Several columnists have pointed out that President Obama has a serious Press problem, viz. the “24-hour news cycle.” But I believe he has a more serious Press problem than that, which is the constant Press effort when dealing with politics to “present both sides equally” (they call it balanced reporting) when there is not, in fact, any equality between the “sides.”
There is an old story that when a famous politician stated to the Press that the earth is actually flat, the Press then found someone to “present the other side.” In the current health care debate one side is quoted as saying “Obama wants to kill your grandmother by setting up death panels.” Or that “the public option is socialism.” The Press then may have someone refute these with facts. But where is there “balance” between outright lies and facts? And why are these always given equal Press time/coverage? Where there is room for “balanced coverage” would be, for example, on questions such as should there be a public option or a single payer system or neither of these?
And then there are those, such as Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, etc., who do not even present the actual facts. While they are certainly free to present their own opinions, they are not free, as they often do, to make up their own facts.