Well, Back in the 1940s ...
... The New York Post ruined the career of Senator David Walsh with the story that he was involved in a gay Nazi whorehouse full of gay, Nazi, pro-Hitler whores trying to bring down America with their gay Nazi whore sex.
It was 1942, and police were tipped off that there was a gay brothel in Massachusetts that was infested with Nazi spies. It wasn't entirely random -- at the risk of propagating a cliche, the brothel was a popular haunt for Navy personnel. So it was a good place to gather military information, if you were an undercover Nazi and willing to bone a sailor in order to get him talking.
"You've got me so hot even my nipples are sieg heiling!"
But after city detectives raided the sex club/spy nest, news emerged from somewhere that a U.S. senator had been caught in the sting. Armed with what might very well have been a rumor, the Post handled this insanely juicy gossip with the utmost of professionalism: They sensationalized the shit out of it and stretched out the reveal as long as they could.