Shot: Modern Media Has Turned the USA Into the Divided States of America.

—John Ziegler, Mediaite, July 4th.

Chaser: Partisanship and tribalism are ruining our conversations about art.

—Sonny Bunch, the Washington Post, June 30th, 2016.

The demassified TV industry needs divisiveness to bring ratings, and the movie industry needs films that bring out large groups of the same tribe (American Sniper on the right, feminist Ghostbusters on the left) when it doesn’t have an old mass media-era franchise (such as Star Trek, Star Wars, James Bond and films with familiar comic book stars like Batman, Superman and the Marvel gang) to promote. That both methods lead to bad programming is secondary to the continued survival of media that are long past their sell-through dates.