Providently, Kasey has framed one of the OTHER pressing questions: which is more important to reporters -- ideology or access/success?
I guess one of my problems here is the fallacy of treating all the reporters the same way. Age and pecking order come into play. Joe Klein can afford to develop biases. The struggling, relatively new beat reporter may want access a lot more.
When I was starting out in the business, I would have written up Jabba the Hutt's views if he gave me access.
Cheyenne looked at the question of McCain and reporter access here with CLIP.