Paul Krugman on the media:
"Why do the McCain people think they can get away with this stuff?" This stuff being deception. "Well, they're probably counting on the common practice in the news media of being 'balanced' at all costs. If a politician says that black is white, the news report doesn't say that he's wrong, it reports that 'some Democrats say' that he's wrong. Or a grotesque line from one side is paired with a trivial misstatement from the other, conveying the impression that both sides are equally dirty."
They're probably also counting on the prevalence of horse-race reporting, so that instead of the story being "McCain campaign lies," it becomes "Obama on defensive in face of attacks."
Need I say more?