It is those who object to bias as if it were scandalous who are the inadvertent relativists. The notion that bias is bad and that "balance" is good presupposes that all biases are equally valid opinions, and that the role of the media or of the academy is not to seek–and convey–truth, but to present a menu of opinion-options among which news or education consumers can choose. But choose, according to what criteria? Their uneducated "preferences"? What, then, is the point of education, or of media that are supposed to "inform"?
A bias that distorts the truth is simply a flawed lens on the world. If one thinks that the journalistic or professorial biases discussed here are erroneous, one is contending that the journalists or professors who hold these biases, being human, have erred. The prevalence of error may be lamentable, but that's the way it is with people: they make mistakes, and that is hardly a scandal. It is certainly not an offense that should, for example, call forth bills of rights that would protect students from being taught what their professors think is true. Given that all professors, like all journalists, think that their opinions are true, they must think that alternative points of view are flawed. Therefore, attempts to force them to "balance" their opinions with those alternatives would simply make them produce biased accounts of "flawed opinions" with which they disagree. This form of bias occurs already, and should not be encouraged through the false notion that there is some way to get a "fair and balanced" view of the world that skips the hard part: listening to divergent viewpoints advocated by their best proponents, even if one must, oneself, come up with better arguments than the best proponents have made.
If you're interested in bias–media, academic, or otherwise–check out the latest issue of Critical Review (part of which is available online here). Every paper worth reading on bias from the last year or two is included, and there's a great literature review of everything before that, too. You've got a 44:1 ratio of Democrats to Republicans in college sociology faculty, Fox's Special Report as the most balanced mainstream TV news source, overwhelmingly Democratic social science departments, and more. Thanks to NBER and increasingly easy access to academic working papers, little in the issue will be completely new to those who have been tracking the topic, but it's great to have everything lined up back to back, with a sharp interpretive essay by editor Jeff Friedman (excerpted above) to boot.