For a longtime media critic like myself, a quiet celebration was in order when, as the old year quietly closed, so did Washington’s preposterous monument to journalistic self-importance called the “Newseum.” When it opened the doors of its palatial new $450 million building on Pennsylvania Avenue back in 2008, I predicted some such inglorious end for the enterprise, though I could hardly have foreseen that it would outlast the news itself, which met its demise during Trump’s first presidential campaign, by more than three years (see “The end of the news” in The New Criterion of September 2016).

The Newseum was doomed, I believe, by its internal contradictions. Journalists are good at tearing things down but are never more transparently phony than when building things up—especially when it is themselves that they are...

 

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