And far from holding journalists to account, their target audience — often consisting of the same highly educated progressive elites, thanks to the digital-media business model — rewards them for catering to their shared interests.
Reporters didn’t used to be celebrities. But cable news and now Twitter have changed the equation. Social media offer journalists a lower-grade but still-fulfilling form of attention, the ersatz celebrity of our age — internet fame — provided you can write the kind of stories that will go viral, the kind that flatter the vanity of affluent liberals without pointing out how much they’ve benefited from inequality.
What Chris Cuomo did was a real dereliction of journalistic ethics, and it’s astonishing how long CNN let it go on. But the problem goes so much deeper. It’s what happens when the Fourth Estate is part of the elite, made up of the highly educated and affluent. They are quite literally on the side of powerful liberal politicians. And that’s how they see themselves and how they report the news.