Victor Davis Hanson‘s latest column at National Review Online laments the decline — perhaps the demise — of journalism.

For a variety of historical and cultural reasons, most of those who work in the media are progressives. They believe that government must undertake to fix an array of social maladies, such as income inequality, perceived racial and gender disparities, and the general dangerous superstitions, bad habits, and cultural baggage of those of less education than reporters, investigative journalists, and Internet and television commentators.

Yet sometimes simply reporting on society’s perceived ills does not offer quite a rich enough landscape in which to save humanity. And sometimes reality offers examples that confound the progressive ideology.

Therefore, journalists often fabricate stories and justify their cons as necessary means to achieve their higher aims. The falsifications range from the absurd to the existential, as we’ve seen with the editing of 911 tapes and photoshopping of pictures of George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case. The syndrome includes the organizing of a private and secretive liberal political guild like JournoList and the slaps on the wrist dealt to progressive mythographers and plagiarists such as Fareed Zakaria and Maureen Dowd.

The media spent far more time recently obsessed with the shooting death of a gorilla who seemed to threaten a toddler than it did the Memorial Day–weekend shootings of 64 in inner-city Chicago — despite the fact that Barack Obama had been a community organizer in Chicago, and one might think his résumé would bring attention to what has become regular weekend mass slaughter.

The one story offered a therapeutic opportunity to lament the system’s needless execution of a gentle expression of nature; the other story led to an elemental dead-end in the attempt to explain why young African Americans in the most liberal cities of the most liberal states habitually shoot one another at rates exceeding the violence in war zones of Afghanistan — and to the complete nonchalance of most media outlets.