In the West, at least, there's always been this idea of the fourth estate - that the gentry, the clergy and the commoners all have their wants and desires but the press - be they town criers or Matt Drudge - are their own independent force of good that keeps things fair between all parties. In the modern US, the "fourth estate" is "journalism" while the other three are the executive (president), legislative (congress) and judicial.
Buuuuuut it's never really been accurate. Thomas Paine's Common Sense was journalism, but it was also propaganda for revolution. Joseph Pulitzer (of the prize) and William Randolph Hearst pretty much owned journalism in the 19th century and effectively caused the Spanish American War.
The Iraq War was, in many ways, advanced by the New York Times. Vice President Dick Cheney told his chief of staff Scooter Libby to give Judith Miller, a reporter, totally fabricated information about uranium. Miller ran with it - as did lots of reporters with other facts because if you don't print what they tell you, you lose "access."
The media loves to pretend it's impartial. It almost never is. If the media is principled, then at least they're accurate. The Daily Show quipped "The facts have a well-known liberal bias" fifteen or so years ago and you can empirically demonstrate that editorial pages generally skew conservative despite major news-gathering outlets finding and establishing facts that tend to reinforce a more progressive picture of the world.
But the more political the news, the more politicized it will be. This is inside baseball on the most outsider administration in history and the players got to where they were by manipulating the narrative.
On Friday, January 27 — only his eighth day in office — Trump signed an executive order issuing a sweeping exclusion of many Muslims from the United States. In his mania to seize the day, with almost no one in the federal government having seen it or even been aware of it, Bannon had succeeded in pushing through an executive order that overhauled U.S. immigration policy while bypassing the very agencies and personnel responsible for enforcing it.
The result was an emotional outpouring of horror and indignation from liberal media, terror in immigrant communities, tumultuous protests at major airports, confusion throughout the government, and, in the White House, an inundation of opprobrium from friends and family. What have you done? You have to undo this! You’re finished before you even start! But Bannon was satisfied. He could not have hoped to draw a more vivid line between Trump’s America and that of liberals. Almost the entire White House staff demanded to know: Why did we do this on a Friday, when it would hit the airports hardest and bring out the most protesters?
“Errr … that’s why,” said Bannon. “So the snowflakes would show up at the airports and riot.” That was the way to crush the liberals: Make them crazy and drag them to the left.
What we have here is Steve Bannon, a right-wing media manipulator, being quoted by Rupert Murdoch's biographer, being excerpted in The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter. At a bare minimum, it's an indication that aspects of the conservative media are breaking from the Trump Administration. There's nothing straightforward to any of this and the people crying "bias" are absolutely right.
But you can always cry "bias." Interestingly enough, the Trump Administration is suing Bannon but not for slander or libel, but for violating a confidentiality agreement. And they're using the same lawyer that sued the bejeesus out of The Daily Mail for claiming Melania Trump was a prostitute.
So. However batshit the allegations in Wolff's book, the Trump legal team thinks they toe closer to the truth than arguing the woman above traded sex for money.
"You [Bannon] have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company, disclosing Confidential Information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company, knowing that they would be included in Mr. Wolff’s book and publicity surrounding the marketing and sale of his book."
Go ahead and try to find someone without an agenda in this landfill inferno. I would argue it's impossible.