This is the situation whether we're talking about WMD's the Iran Hostage 'crisis' (my first media beef), health care or whether Kerry's medals are more important than Bush's lies about Iraq.
When the press is more interested in Janet Jackson's nipples than world affairs and local politics, that's rather like me watching the butt of the girl that just passed me and walking into a light pole (or traffic).
It's the same thing for intelligence services... It's the reason why the US Military was so interested in satellite-killer technology; stealth aircraft and GPS selective-service. It's also why, when they went into Iraq in 1991 radar installations were pretty much the first things to be taken out followed by missile sites and air bases.... If the enemy can't see you, they can't defend against you.
Similarly: When Bush and Blair got so pedantic about wanting 'proof' of WMD's that their respective intelligence services started ignoring their own rules of intelligence triage, they put their own countries into a delusional state and left the rest of the world seeing double.
It's why The US put so much money into VOA during the cold war and why propaganda is considered a tool of war. The truth is nowhere as important as what you can get your enemy to believe.
As our media sources get distracted by the hunt for money, our societal eyesight gets fuzzy. If you want a healthy society, you need a healthy and independent media. A democracy making decisions based on bad media is like a blind man driving in traffic: If traffic is light or you're driving a tank, you'll be OK until you find a cliff. I think that the US has been like this... The country is essentially a tank. The countries that have gotten run over so far have been felt like bumps. Iraq may be the first sign that there's a cliff up ahead, or a deep lake.