The paper examines the media’s moulding of political communication in the Montenegrin’s 2016 parliamentary election campaign. Habermas’ view of the interrelation of commercial media and the state provides the background for the examination of the tension between media and political logic. It is a political confl ict where the winner makes the rules of society. Mediatization of politics is the result of this confl ict, and commercial media logic is shown as based on the market actors’ interests. The media belong to the civil society; therefore, the article introduces a normative aspect of media logic, which reconstructs the political confrontation. The paper then turns to Montenegro’s social context. While the mediatization of politics needs a critical upgrade in the case of developed countries, in less stable states social contradictions should infl uence media logic the way Reinhart Koselleck’s theory suggests. Koselleck’s thesis is that the Enlightenment’s critique, embodied in the commercial media of Habermas’ liberal public sphere, produced the crisis of the absolutist state, whose purpose was stopping the European civil wars. It created a path to new social confl icts and the disorganization of civil society. Montenegro’s multi-ethnic, post-socialist society in the process of neoliberal transition is complementary to Koselleck’s pathogenesis of modernity. Citizens handled social insecurities by rehabilitating the absolutist principle. Comparative frame analysis of commercial RTV Vijesti and the public service RTCG found the principles of Enlightenment and Absolutism in media logic of both channels, which excluded political parallelism as the only possible cause. Vijesti, steered by audience involvement, represented Milo Đukanović both as a tyrant and as a guarantor of social stability. Instead of neoliberal policies, Vijesti defended the public sector. It embraced both the Enlightenment’s critique and left wing statolatry. Integration of Habermas’ and Koselleck’s theory with mediatization of politics was therefore proved adequate.