I wish it were as simple as ratings.
The fact is, the media has had an axe to grind against Bush for some time. Heck, during the election (2004), someone leaked the ABC news memo demanding reporters go harder on Bush and lay off Kerry.
Personally, I see the bias. It's fairly obvious. The difference, of course, is now folks can do their own research, read the government docs for themselves (like the 9/11 report) online, and can challenge the worldview presented by the major media outlets.
Gone is the time of unquestioned acceptance of the media and that can only be a good thing, considering the monopoly of information that happened toward the close of the Cold War. News outlets closed their foreign bureaus and started to rely heavily on wire reports from overseas. Often, they simply took what came off the wire as gospel and presented it to the American people. CNN, according to Eason Jordan, whitewashed Saddam's crimes just to have exclusive access inside the country.
This, doesn't even touch the overt instances of bias. Rather's story about the forged docs should've never aired. It was poorly researched and when it became clear to everyone that they were running with a story just to sink Bush, they stuck to it. It absolutely didn't make sense and it ruined anything left of their credibility.
Now, folks can hyperventilate over that one guy who was a blogger and ran the excort service, but who had heard of him prior to the "scandal?" Truthfully? I never did. Never heard from him again, either.
The media has free access to the airwaves and, by the terms of their license, must present programs for the good of the public (usually takes the form of the news). It is essential that they check their biases at the door. Thus far, they've done a poor job and it serves no one any good. The press loses credibility and the American people grow more cynical. Why should anyone take them seriously when they want to cry "Wolf" if they've done nothing but over-hype "Wolf" type stories in the past?
Again, it serves them no good and they're getting their payback.
They've failed the American people by trying to advance their agenda. The American people now have low confidence in the government and the press. While the libertarian in me wishes folks would really have low confidence in the government as problem solver, I want it to be justified.
The press should take the black eye they've earned by their actions and should look to present a more accurate picture of the wars going on. By not doing so, they're simply shills and no better than that blogger/escort service guy.