What media? I'm sure you're aware that any statements you make about the media is a very, very wide generalization. The media
is made up of almost countless individuals and organizations that utilize various modes of communication to reach a targeted audience. It is very diverse, and very few statements about "the media" apply to all the different organizations represented. It might be fair to say that the media in the United States is characterized by their use of communications to earn a profit. Further, it might also be fair to comment that delivering real, fair, unbiased, and totally factual news is secondary, even with the most prestigious news organizations. What we get, almost universally, are stories designed to deliver the largest audience possible to people/organization who pay the bills. Finding unbiased news that is completely factual is a virtual impossibility. Reporters and their editors are people with their own biases and prejudices whose knowledge and understanding is limited. Because someone has published a story doesn't make that story true or even factual.
When it comes to reporting highly emotional stories, like politics or religion, the biases and reliability of stories is even more suspect. Organizations that publish political commentary or "news" are even more apt to spin a story than the candidates themselves. The candidates have to be careful not to alienate voters, while all a "news" organization has to do is deliver an audience. Political reports and polling can pretty much always be found to support ANY position that a ready audience might like.
Both political Parties accuse "the media" of being biased against them. We conservatives complain of the liberal press, and they in turn argue that the large news outlets are controlled by rich conservatives. The Commentariate, largely self anointed, make a good living catering to the political extremes. Who listens to them? The extremists who share their biases, and the opposition extremists who find ready ammunition for their own diatribes. Obama isn't responsible for the outrageous things said and alleged by his partisans here, or in the National Inquirer. He's said attacking Gov. Palin's personal life and family is off limits, so his skirts are clean. You won't hear nasty and outrageous attacks on Obama from responsible GOP candidates or spokespersons, but we love the discomfort that those unsolicited attacks might bring to the Democrats. When we are on the receiving end, we cry "foul". And, when the opposition is the target of false or tainted stories they cry "foul". Sometimes the attacks are intentional and outright lies. But far more often in these political correct times, the offending communication even when its intentional is an insinuation or "stretch" made from some small factoid. The offense isn't really a lie, its only a "question" or "suggestion" that some act or statement made by the targeted politician is somehow "wrong". Its nasty and offensive to sensitive souls who can convince themselves that they are on the side of the angels.
Lets go back to one of the very earliest political campaigns in our nation's history, the election of 1800. Jefferson, always careful of how history might see him, stayed pretty much above the fray in public. What he did was to employ a network of "newspapers" and writers to do his dirty work for him. The public attacks, insinuations, "spin" against John Adams was arguably the dirtiest smear campaign ever, but Jefferson denied having anything to do with it. The lies were so vicious that the Federalist Party and Adams were moved to pass legislation that political commentary and news must be factual and true. Alas, that was pretty much political suicide for our Party. It might be interesting to note, that once elected Jefferson used that same legislation (before it was rescinded) to stifle opposition to himself and his own policies. Politicians, of every Party have been using the press ever since to gain support for their cause, and to attack and destroy the opposition.
I'm pretty sure you will object to this post, Cyclops. After all, I'm one of those stupid, evil, conservative Republicans who never tell the truth and are complicit in all of the world's problems. Oh well......