Just coincidentally … if there are such things as coincidences … I came across this passage yesterday:
In democratic countries anyone can thumb his nose at a policeman who dares to ask what he talked about with A or whether he has intimate contact with B. Nevertheless, even here the authority of the Eleventh Commandment [Tell the truth!] is in full force. After all, people do need some commandment to rule over them in our century when God’s Ten have been virtually forgotten! The whole moral structure of our times rests on the Eleventh Commandment; and the journalist came to realize that thanks to a mysterious provision of history he is to become its administrator, gaining a power undreamed of by a Hemingway or an Orwell.
This phenomenon became unmistakably clear when the American journalists Carl Bernstein and Bod Woodward uncovered the sordid dealings of President Nixon during his election campaign, forcing the planet’s most powerful man to lie in public, then to admit publicly that he had lied, and finally to leave the White House with bowed head. We all applauded because justice had been done. Paul applauded all the more because he regarded this episode as a sign of a great historic transition, a milestone, an unforgettable moment, a changing of the guard; a new power had appeared, the only one capable of toppling the former professional power brokers, until then the politicians. …Milan Kundera from his novel IMMORTALITY
Although you’ll note that that Watergate featured the stereotypical progressive reporters bringing down a conservative target, journalists may have well been balanced arbiters of the truth. Thirty years from when IMMORTALITY was published, the competing power brokers have congealed into a block of mystic ghouda that is incapable of lying because they stopped trying to find any real answers outside of their million-dollar studios because it was much easier, along with their confederates in the other cultural institutions, to make up their own facts and create their own truths.