Until today I'd never read Ebert's review of EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES. Flying Spaghetti Monster pointed out that was one of numerous political jabs he'd written. I think this is a trend of his recent years as opposed to his entire written run. If you read a sampling or the entirety of Ebert's 2011 Movie Guide, you'll see FSM's point. I can think of 20-30 similar entries, but short attention spans might not warrant the list.
Obviously all opinion writers and public figures in general are entitled to their wordage and can all be accorded respect. David Mamet has veered right of late as has Dennis Miller; Ebert has politicized his columns in ways not as apparent before 2000 or so. It's a reflection of the times, and their dissatisfaction with the opposition.
But newspapers on opposite wings, and critics on the left and the right squarely consider themselves
mainstream centrist middle-of-the-road, even when it's clear to observers it's just the opposite. They might affirm being their a liberal, as Ebert did, but they will deny being biased due to their open-mindedness, quotes optional. Even though Ebert lambasted John McCain in his blog for not making sufficient eye contact with Barack Obama, then didn't take issue with Barack Obama's lack of same with Mitt Romney four years later. I can't consider that mainstream.
For that reason, I never understood why any newspapers should officially endorse ANY political candidate. An individual columnist, yes, but why leave the mainstream as a paper?