Who can blame the Republicans for their lies if the press is willing to carry them, verbatim, as if there were some truth to what they're saying?
It's like the SUL fiasco in the Twitter world a couple of years ago.
Who can blame Twitter if pubs like TechCrunch, Mashable, GigaOm, ReadWriteWeb were willing to take bribes in the form of millions of followers, openly. If I were running Twitter and could get away with that, I'd seriously consider doing the same.
Business people have an obligation to follow the law, as do Congress people. But their first obligations are to their shareholders and to get re-elected. If the press is willing to sacrifice its integrity and it helps your cause -- you might want to go for it. Twitter did, and the Repubs do.
None of this will change until we change the way journalism works.