Intel has a VERY long history of questionable
Supposedly, benchmarks are written to simulate real workloads. It seems to me that tweaking processor designs to run benchmarks faster is a good idea. If you have a better idea for what applications to design a processor for perhaps you should join a processor company in the workload analysis or planning group.
I agree that Intel, or any company with enough "muscle" (see Nvidia, ATI/AMD, MSFT, IBM, HP, Oracle, etc.), will try to influence the press and show their products in the best possible way, even dishonestly on occasion. I'm not saying that the fact that "everyone does it" makes it right, just that everyone does do it.
I also think that these companies receive a lot of blame for articles / "research reports" like this one that they have absolutely no involvement with. To think that EVERY positive Intel article is funded or influenced by Intel would:
1) Ignore the fact that Intel does make fairly good products most of the time
2) Greatly overestimate Intel's marketing prowess.