I tend to agree that I do not believe that it is happening here with Pimax, rather that they simply still have a couple of issues to sort out before the 8K becomes a true contender, and the journalists like Ben Lang are just being precise in their assessment of the state of the 8K. And given the fact that it was one year ago that they first saw the 8K, and progress since then seems to have been less than spectacular, you can understand if they are a bit sceptical whether Pimax will be able to resolve its remaining issues with the 8K in the coming 2-3 months.
However, as to journalists being unaffected by commercial mechanisms - sorry, I am not that remote from the real world. Just check out the reviews of popular games with games magazines. Will the publisher of the game buy some ads ? Will they even offer time-exclusive reviews, pre-reports, insights ? Guess what, a journalists who calls them out for flaws just as he would with others who don‘t grant him such favours, who gives them a mediocre review if their game is mediocre, will not be considered for the same next time - umless he has the rare status which protects him from such earthly issues. Not so many who can claim to be in that circle.
Don‘t get me wrong, in most cases it will not be based on deals made at midnight in the parking lot, it will be a silent give & take, with no one right out demanding it, and no journalist openly offering it (if they are a bit reputable that is). Hell, if Pimax hand out prototypes in the coming weeks, you will not be surprised if they will prefer to give it to „friendly“ reviewers, will you ? We hope that they will also hand it out to Tested and perhaps Linus again, who appeared to take an objective stance. In the most case these are basic psychological mechanisms and not outright bribery, not people who were lost to the dark side and would consider themselves corrupt. There are a lot of shades of grey this can take, and some may be not even be aware of this influencing them.
But, as has been said here, I do not believe that these mechanisms led to the reviews of the Pimax to be a bit critical; lack of having any ad budget etc. to offer will just not have helped them. The points they are being critized for will likely be fair, and they hopefully are working on getting these corrected.