Which gets us to another story involving a media figure and a media institution. I refer to Steve Kroft’s interview, on “60 Minutes,” with Barack Obama and departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That made a big impression too. It didn’t remind us of a style or approach for which we feel nostalgia, but one about which we are feeling increased apprehension, and that is the mainstream media fawn-a-thon toward the current president.

The Kroft interview was a truly scandalous example of the genre. It was so soft, so dazzled, so supportive, so embarrassing. And it was that way from the beginning, when Mr. Kroft breathlessly noted, “The White House granted us 30 minutes.” Granted. Like kings.

What followed was a steady, targeted barrage of softballs. “Why did you want to do this together, a joint interview?” Because, said the president, she’s been one of the best secretaries of state ever, and theirs has been one of the greatest collaborations in history. Also, “I’m gonna miss her.” No reading of the tea leaves here, pressed Mr. Kroft. We don’t have tea here, Hillary laughed.