Is it just me, who believes that ultimate power rests with neither journalists nor politicians? Ultimately it perhaps rests with the comedians and comedy of the day. People willingly seek out comedy, who would never be prepared to sit through a political speech. Satire has been an effective tool for centuries. Today we still sing songs(nursery rhymes) which once mocked the important people of their day. Usually it appears the more challenging the historical period, the more vibrant the political comedy. Laughter has got us through some very challenging historical periods.
I remember once being told by a teacher you could tell the state of the economy by the number of unexploded WW2 bombs being unearthed. A posssible explanation of this may be found in this article.
It seems to me that frequently the best gauge of the mood of a nation is the popularity or otherwise of its comedians.
Many a true word spoken in jest.
Quote attributed to Chaucer.