"Today the global media make demands on generals and civilian policymakers that require a category of perfectionism with which medieval authorities would have been familiar. Investigative journalists may often perform laudatory service, but they have also become the grand inquisitors of the age, shattering reputations built up over a lifetime with the exposure of just a few sordid details. When the staff of a show like 60 Minutes decides which stories to pursue and which to leave half-finished on the cutting room floor, the destiny of any number of people is quietly being determined. That is actual and not virtual authority, however responsibly it may be employed: more authority, often, than any congressman or senator has. And as the editorial tastes of the tabloids dissolve into those of the mainstream media, the pace of character destruction quickens. "
by Robert D. Kaplan