According to some historians, conservative statesman Edmund Burke was the first to coin the term "fourth estate" when referring to the media, in 1787 during a parliamentary debate. Upon the opening up of the House of Commons of Great Britain to the press gallery, he said: "Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all."
And the infamous media ego was born. Apparently, the generous compliment went straight to their heads.
Just a century later, the press had become so corrupt, so powerful in parliamentary Britain that Oscar Wilde revisited Burke's famous quote to lament: "Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three."
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