I mean, you're saying that if a site looks old, then people won't stop to check it out right?
Well what if the site looks new and fresh and updated and has those same articles everyone else has posted,,, and no comments.
What then? You're definitely not getting a repeat visitor once that person has decided this site has nothing over any other news echo chamber. They might even take a more negative view feeling their time was wasted sifting through a content-free but slick-looking abyss.
Better to alienate a casual who was unlikely to be a repeat visitor than someone interested in the actual discussion who will likely be tempted to check back.