For an interesting insight into how the statist meme became so dominant, check out these comments by an Instapundit reader:
Perhaps the most pervasive way in which journalists are different from normal people is that journalists live in a world dominated by government, and they reflexively see government action as the default way to approach any problem.
. . . .
It’s no accident that for the most part, the news is dominated by people whose value is largely driven by how much publicity they receive: politicians, athletes and entertainers. The people who actually make the world work – people in private industry, rank-and-file government employees and conscientious parents – are largely invisible in the news, except when they’re unlucky enough to make one of the rare mistakes that reporters manage to find out about.
My reading of this is that the mainstream/elite media and the state sort of bootstrapped each other to the top of the pile, in classic one-hand-washes-the-other fashion.
The media propagated the statist meme because it was both easy and it elevated them to the degree that centralized media is parasitic (or perhaps symbiotic) with a centralized state.
The comments come just as yet another survey is released demonstrating that the denizens of American newsrooms are significantly more “liberal” (in the newfangled sense of the term, the one where the jackboot is made by Birkenstock) than the general public. Perhaps the best illustration of the whole dynamic is that a survey showing the media is significantly more hostile to President Bush than the general public went out under the title Press Going Too Easy on Bush.
You can’t make this stuff up. Now, I certainly have my beefs with the current President, but the self-appointed Fourth Estate has really gotten up my nose lately. They could play an important role in society, as a necessary feedback mechanism, but they have largely abrogated that role, in my view. Thank goodness that a new, distributed feedback mechanism is emerging in the form of the blogosphere.