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> What's utterly horrifying about this whole thing is how the media is acting as if this is some sort of surprise

I agree. A couple of generations ago the media was much more combative and willing to take on the powers that be (and each other). By this time most media outlets would have been saying "told you so (many times)". Unfortunately, now media mostly follows trends and competes on beauty of their talking heads, which is a lot safer than, say, investigating slavery or organized crime.

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