to prevent the conclusion: no escape from boiling to death. And so it was, for me at least, in being in the middle of the rising temperature of the heated news narratives. At one extreme there was MSNBC and Rachel Maddow and at the other end of the spectrum was Fox News and Sean Hannity. Neither Maddow nor Hannity seemed influenced by facts, but rather had consistent narratives that became increasingly shrill, unhinged, and offensive to common sense. Elsewhere on the media spectrum we had media enterprises chasing ratings and revenue in a similar way: CNN increasingly tilted toward the MSNBC narrative; the New York Times, the Washington Post and their acolytes in other major cities, which tilted heavily against anything Trump, but in a more subtle way than MSNBC and CNN; The Wall Street Journal, which stood out as a defender of many Trump policies (and William Barr), although not President Trump personally; and interestingly we saw some unexpected elements of the tabloid press, which through old-fashioned investigative journalism uncovered some astounding facts (e.g., Hunter Biden’s laptop contents, the biggest non-scandal of the decade), but which 95% of the mainstream media chose completely to ignore. ... Read More