Let’s say our study suggests climate change is driving some rare and charismatic toad to extinction. We’re in Nature! Journalists will write about us in the New York Times etc. The story has legs.
Let’s say we think it’s something else, not climate, that’s responsible. Our paper is not in Nature, because it’s too pedestrian.
To the extent that Nature and Science go for the sexy story line in their choice of papers, and in addition to the extent that journalists (myself included) allow Nature and Science to set our agenda, the public is fundamentally misled.