One of the fallacies about the mainstream media is the notion it always has and should be nonpartisan. History shows newspapers long resembled the modern cable news landscape, as evidenced by the events leading up to the Civil War.
At the time of the 1860 presidential campaign, there were more than 4,000 newspapers spread across the United States and its continental territories. Major cities had multiple competing papers, created and crafted to convey strong political views. Any idea of fairness didn’t exist as two newspapers would portray the same political events starkly different.