In the winter of 1984, hundreds of dying patients applied for a unique lifesaving device. By the winter of 1984-85, however, what and how the press was doing was a big story itself. The modern national news media were born in the 50s, revealed their strength in the 60s, asserted it in the 70s and were hammered for it in the 80s. Television alone was not the source of the change, but it was the main engine. The media in those years became as different from the press, in Mark Twain's phrase, as lightning is from a lightning bug. A smoldering friction between the American press and the public has ignited bursts of flame throughout American history. As the Westmoreland and Sharon cases were moving toward trial, the friction suddenly erupted into a firestorm. Journalists were flabbergasted to discover that the public widely supported excluding them until the invasion was secure.