I agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately we have a bunch of Stuart Smalley's here (Denial ain't just the river in Egypt) who don't look past the "CNN says" or "NY Times wrote." However, the looking into the motivation of the author breeds the attitude that you do not have to pay heed to the truth that is presented.
If you do not agree with the Author's background it does not mean that what they are saying is incorrect.
What I have found over many years of dealing with this, and now dealing with it at NYU is that there are really three types of stories that go out over the media.
1. Stories that are based primarily on facts, information and gleaned by reporters who have degrees in journalism, work in established media and tend to, by the nature of the beast [profit] write mostly straight material.
2. Stories that come from known biased sources that nearly always write to a Point of View in their news stories, merging news with commentary. Many times the authors of these stories are not degreed journalism professionals, many are talking heads and many are in the media business from the political business.
3. Stories that come from sources that are PAID to deliver a Point of View. Many of these stories originate in "think tanks" and "news services" that have no journalistic credentials and their intent is to disseminate information for the purpose of swaying opinion. Historically, three of the biggest purveyors of this type of story are Exxon [through the Competitive Enterprise Institute], PhRMA and MoveOn. Philip Morris [through the Tobacco Institute] used to be the top dog but has moved on since they settled out.
Many folks choose to check and see just who the reporters are, who pays them and what their mission is if they are not with the top tier newsgathering organizations. It is just the smart thing to do because.
You say that just because you don't agree with the author it doesn't mean what they say isn't true. That is correct. But the trick is, we don't disagree with the author, we disagree with the author's motives. And that does determine whether or not the information is true.