Contestant: "How delusional are these fuckers?"
Sean Connery: Your mother certainly is, Alex! AH HA HA HA HA HA!
...wait, never mind that last part.
I think most journalists would be surprised at how little respect people have for them these days precisely because they are so far in bed with their sources. I think journalists would be surprised and dismayed, and offended by it, in fact.
"Well, those hicks in the hinterlands don't know how business is done in D.C. Their tiny little brains are so clogged up with Jesus and sitcoms they can't understand how we can coordinate everything yet report honestly and independently."
Yeah, well, what can I say? We hicks figure that where there's smoke, there's generally a fire, and if it walks and quacks like a duck we don't first assume that it's racist Republican obstructionism.
Supporters of the Obama administration will get all puffed up and say, "Well, but this kind of thing has gone on since Eisenhower," and list all the Presidents since then. Which administrations have done it is not the point. The point is that this reporter thinks we don't know it happens.
In their more high-minded moments, journalists tell us that journalism is meant to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. The problem is, jounalists get very comfortable by the time they're going to White House press conferences; at that point they become a lot less interested in rocking the boat and much more interested in maintaining and improving their positions in D.C. society.
All of that comes before we look at the fact that most journalists vote Democrat...and that most of the ones who vote otherwise don't dare admit it.
But even though it's been going on for a long time, this collusion between Obama's mouthpieces and the press is noteworthy because the Obama administration has been a lot more willing to deny access to reporters who say things they don't like. And the press has been a lot more willing to say nothing about it than if someone else--say, George W. Bush--tried it, because they don't want to make Obama look bad, and because they might lose their own access if they did.
That's what made the reaction to Obama's attempt to exclude Fox News so astonishing. It wasn't widely reported in the mainstream press, but the press pool did stand up to Obama and say, "No, we'll all leave if you try that."
(Of course, if Obama was allowed to get away with excluding one outlet, who's to say he would have stopped there? Perhaps after Fox was gone, someone else would have been next. It was self-interest, not altruism. But that's all right; enlightened self-interest is the foundation of capitalism, and it works every time it's tried.)
The press only becomes "the fourth estate" when it is adversarial towards government, and the press in the United States has a history of opposing very little governance--and that only when it comes from someone with an (R) after his name.
"People would be surprised"? No, not really.