October 5, 2022


Melts In Your Technology

11 Million People Read Politico’s Supreme Court Bombshell


 A pro-choice activist holds up a sign during a rally in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in response to the leaked Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade May 3, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong, Getty Images

Politico published the scoop of the decade (so far) in their explosive report featuring the leaked draft Supreme Court opinion that, if handed down, would overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1973.

That draft, as essentially everyone everywhere now knows, was authored by Justice Samuel Alito, and the revelation of it has rocked the political and media scene in the United States.

Mediaite’s Green Room newsletter named reporters Josh Gerstein and Alexander Ward the winners of the day Tuesday, but CNN’s Oliver Darcy reported in the Reliable Sources newsletter they’re also winners of the all-time reader race for Politico.

Darcy writes that the Politico story has “become the most-trafficked story in the outlet’s 15-year history,” according to a spokesperson for the publication.

In the time between publication at 8:30 pm ET on Monday night and 9:00 am ET on Tuesday morning, just about 12 hours, it had already become the most viewed article in Politico’s history.

“By Friday afternoon, the story had nearly reached 11 million views,” writes Darcy for CNN.

That’s not all, either. The tweets of the article are likewise humongous, with the first exceeding the account’s typical monthly average.

With about 36,000 retweets and approaching 60,000 quote retweets, it’s easy to see why the views and clicks must be off the charts. The follow-up tweets within the thread are also going gangbusters.

Anyone in media publishing knows 11 million individual, unique readers on an article is a massive spike. It’s a sold-out paper story, an empty magazine rack story. A Pulitzer one? Who knows, but the words “widely-read” don’t quite capture it.

This leak has already had a huge impact, with fences quickly erected around the Supreme Court building ahead of potential fallout, protests already taking place, activism run amok, fears of even broader implications, and the political world in turmoil. The traffic to a website for such story isn’t the important part, but it is a part of the story. Not just because it shows how explosive the issue is in American politics and culture, but for the news about the industry of news, the factoid on its own.

Considering the continually ballooning scale of what is truly titanic news, Politico will certainly be watching those numbers roll in for a long time.


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