Sometimes I wonder about my trade (calling it a profession seems a mite self regarding).

Local media outlets apart, most titles, and some broadcasters, seem to have disappeared into party political silos, emphasising anything negative about A and fawning over B.

One broadsheet, which used to be a byword for objective and accurate reportage, seems to me to have committed the cardinal sin of intruding comment into its news coverage, while some of the more rabid tabloids have completely mislaid the plot during the pandemic.

One of the newer kids on the TV block really ought to be reported under the Trades Description Act for incorporating the word news in its title, when actually it’s a series of ranting heads delivering half-baked opinion slots, all of which seem strangers to anything resembling research.

It’s a bad habit we’ve picked up from some in the US media, which morphed, during

the Trump era, from news outlets to purveyors of naked propaganda.

One of the “stars” of a Rupert Murdoch channel seems to have got marooned in the era where The Donald was an open admirer of President Putin and all his unlovely works. The anchor in question is now so popular in state-controlled Russian media that his US slots are replayed there.

It was the US, too, which pioneered the use of so called “shock jocks” – radio hosts whose very raison d’être was to peddle and encourage prejudice. Until January 2021, it was perhaps possible to file all this under part of life’s rich tapestry.

And then a mob, emboldened by false but repeatedly shouted claims of electoral fraud, went to their own highest seat of American democracy, the Congress building, smashed their way in and trashed the interior.

Five people died as a result of that riot, some of them law officers trying vainly to protect the premises they were guarding.

Imagine, if you will, a lawless phalanx of protestors breaking into the House of Commons or Holyrood and causing all manner of mayhem. That is what happened in Washington DC.

Another thing happened. The Republican Party, whose own members were forced to cower and hide that day, whose party once cherished the rule of law, decided, all but a handful of them, that it was more like a bunch of enthusiastic tourists.

That is what happens when people deny the evidence of their own eyes. That is what can happen when the truth is distorted beyond recognition.