1. Everyone has a bias. Every point of view or editorial policy comes from a certain group or philosophy affiliation, because you at least have to have some sort of organizing mindset or basis from which to understand the bigger picture of things. Therefore, pluralism; the idea that different mindsets and philosophies can co-exist together in a society, is a very good thing. With a multiplicity of opinions and ideals no one intellectual-center can dominate the field and make obsolete the necessity for people to think on their own; which would create a class-split of the “minds” and the “no-minds”. Freedom of speech and the opportunity for dissent is very important for civilization to flourish. Debate stimulates the mind, and encourages innovation. So when anyone says “you shouldn't say that”; they are compromising the very freedoms they would seem to espouse.
2. Follow the money. Who and what is providing all the fabulous salaries, state of the art equipment, travel means, and various other perks to being a reporter, news commentator, talk-show host, or web log? You don't offend your boss if you want to keep your job and all its nice things. If you're in it for the money and prestige; you're not necessarily in the game to pursue the truth. If you boss is some of the most powerful financial/corporate elites who have very strong ties to government leaders in the world today (as is 90% of todays major media); you don't make them look bad by reporting on illegal immigration, war profiteering, and corruption in government to any effective extent. In fact you might try to give good public relations to your employers by giving them credit for supposedly good things they are doing.
3. Watch out for the “hot air”. When the commentator starts to get high-pitched and otherwise overly-agitated, know that they have just moved from objective reporting and letting you make your own decisions to indulging their own issues and psychological complexes and is trying to make you believe what they do by force. If the commentator relies on a lot of character assassination it could mean that he somehow is employed as a tool by one side against the other. If the commentator emphasizes to a great extent the divisions in society, their true purpose could be to reinforce class struggles and how they may personally profit from it.
4. What is the Grand Design? The use of the media and propaganda is an extremely fascinating study. What may seem to be a chaotic and confusing babble of voices, images, and ideas in the major media today; is really a calculated and seriously-implemented grand strategy for societal control. We're literally told what's hot and what's not; who's in and who's not; and what is important and what isn't. Just don't do a lot of thinking on your own, keep occupied with looking good among your contemporaries; wear the latest fashions, and watch all the good shows. Getting indebted up to your eyeballs and more, and being squeezed financially until you can hardly stand it will go a long way to NOT helping you get true perspective on things; all which is very good for those who would seek to control you.