The media once served as a gateway. It's a big world with a lot of things going on, and the media would filter out that which was relevant and important from the trivial. The media was also a watchdog. Even though you couldn't be present at every town council meeting, you could be sure that the local newspaper would be there and that anything outrageous would be reported. These things would not only be reported, the media would nag you about them if they suspected you of being passive. There was a sense of ethics and responsibility to the masses who depended on the media to provide a window on the world.
Little of that ethical imperative survives today. The media will now present anything that will bring up the ratings. This involves catering to the lowest common denominator. The result is an endless obsession with celebrity and sensationalism. Reporters no longer seek out news, they sit at their desk and select from self serving aggrandizing being fed to them from people who use the news as cheap advertising. Groups like PETA can show up at a "news" venue with the most outrageous possible assertions and they will be printed. It doesn't matter how obviously false and self serving, just as long as they have a level of sensationalism that will shock and titillate the viewer.
The combination of an addle-brained populace and an irresponsible media has twisted our society because people have been fed lies. Halloween is an example, you more mature types may remember when the streets were clogged with little children in costumes collecting candy on Halloween. This is now a thing of the past, people are scared brainless that some psychopath might be putting poison in the treats. They believe that because the media has not just reported but sensationalized what they knew to be lies. Let us be clear about this, THERE IS NOT ONE SINGLE ACTUAL CASE OF THAT HAPPENING!!!!! Unfortunately the American public is like a flock of sheep, brainless and easily spooked.
What, you may ask, if there is something important happens that people find boring or that they don't want to hear about? It's really very simple, if it doesn't bring in ratings, it has no place on the news.
There are two actual news sources left in an America that are not obsessed with movie stars, athletes, and wealthy miscreants. In broadcast news there is the BBC World News. In print, you have the Wall Street Journal. These are old school news sources where Paris Hilton is not news, Britney Spears is not mentioned, and Brad & Angelina are not headlines. God bless the BBC & the WSJ.