It's 1927, and the news media are out of control

Charles Lindbergh and his plane. (Library of Congress photo via Mother Nature Network)
Bill Bryson's book One Summer: America, 1927 captures a moment when the country's burgeoning news media feasted on the stories of two extraordinary men, Babe Ruth and Charles Lindbergh. The media made them into gods. The baseball hero basked in the attention. The aviator hated it.

If you can't bear the constant assault of 24-hour cable news, Buzzfeed, and Facebook updates, you should realize that America lived through a similar media explosion in the 1920s.

Then the mass media were newspapers, radio, talking pictures, phonographs, and the telephone. Thes media of the day hounded and entertained people on the streets, in their offices, in their leisure hours, and in the privacy of their homes. Sound familiar? The difference may be only a matter of degree. Today we carry the mass media with us on the devices in our pockets.

In the '20s, the new media were just becoming massive national, industrial-scale businesses that needed big stories to feed the news cycle.
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