Propaganda used to be illegal in the United States. (It was called the Smith-Mundt act of 1948. And it outlawed using the media to disseminate propaganda.)
So when I was a kid, the press operated in a vastly different [more ethical] manner.
Several changes happened since then, however. One was Bill Clinton easing restrictions on media consolidations (with the Telecommunications Act of 1996). After he got rid of a lot of the protections put in place by the Smith-Mundt act, our entire media went from a rich and varied landscape to one where 6 mega-corporations owned 90% of all media outlets in the US. (It’s why places like CNN kissed Bill Clinton’s ass. Here’s a clip of Larry King saying that CNN was “there to serve him”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FK3vpdmEFow)
It’s also why (after the Telecommunications Act of 1996), all the media outlets read from the exact same script, with the illusion of diversity [while in reality they were more controlled than at any other time in US history. See dozens of news anchors reading the exact same copy, word-for-word: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh_Kx7UKndI
But, after Bill Clinton set the groundwork for the changed media landscape [and reaped the rewards for doing so], the full implementation (and normalization of propaganda) didn’t come to fruition until 2012 when the NDAA finally overturned the Smith-Mundt Act and openly legalized propaganda. See here: http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5
So what we’re watching is the strangest thing now: Hillary Clinton has been nearly absent this entire Presidential campaign cycle, with CNN running her campaign in absentia. Between now and the first debate on September 26th, she doesn’t have a single event scheduled. Trump, meanwhile, has 3 rallies a day and goes to places like disaster-struck Louisiana. Meanwhile, Hillary is napping. Completely absent. . . . Because she knows the mass media will be running her campaign as she goes into hiding.
It’s the strangest thing! I’ve never seen a candidate so inaccessible. So shielded from the public. So removed from having to give press conferences or interacting with the voters.
This could have happened at no other time in US history–because the propaganda infrastructure wasn’t in place to be able to abet it.