Russ, I think it's unfair that those kind of stuff may be associated to fine art. Because then, what about the sordid and morbid cult of the hugly of most Magnum shooters? So we could also say "in the name of Street, reportage etc..."
And those Magnum photographers are also recognized as the crème de la crème of social reportage.
Or what about those war photographers that end to managed to treat war with such frivolity like if it was a fashion show?
IMO, in each genre those kind of production occur, not only in fine art.
This could well be a reflection of the unease or even, possibly, the relative youthfulness of photography as medium.
I can imagine that unlike other graphics which have historical links to early mankind, the photo world is a new baby and, consequently, open to all the oooing and aaahing that greets each new arrival. In other words, we don't quite know what to make of it in an overall sense - how or where to place it in context with everything else out there.
Without more clear expectations achieved over a longer time-scale, it's open to all comers and all manner of use/abuse.