|"I always start with the premise that ALL politicians are dirty self serving - fill in the blank.|
They are not to be trusted."
I can't argue with you there - if they're not that way when they first get into office, they soon become that way.
"In the second place, responsible media outlet is an oxymoron."
That I disagree with - there's a difference between news and editorial. The starkest example of that is Fox News, where their news arm is quite good but their editorial arm - the talking heads like Hannity, Ingraham, Carlson, etc. - have a clear right-wing bias. NBC's news reporting is also very good, but MSNBC is primaily an editorial arm and shows a liberal bias with a smattering of actual reporting. You have to be aware of which arm you're listening to.
All mainstream media outlets follow journalistic standards when reporting the news; there are no standards for opinion. So if you read the NY Times or the Wall Street Journal, read the news articles and avoid anything that says "Opinion" or "Analysis" or "Editorial", because that's where the bias comes in.
The same cannot be said for the fringe media outlets such as Daily Caller, Infowars, etc. They frequenlty mix news and opinion in the same article, and sometimes they just make stuff up. Those are the ones I don't trust, because they're pushing an agenda disguised as news.