In the middle of the 20th century, there were three major television networks whose entertainment and news programs dominated the airwaves. Most adults read a daily newspaper, and there was a significant readership for weekly news magazines such as Time and Newsweek. The networks, newspapers, and national magazines served as intermediaries between the population and the political world, reporting on politicians and their doings, government affairs, and the events taking place in the country and around the world. These media outlets and the people who worked for them acted as gatekeepers, determining what was “news” and what wasn’t, as well as whose views or candidacy was important and deserved coverage. Although these decisions were made by seasoned editors and journalists, they also were driven, at least in part, by the networks’ interest in viewership, the interest of the newspapers and magazines in circulation, and the commercial interests of those who owned these media outlets and those who advertised with them. There was a preference for stories emphasizing personalities rather than issues, conflict rather than consensus, and human interest rather than the public interest, and coverage of people and stories that challenged the nation’s economic and political consensus tended to be skimpy. For television, stories with visual content were preferred; news executives quickly discovered that people were less interested in hearing talking heads and more interested in what they could see. Although these biases were not always healthy for the body politic, this information oligopoly nonetheless produced a reasonably standard version of “the facts” that provided citizens and political leaders with a common baseline for discussions of public policy and political candidates.