Taking Journalism’s Temperature: 1999
“In what Carl Bernstein has called the ‘triumph of the idiot culture,’ the ideals of truth, justice, and emancipation have become almost meaningless, mere verbiage that professional journalism organizations quaintly place in their codes of ethics. ‘For the first time in our history, the weird and the stupid and the coarse are becoming our cultural norm, even our ideal,’ says Bernstein. ... Of course, one reason newspapers have turned to gross simplicity and the sensational is to attract younger people who don’t read, and so print journalism has tried to be more like TV, becoming more simple to attract readers who still won’t read the paper.”
—Peter Sacks, author, journalist and essayist, in Generation X Goes to College, 1999.
Editor’s Note: Which explains the balloon boy.