I think we all need to understand what exactly unique content is. When google uses the word unique, I do not think they are referring to a non copied article/story. I think google is starting to favor sites that write original stories rather than write what everyone else is writing about. For example if Lindsey Lohan was arrested again, every site on the web will be writing their own take of the story. Each story will be "unique" and not a copy but the reader will generally get the same information from all of them.
Now a website that has content that nobody else has may start to be favored over the others who are just publishing their take of the same story circulating all over the media. A lot of webmasters blog about popular stories because they are just that "popular" and they want to get in on the action because there is a large audience for it.
I am not saying websites should stop writing about these stories, but rather focus on adding totally unique stories that nobody else will be writing about. What I am saying is, instead of following the trends, start your own.