Asked how he went bankrupt, a character in Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Sun Also Rises" answers, "Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly." Hemingway doubtless wasn't thinking about the media and politics nearly a hundred years ago when he wrote his literary classic, but the line couldn't be a better answer to a 21st Century question: how did America's democracy fail? Sadly, the news media seem spring loaded to play their part in the country's continued political unraveling next year.
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