We see politicians and businesses as threatening to dominate us and so we are eager to watch out for illicit power grabs. In contrast, we see science, arts, literature, etc. as only awarding prestige, not power, and we are less worried about illicit prestige grabs. We mainly care about prestigious stuff as ways to see who is more impressive, and a tricky “illicit” prestige grab is itself pretty impressive, so little harm done.We'd then expect the press to become more critical where science is viewed as moving from prestige-status to dominance-status; that seems to be happening with reporting on climate change issues.
Also, we like some critical reporting on sports, music, and literature because we are expected to choose sides in these areas as part of our identity. We are supposed to have our favorite band, team, or author, and so we appreciate news rehearsing arguments we might offer for or against such things
But we are not supposed to have favorite position on science disputes. Science is more like our communal religion, something that distinguishes us advanced insiders from those ignorant outsiders, and we are eager to signal being part of us and not them. It is like how, aside from worrying about power-grabs by our military leaders, we are not each supposed to have a different favorite war strategy for our troops – that would be divisive and we prefer to show that we are united against them.
I wonder when the press will rightly start viewing public health as dominance rather than prestige. In the meantime, always check whether the reporter notes how the study addressed causality if a causal relationship is asserted. If the story doesn't ask the question, you shouldn't view the story as terribly credible.