Whether Thomas Carlyle or Edmund Burke should have the credit for the original use of the expression , the fourth estate, it is now used Stateside to refer to the ‘regular’ meeja, alongside the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The fifth estate, which began life in the ’60s, is the new meeja: special interests, social media and of course you and me – the bloggers.
Isn’t it interesting that President Trump seems to ignore the (no doubt already blurred) boundaries between the fourth and fifth, to the extent that this happened yesterday at a press meeting, as reported by the Grauniad?
‘Outlets seeking to gain entry whose requests were denied included the Guardian, the New York Times, Politico, CNN, BuzzFeed, the BBC, the Daily Mail and others. Conservative publications such as Breitbart News, the One America News Network and the Washington Times were allowed into the meeting, as well as TV networks CBS, NBC, Fox and ABC. The Associated Press and Time were invited but boycotted the briefing.’
Does that infringe the First Amendment? Or does Trump’s idea of ‘fake news’ justify his actions?