I agree with you Shatner. The big names on Google News get special treatment and overall, I see the quality of their results horrible compared to how amazing G News used to be. They have also removed the few similar stories that used to be shown by default below the featured story. You now have to click one the story text to see the related stories.
Another weird thing that I've seen on Google News over the past few months is vBulletin powered forums with small snippets of real news stories are outranking the original source.