Could it be that the mass media is run by a few conglomerates and pushing their views? They don't have the philosophical outlook or wisdom. Philosophers should get into jounalism as democracy may be in danger.
Certainly, the ownership of mass media outlets, and print media in particular, is being concentrated into fewer and fewer hands. And this impacts the objectivity, or well-roundedness, of the journalism from a given outlet. However, traditional print media, like newspapers, magazines, and journals, also face problems stemming from conflicts with other media. The papers, magazines, and journals have been losing popularity since the development of television, but the print industry certainly faces it's greatest opponent in the new print media: the internet.
To speak of newspapers alone, they tend to handle the threat to their capital by editorializing their content to appeal to a specific niche market. Some papers who want to maintain a relationship with local and national merchants cut down their geographical circulation to the immediate urban area that serves as their hub, and then raise the price of subscription so that only the local middle-class and wealthy will subscribe. That way the advertisers will still feel it is worthwhile to pay to place ads in the paper, because they can rely on their ad reaching the customers they most want to acquire or hold onto. As part of this process many papers simply tailor their news output to fit the interests of the demographic that most overlaps with the main body of their subscribers. Obviously, this tends to subtly, and sometimes not-so-subtly, push the content and perspective of the paper in a certain direction, re: politics, social comment, "media-wide news events", book reviews, etc.
Some newspapers, and a lot of other periodicals, also fill niche markets of a pronounced kind. One wouldn't expect to find a long article about political crimes committed in Afghanistan in Science News. That periodical has a limited focus and field of interest. Interesting articles with philosophical implications may appear in its pages, but they may only appeal to the subscribers who are already interested in the topics it touches on.
Two other points: First, the internet, as the new media representative, is so diverse in message and in presentation it is unlikely that any one website could fill the role that old-style newspapers played, of reconciling general knowledge and popular sentiment. Second point: I think that "philosophy", in the form of interpretation or perspective, may be lacking from even the "best" print news sources, of whichever variety, because there is a consensus amongst journalists that the best type of reporting is fact-driven with minimum commentary. This consensus and what it says about us poor humans may be disappointing, but I think it is somewhat dangerous to completely deny.
I am not sure that these changes reflect a sudden wisdom deficiency amongst journalists, nor a sudden lack of wide reading, but more likely a difference in the way the business of journalism is conducted these days. While philosophers may have been helpful in theorizing about the political structure of ancient city-states, they haven't ever had a big impact on the newspaper biz. Still, and contradiction to the above, I think that there is still journalistic writing of the quality that you are looking for out there. It may be harder to find (In part, this is probably due to the plurality of news outlets, but also because the national ethos responsible for the journalistic version of the "cult of personality" [one that could produce a Lippmann, or a Mencken, or even a Cronkite] is slowly dying out as a response to the super-abundance that the interwebz represents.), but that type of news piece is still out there.
Also, to make this post even longer and more pompous, I'm a little confused as the role you think slavery played in the US democracy. The institution of slavery on American soil predated the Declaration of Independence, and when the Continental Congress convened some of its members had strong reservations about slavery and its inevitable impact on the reality of the country's mode of government. Unfortunately, some members felt that slavery was not just a vital part of their local economies, they also felt it was okay. Among others conflicts, it was this conflict of concerns that led to the Civil War. Some parties felt that a democracy could not continence slavery and remain true to itself, and others felt that it could. When this disagreement could not be settled by debate, we settled it at war. Nonetheless, African-Americans weren't given the vote for a while after, and their equal protection under the law was not upheld for quite some time after, the end of the Civil War. Hell, women didn't have the right to vote in all 50 states until 1920, and Native Americans didn't have the right to it until 1924! Whether one could say the US was
the democracy it was pretending to be up until the 19th Amendment is more than a fair question, especially within a thread about the value of philosophy to democracy.
By the way, as one of the philosophy guys, although I prefer Robert Gentel's gentle epithet "philistines", I find it odd that you would characterize us as unconcerned with democracy. Since when have discussing ideas and democracy not gone together? I know that a great deal of the ideas discussed have no impact on political pragmatism, but that does not mean that none of us practice politics. It's obvious that some of us are rubbing you the wrong way - some of "us" rub me the wrong way - still...that is a pretty broad brush you are waving around.