I'm willing to concede the headline part. In fact, most journalists (or the editors or other folks who may determine the headlines), do a poor enough job even getting People to understand what they're talking about, much less the SE's.
My point was more along the lines of:
Basic SEO is natural, in some respects. I realize that basic SEO isn't rewriting entire pieces for the purposes of search engine placement. I just would hate to think that any supposedly objective journalistic piece is even remotely OPTIMIZED simply for search engine rankings.
The website that publishes the articles should strive to become an authority in other ways, thereby garnering more backlinks. Get your ranking through RSS submission, quality link exchanges, and other non intrusive SEO practices.
I'm not against writers keywording their articles, per se, but I suppose that's not the way I see SEO. I see other factors that more greatly influence the ability of a news source being found on the web. In fact, if an article is truly news, it should already naturally include popular keywords, even if they are only temporarily popular.
Traffic to online news sources comes from trust and quality journalism.
As an aside, the more I think about it, the more I think I mostly agree with you, and I just look at the term SEO as a whole, most of the time. Plus I was already aggravated with something I read on another site before I read your article...