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Friday, Dec 30, 2011 - Last Blog on Earth | News

CityBeat's 15 most read stories of 2011

From alleged bigotry to pornography, from marijuana to music reviews, readers had diverse interests

By Dave Maass
mailmanmeme.widea Mailman meme was our #2 read story of 2011

My RSS reader has been flooded with "Most Read" and "Most Popular" lists for 2011, and, so far, each of them has struck me as not all that impressive. I mean, who are these readers who care so much about about Jehovah's Witnesses cleaning Qualcomm Stadium

So, I logged onto Google Analytics and ran our numbers for the year. It turns out our readers have diverse interests, and they like us for the reasons we always thought they did: Whether it's porn, politics or protesters, our readers want stories they can't get anywhere else.

1. I love gay people: A lesbian bridesmaid responds to charges of homophobia

After our columnist Edwin Decker wrote a piece containing what he thought was a funny list of gay-themed biker gang names, SDGLN publisher Johnathan Hale sicced the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation on us. Decker responded with this sharp column full of sentiments seconded by none other than Dan Savage of The Stranger

2. Mailman meme: A San Diego letter carrier validates a cliché and captures fleeting Internet fame

After Kinsee Morlan profiled Ryan Bradford, a mailman who published a zine that revealed the dark and doggy underbelly of the postal system, he was fired and, of course, the story went viral. 

3. I’m gonna Occupy San Diego: Amid concerns about the organization’s effectiveness, I’ll be there, notebook and protein bars in hand

Right before the Occupy San Diego protests began, CityBeat music editor Peter Holslin wrote this editorial expressing his support and promising to camp out with the movement. 

4. Medical-marijuana patients are in collective denial: Membership agreements favor the pot dispensary over personal privacy

While CityBeat is undeniably in favor of medical marijuana, that doesn't mean we're not going to hold the collectives responsible. In this piece conducted in partnership with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, we exposed how dispensaries are doing very little to protect patient privacy. 

5. An interview with Jello Biafra: Veteran punk talks about vinyl, record labels, meeting Jerry Brown and a lot more

Of course Jim Ruland's interview with Jello Biafra was going to fare well. He's Jello Biafra! 

6. Injustice served: How one strip joint and the federal government destroyed Mike Zucchet's political career

Editor David Rolland's profile of the disgraced, then vindicated former San Diego City Council member won Best in Show at the San Diego Press Club awards. 

7. SDPD Asst. Chief explains Occupy SD response strategy

Before Occupy San Diego protests began, SDPD Asst. Chief Boyd Long laid out his plan for handling it. As SDPD began staging mass arrests, Occupiers referred back to this piece, in which Long said he didn't foresee arrests or enforcing the city's illegal-lodging ordinance. 

8. Riley Steele magnolia: An Escondido girl talks about making a sudden splash in porn and piranhas

In print, we censored some of the more perverse fantasies expressed by this Escondido-raised porn star, but in the online version we bared it all. 

9.  Whine and chocolate: GOP headquarters abandoned, left in 'mind-boggling' disarray, landlord says

Thin-skinned San Diego County Republican Party Chair Tony Krvaric hasn't spoken to us since columnist John R. Lamb reported on how the local party skipped out on its lease.  

10. Society of Petty Journalists: Through a public records request, we obtained 2,100 pages of catty, internal SPJ emails

Journalists love to eat their own. That's why this blog post that revealed internal gossip by local and national Society of Professional Journalists members received so much attention. 

11.  Prosecutors use dubious claims to attack collectives: CityBeat's guide to cutting through the haze of medical-marijuana misinformation

After U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy and San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith began persecuting medical-marijuana collectives, we examined the record and called bullshit on the anti-pot propaganda. 

12. Tuan's paradoxes: He has a brilliant mind, broken kidneys and Downtown's most conspicuous minivan. Is the CIA really out to get Tuan Nguyen?

This cover story about a Vietnamese immigrant and dialysis patient in San Diego took nine months to report. 

13. San Diego CityBeat's 2011 Great Demo Review

Our kind and often cruel special issue that aims to exhaustively review every band's demo in San Diego is always a reader favorite. 

14. The economics of dance: Peter G. Kalivas thinks contemporary dance requires more than contemporary choreography

Arts editor Kinsee Morlan examined how the PGK Project is rethinking all assumptions about contemporary dance. 

15. Rolling Stone: Stone Brewing goes big

Perhaps the best part of Ian Cheesman's take on the Stone Brewing Co. expansion was his snarky photo illustration. 

 
 
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