Like anyone else, I criticize the press, but I've never considered the press sick because the composition of reporting fails to adequately reflect my personal perspective on the world. But, the press as defective object seems to be a preoccupation with many politically fringy characters, whether they are left-wing extremists, right-wing extremists, religious extremists or 9-11 truthers.
This is understandable since being on the fringe can entail a troubling sense of vulnerability to being branded or dismissed as a disturbed person, particularly if one doesn't recognize one's own fringiness. To be clear about this, it isn't that I don't consider myself fringy. I do. But, that is why I don't expect the press to report things the way I see them.
But many on the fringe can't accept an honorable place as an outlier. Instead, they hope that withering condemnation will marginalize an occupationist middle that is sitting in the cultural space that rightfully belongs to their own brand of the edge.
Even though I'm on the edges, the idea of letting the edges displace the middle scares the heck out of me. There is plenty, in my opinion, that is wrong with American cultural and political life, but America's messy (the fringe might say feckless) middle seems to make it a very decent, sometimes great behemoth that eats up its crackpots before things go so far that there is no turning back. Granted, as it has happened in the past, the fringes have done considerable damage lately, but the behemoth middle has been eating well again, which is why some on the edges might feel disheartened.