Yes, the article assumes that the public is more proactive in staying informed and in considering issues of national interest. Sure, high expectations often lead to disappointment, but if you shoot for the stars and don't make it, well, there's a lot between the stars and the ground, right?
Anyway, I think that the public should expect the press to be better than striving for neutrality. Neutrality is not objectivity and when something is objectively extreme, the press has a duty to report it. As American citizens, we have the civic duty of being informed, educated and proactive in our political process. Are either of these things the reality? Nope. They are good things to aspire to though.