Reporters As Latter-Day Monks?

Listening to NPR (On the Media? Don't know) while slaving over a hot stove to prepare Sunday dinner (Chicken & Dumplings, if you care), RC2 listens to a discussion of media bias. This is a subject NPR returns to over and again, always with the same script:
Us biased? None of the lefty commentators we talked to think so.
Then they play actualities from two or more Lefty commentators who have different takes on the question.
Lefty #1: Of course, sophisticated people realize it's impossible to be neutral. So the real problem is the rube listeners who expect us to be fair. They may have a point about our pretense to be neutral. The honest thing to do would be for each reporter to simply state his biases up front.
Lefty #2: I think most reporters are studiously neutral. How could we be biased when all reputable press organs have neutrality policies that prevent reporters from becoming political activists. And many of us do not even vote!
Leave aside the fact that RC2 thinks the not-voting thing is precisely part of the problem. Many reporters can indulge eutopian Lefty fantasies precisely because their efforts to be neutral lead them to have nothing whatever at stake in the success of the country they live in. Tonight RC2 actually heard this week's Lefty #2 say (paraphrasing, but this is basically correct) that reporters are latter-day monks because they make great sacrifices (not voting, not engaging issues) in order to bring people the full truth.
Is it more surprising that someone actually thinks this --or that he thinks anyone else is buying?
For her part, RC2 wouldn't mind bias so much if the typical news story had more actual news in it. Typically "balance" entails reporting what two sides say --with little effort expended to investigate the claims of each side. So much of what shows up in our papers these days is opinion --the reporter's and those of all the people he interviewed. Good journalism is supposed to be more like detective work: "Just the facts, Ma'am."