None of what you said is new. AOL at its height wasn't a sober journalism and education platform, it was basically what you described, friendly buttons to push to get trite entertainment. And that was the internet for most AOL subscribers.
The web's problem is it makes it so easy to find like-minded people so you can easily create a personalized stream of information that exists only to affirm your opinions. I remember when the web was young and there was all this optimism about talking to new friends in Nairobi and cross cultural exchanges. That's laughably naive now. People want to be entertained, sure, but they really want to be told they're right and have their opinions validated.