I suggest that a comprehensive analysis of the history of the CNN homepage (or of many news sites) would show that there is an surprising inverse relationship between the complexity of challenges faced by our country, or our species, and the incidence of celebrity news. Where one would expect that as challenges mounted, such as amid the U.S. government shutdown, there would be less celebrity news on the homepage and more coverage of issues, there is in fact more celebrity news in times of crisis.
The celebrity news is canned, something waiting for consumption at any time. It should fall off the homepage in favor of enterprise reporting about the actual facts, beyond simply reporting on the controversy over the facts. Celebrity news is the corn syrup of media. Like many food producers who bulk us up on sweeteners and fillers, much of the media is failing its customers. Note the much longer on-page life of the celebrity stories, as well.
With that, the communications professor tugged at his frayed left cuff and tucked his hand into his tweed jacket pocket, stalking from the room with a failed elegance.