Why do Americans mistrust the news media? It may be because show like "The McLaughlin Group" reduce participating journalists to so many shouting heakds. Or because, increasingly, the profession treats issues as complex as health-care reform and foreign policy as exercises in political gamesmanship. These are just a few of the arguments that have made Breaking the News so controversial and so widely acclaimed. Drawing on his own experience as a National Book Award-winning journalist--and on the gaffes of colleagues from George Will to Cokie Roberts--Fallows shows why the media have not only lost our respect but alienated us from our public life.

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