"Clear language engenders clear thought, and clear thought is the most important benefit of education."
nationwide portrayal of "the important" as composed primarily of the doings and undoings of entertainers, athletes, politicians, and criminals.
He would not, I think, have been unduly dismayed by all that. Of course, he would have been dismayed , but not unduly. Such things are implicit in the freedom of the press, and if enough people want them, they'll have them. (Jefferson would surely have wondered why so many people wanted such things, but that's not to the point just now.) Jefferson did, naturally, see "the press" giving news and information, but, more than that, he also saw in it the very practice of informed discretion. In his time, after all, Common Sense and The Federalist Papers were simply parts of "the press." And "every man able to read" would have been, for Jefferson, every man able to read, weigh, and consider things like Common Sense and The Federalist Papers. He would have recognized at once our editorial pages and our journals of enquiry and opini