Maybe they weren’t the best Reliable Source stories or the most important Reliable Source stories — but of all the stories on the Reliable Source site in 2012, they were the ones you read the most. (See also our Reliable Source People of the Year for 2012!) Counting down our top 20 in terms of online readership:
20. John King and Dana Bash separate; CNN stars were married four years, March 20. This sad news caught the eye of cable-news addicts — who continued to Google it up again throughout the presidential campaign, as the two political reporters continued to make amicable on-air working appearances together.
19. Jason Campbell and fiancée Jenny Montes call off wedding – just hours before ceremony, Feb. 21. Melancholy news about the former Redskins quarterback.
17. Michelle Obama’s designer jacket – fit for a queen?, July 29. It retails for $6,800!
15. Demi Moore’s 911 call: When private drama is public information, Jan. 30. Were you drawn in by our nuanced take on privacy laws in various states as they apply to VIPs caught up in emergencies? Or did you just really want to hear the Demi Moore 911 call?
14. Paul Ryan workout photos only look like ‘Jersey Shore’ outtakes,really for Time Person of the Year, Oct. 11. Wow, a lot of you Googled “Paul Ryan workout photos” this year. What’s that about?
13. Tony Mendez, the CIA agent behind the real ‘Argo’, Oct. 11. The Hollywood box office reports mirrored our Web traffic: Every weekend, more fans would go see Ben Affleck’s hit thriller — and then come home to Google the real-life protagonist, whom we met at the film’s D.C. premiere.
12. Read this: RGIII’s fiancée Rebecca Liddicoat, Oct. 29. Not even a Reliable Source story, just a blog post alerting our readers to some interesting details about the Redskins QB’s love life in a compelling profile by our colleague Dave Sheinin. As Griffin’s amazing debut season continued, more and more of you were Googling his future wife. By the time you read this, it might be in our top 10 for the year.
11. Clint Eastwood goes unscripted with punchy speech at Republican convention (video), Aug. 30. Remember that?
10. John Kerry black eye, broken nose at White House (photo) – updated with more gory details, Jan. 24. An interesting little story about the senator’s grisly ice hockey accident caught fire when he showed up on national TV at the State of the Union looking worse for the wear — and you all started Googling “John Kerry black eye.”
8. George Clooney arrested in D.C. outside Sudan embassy, March 16.
4. JFK mistress Mimi Alford: Secret trips, Ted Kennedy, Cuban Missile Crisis – and why she did it, Feb. 8. Even the most horrified readers — or maybe especially the most horrified readers — could not get enough.
3. Champagne tower hidden at Jay-Z and Beyonce fundraiser for Obama, Sept.19. This one was big with the Drudge Report crowd.
1. Quoted: Clint Eastwood explains some more about Tampa, Sept.18. Not even a full story, just a funny quote that Eastwood gave a TV interviewer about his convention speech — but it somehow went viral. Go figure.