Reading this stuff puts several things in perspective. First, every time there is a trend in the media it is likely someone is behind it. Second, most of the time we are ignorant about things we read about in the media, and, to make it worse, are ignorant about it. Three, it helps having more balanced perspective of things and, as the result, less stress. I don't take predictions of impending doom seriously, as they are likely to be wrong and to change quite soon.
Recognising limitations is hard. There is a lot of research showing that people who know the less have the highest opinions about their competence. Knowing that made me keep my mouth shut and avoid embarrassment. Sometimes. We are all suckers for the selection bias. If anything, reading works of this kind takes away the feeling of superiority.
Bernays indeed looks malevolent, but I don't think this craft gained any moral ground since his time. It has become more cynical and manipulative.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/08 ... -was-sold/