After poking around for a while on the net, I’m beginning to feel a little sympathetic.
Note though, that not all analysis falls neatly into these sorts of categories. For example, Steven Levitt usually posits definite (and controversial) conclusions, but they typically don’t fall into a neat narrative. In another thread I noted that his 5 explanations for declining US crime included the notorious link to Roe v. Wade, but also prison expansion. Furthermore, he doesn’t even take a pseudo-moderate-both-sides-have-a-point stance. He just analyses the data.
Admittedly, in my experience modern conservatives are skeptical about the possibilities for straightforward expert analysis. Many will blanche at the next paragraph.
If you poke around the www.brookings.edu , you will find solid empirically-driven analysis. Another interesting site is National Academy of Sciences.
Now admittedly, article in those sites lack the sorts of rhetorical hooks that good journalists embed in their articles. They often require a little patience and a lot of skimming. Still, these are the sorts of reports that should be read by those interested in public policy.