I get a kick out of the twisting and corkscrewing and phrasemaking in order to understand "actual ideology of our political press."
You think in such three-dimensional terms.The American press hasn't got an ideology of its own. The American press shares the collective, consensus, state capitalist ideology of the ruling class of the American state. (Presumably, Jay Rosen thinks that Democrats and Republicans are ideologically distinct.) Rather than asking after the press' ideology, the question should be: what is the purpose of the American press? Better: what is its use?
-The Borg Queen
The answer is simple enough to satisfy the law of parsimony. The purpose or use of the American press is to buttress the legitimacy of the American state.
From this basic statement we can derive its diverse range of fundamentally subsidiary functions: to promote the fictions of honest debates between honestly oppositional factions; to depict military aggression as defensive or, at worst, mistakenly reactionary; to further the false characterization of our "democratic" government as flawed but fundamentally participatory; and, related to this last point, to further the fiction that the state's legitimacy is exogenous to the mechanisms of the state itself and its governing mechanisms and endogenous to "the people," whomever they are. (And obviously, that list isn't exhaustive.)
Seen correctly, everything about the American press makes perfect sense, becomes almost comically straightforward. Oh, okay, the press isn't an entity independent of the state; it is one more mechanism of state control. As some of our dimmer commenters are fond of pointing out, usually in a tone that suggests they believe themselves to be The First Person Ever On The Internet to achieve this brilliant height of reason, in "An Anarchy" (double-LULZ), the gang with the biggest baddest guns will swiftly take over. (As another wise commenter pointed out, this, more than anything, proves that anarchy isn't Utopia; it's the here-and-now.) The purpose of the American press is to assure us that this is not the case, that the state's monopolistic claims to legitimate use of force arise paradoxically from a source (younz and me) that simultaneously constitutes the actual composition of the state and yet remains external to it, and that because no governed person may withhold his consent to be governed, he has therefore given it.