It's just more of the old Yellow Journalism from the 19th Century, and I'm sure there were "muckrakers" long before that term was popularized (also 19th Century). This isn't a new format - screaming louder, telling bigger lies or putting the biggest slant or spin on a few facts while amp'ing up personal agendas.
Hubby says he loves to think Cronkite and Huntley-Brinkley were immune but we're reminded they been sold down the river or put out to pasture as well. The Hearst papers were infamous for these antics in the '20s, '30s, '40s and '50s. McCarthyism was just one wag of that dog's tail.
All we have to do is go look at Upton Sinclair's rise to fame... John Steinbeck's... Hemingway's... they were all taking advantage of a consumer-public's willingness to spend money for a headline. Or book title.