The pride inherent in the ability to follow
Hypothesis: those who follow the media, despite ample evidence, suffer from a syndrome of the "teacher's favorite pet". They pride themselves on understanding what the teacher is saying – and later, an article in The New York Times.
They do not have the capacity to think beyond the content and question why they're being told those things; what they're not being told; why the magazine editors and the owners want them to have the beliefs that their articles reinforce.
If you point out that the article is lying or misleading, this threatens their pride that comes from understanding it. Like good students, they think their ability to comprehend instructions is an achievement that makes them worthy as people.
This is why "education" means so much to them – when in its essence, it means to accept the claims of others wholesale. It's the pride inherent in the ability to follow!
It also offers a false sense of progress: the ideal of working together for a worthy common goal. The people who own the presses claim to have identified the problems! Now all we need is to do as they say, and then everything will be nice! 😄