I am just going to excerpt the ending:
Why don't we get the truth? Part of it, as I've said, is fear -- fear that if journalists dispel the rumors they will be bashed by the right, which is implacably against the president's reforms no matter how much sense they make. Part of it is a lack of expertise. Most reporters are not equipped to quickly and authoritatively tell truth from spin on an issue such as healthcare. And part of it, frankly, is sheer laziness.
Telling the truth requires shoe leather. It requires digging up facts that aren't being handed to you, talking to experts, thinking hard about what you find. This isn't easy. It takes time and energy as well as guts, especially when there are conflicting studies, as there are on healthcare. But finally, we may not have a journalism of truth because we haven't demanded one. Many of us are invested in one side of the story; we are for Obama or against him, for healthcare reform or against it. These are a priori positions. Truth won't change them.
Yet the danger of not insisting on the truth in a brave new world of constant lies is that it subjects our policies to whichever side shouts the loudest or has the most money to spend to mislead us. That is likely to lead to disastrous governance: a needless war, a great recession, a continuation of a failing healthcare system.
What it comes down to is that sometimes the media have to tell the truth not because anyone really wants them to but because it is the right thing to do -- the essential thing to do -- for the sake of our democracy.