I’ve been reading Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle, and in the third volume I find something that resonates with my own current frame of mind in respect of mass media and especially the News:
Now, most places did not have newspapers… But London had eighteen of them. ‘Twas as if the combination in one city of too many printing presses; a bloody and perpetual atmosphere of Party Malice; and an infinite supply of coffee; had combined, in some alchemical sense, to engender a monstrous prodigy, an unstanchable wound that bled Ink and would never heal… At first Daniel found them intolerable. It was as if the Fleet Ditch were being diverted into his lap for half an hour every day. But once he grew accustomed to them, he began to draw a kind of solace from their very vileness… Daniel began to look forward to his daily ink-toilette. Immersion in Bile, a splash of Calumny on the face, and a dab of Slander behind each ear, and he was a new man.
(pp. 48-49 of The System of the World)