I think it's just an extension of what we see in pretty much all aspects of modern life in America. It's all about getting your 15 minutes of fame. It's all about hype. It's all about being extreme (or should I say Xtreme!). It's all about, not keeping up with the Joneses, but BEATING them! Vote them off the island! Buy the latest and greatest! Win the game through conspicuous consumption!
You see this kind of mentality in pretty much everything nowadays, and it is steadily filtering into the hunting world. I compare the hunting magazines of today with the 60-year-old ones I found in my grandfather's basement after he died and the difference is night and day. Back then the articles were about where to hunt, how to hunt, what rifle was enough, needed survival skills, and how to get into shape. Nowadays the majority of the articles are about where to bag a trophy, what outfitter has the best success rate, who's antlers are bigger than who's, which rifles will shoot 1,000 yards, and other such nonsense.
News, TV, magazines... whoever it is and whatever they're talking about, if it isn't the biggest, the best, the fastest, the strongest, the most expensive... then it isn't worth talking about. Hunting has suffered because of this attitude, but so has the rest of our lives.