In the olden days, the citizens had a fourth estate that could be relied upon, sort of, to get the news out and make the public aware of the doings of the aristocrats and the politicians. It was called the fourth estate. The Estates were the literary invention of the Ancien Regime. In our language, it was put as the Lords Spiritual, Temporal and the Commons. The Fourth Estate was the the press.
In America, the Fourth Estate closely bonded with the Lords Temporal and stopped doing their job. They married into the wealth available to the Servants of the Realm and simply ignored the minor pecadillos of the ruling class and the Lords Spiritual. It was deeply shameful.
The Fifth Estate roared into life not that long ago. It sprang full bore upon the first four Estates when it found the falsity of Dan Rather's idiotic reporting of George Bush the Younger's days in the Air Guard when it showed conclusively that the so-called 'fitness reports' of the GBTY were complete fakes because only the Fifth Estate picked up on the fact that the documents used by Rather to discredit a Presidential nominee could only have been generated using a computer since the typographical effects could not have been produced by a typewriter of the era claimed by Rather. It may need pointing out that GBTY served in an age long before the computer. He served when Pica Elite was King and the IBM Selectric ruled the waves.
The left has repeatedly tried to coopt the 5th Estate and met with no success. The Truth shall win out. The Fourth Estate has joined the first in complete non-relevance.
First The Clergy
Second The nobles
Third The Commons
Fourth The press
Fifth The lords and ladies of the internet