There's more. A lot more! Master media manipulator Ben Franklin devised a fake news story about British-paid Indians scalping Americans to inspire colonists to join the Revolution. And in the 1830s, The Sun peddled the Great Moon Hoax, a series of six articles about a powerful new telescope being used to look at the moon (true) and discovering a civilization that included unicorns, two-legged beavers, and pyramids (probably fake). Such nonsense was enough to ... help establish The Sun as a leading American paper.
And empower at least a few moon landing hoaxers demanding to know where all the pyramid-dwelling moonicorns are.
The media we consume today is actually the cleaned-up, responsible version that came about after people got sick of riots induced by fearmongering and lies. Just look at the great journalism that's been done in more modern times, like the Watergate investigation! Or, uh, that time mainstream outlets like ABC News gave credence to a now-debunked Satanic worship scare in the '80s!
Yeah, there's always been sensationalist crap mixed in with the real stuff. We're just slowly getting better at calling it out.
Though political cartoons have remained at a consistent level of shittiness.