First of all, I do not think the OA is debatable. The answer is crystal clear. It is in fact a very simple logic gap to be filled up. The correct answer E is absolutely correct.
For all others who are not sure about the OA, the OA is E. This question is from Kaplan Premier
book. In case you are interested in the OE, here is Kaplan
There are actually many assumptions in this argument, so it's entirely possible that you made a valid prephrase even if you didn't find the answer right away. The argument basically states that because more newspaper articles are being exposed as fabrications, publishers must care more about raising circulation than printing the truth. There are two scope shifts here:
1. The author gives evidence about newspaper articles
but draws a conclusion about publishers
2. The author shifts from fabrications
to boosted circulation
So if your prephrase was something like either
1. Publishers have influence over newspaper articles or
2. Fabricated articles boost circulation
then give yourself a pat on the back, because you were right. It so happens that the GMAT used (1) as the basis of the right answer - you can see that it matches with (E) quite nicely. So you may have needed the Denial Test (Negation approach) to evaluate the answer choices. Let's examine them that way.
(A) What if newspaper articles have been exposed as fake for a while? That wouldn't mean that such exposures couldn't have been on the rise lately.
(B) What if not everything a newspaper prints can be factually verifiable? Again, allowing a handful of unverified articles in a year does not mean that the number of such articles has not been on the rise.
(C) What if major publications were as good at fact-checking as minor ones? That certainly would not damage the author's argument - if anything, it would strengthen it !
(D) is very similar to (A) - newspapers could have been admitting to this behavior for a while, and that would not mean that the behavior is not on the rise.
But if we deny (E) and claim that publishers make no decisions about what is printed, then it is hardly possible to pin the blame for the fabrications on them, and the argument collapses.
The above is what Kaplan
had to say about the OA and I completely agree with it. The OA is not debatable at all. E is the OA.
Consider KUDOS if you feel the effort's worth it