BuzzFeed News, the viral reporting colossus of yesteryear and the entity that published the infamous Steele Dossier on Donald Trump, announced it was shutting down for good.

On Monday, Fox News fired Tucker Carlson, its highest-rated anchor. Within an hour, Don Lemon announced that he was parting ways with CNN, where he had worked for 17 years.

On Thursday, Vice News, another struggling pioneer of 21st-century digital news, became the latest media company to fire some of its best-known reporters.

These are all isolated events with circumstances specific to each newsroom. But in an excellent new book called «Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral,» Ben Smith argues that we are indeed at the end of one era in media, but that the next one could be Something I look forward to.

That’s a blunt prediction coming from Ben, who was a longtime reporter at POLITICO, the senior editor of BuzzFeed News, a media columnist for the New York Times, and is now the editor-in-chief of Semafor. He is also this week’s Playbook Deep Dive guest.

Ben’s book and this interview with Deep Dive host and Playbook co-author Ryan Lizza do their best to answer the questions we all have about why our political culture is so fragmented, and whether there’s any hope we can get back. to a place where Americans agree on simple things, like facts.