I actually find reading the showbiz stuff on their site quite amusing in a bad way (I don't go there for proper news!). I like how blatant they are about trolling for a reaction from their readership, right down to little innocuous seeming descriptive phrases that they know will rile people up. And the comments sections of course provide all the frenzied vitriol/outrage that the article was trying to incite. It's like people don't even realise they're being manipulated. Of course that's true of all media, but I notice it there more because the reader comments always get ridiculous.
I think a lot of people go for the trainwreck experience, and it gets addictive, seeing what carp the DM will come up with day after day. You just know that any hint of a phoney PR relationship or sobstory will be strung out over several days under various gaudy headlines, as you say, inviting criticism and comment via subtle manipulating that many people are slow to react to.
People angrily assume the DM is telling them THE scoop on a person/situation and they react with vitriol without even questioning if the stuff is second-hand, anon sourced or likely.
They also lie about 'not moderating' comments. They do. There have been a few occasions I have politely but directly called the DM a PR paper and that they are in bed with certain publicists and it hasn't been printed on a 'non-moderated' comments section. Of course any comment deriding/applauding someone's looks, or perceived behaviour, or that so and so is fanciable, is allowed to get through.