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"Both sides" implies a binary black-and-white issue. Much of science isn't, especially medicine, weather and social issues. Somewhere somebody has indoctrinated us into accepting "both sides" as complete coverage. Usually it amounts to presenting extravagant claims by polarized spokespersons.

It doesn't really imply a black-and-white issue, but it doesn't matter what it implies - it may be lazy or lousy journalism but it's not lying. There is plenty of room for insightful commentary on mainstream journalism, I don't think hyperventilating about how the news media is 'comfortable with lying about science' qualifies, though.

It's very much a recurring habit of media, though, to take two sides, present them equally and call in "balanced". Depending on the issue and the sides picked, it can sometimes work, or it can legitimize nutcases, exclude a middle, ignore one end of a debate, or flatten a complex issue to one dimension.

A lot of issues aren't binary. News outlets are often sloppy reporting on any remotely complex issue.

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