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Blog Year in Review: 100 Most-Viewed DFP Articles in 2022

Dakota Free Press set another viewership record in 2022, receiving 2,247,233 views, a 10.3% increase over 2021’s then-record 2,036,518 views. For the first time in this blog’s history, average daily views surpassed 6,000. Views per month in 2022 still didn’t beat the single-month views record of 213,681 set in February 2016, when readers were keenly interested in the historic Daugaard-Schoenbeck deal to raise teacher pay, but the midterm elections and imminent threats to democracy (and, dare I say, good writing?) kept viewership above 150,000 in every month of 2022.

In 2021, the most-viewed blog posts included 59 posts that received more than 2,000 views. In 2022, 100 posts (out of 1,230 total published on Dakota Free Press in 2022) crossed that viewership threshold. I invite you to review the 100 headlines that drew the most eyeballs in 2022 and identify any patterns of public interest:

Title Views
Five Sioux Tribes Serve Eviction Notice on Racist Rapid City Hotel Owners 17,522
Koskan Accused of Raping Daughter for Years 14,590
Rapid City Mayor Says Local Hotel Trying to Ban Indians 9,465
Watertown Teacher Declines to Use Students’ Preferred Names, Gives Students Candy and DVDs to Push His “Spiritual Truths” at Public School 8,063
Noem Gets Naked on Committee Desk During Midnight Health Care Hearing 7,107
Flight Log 2019: Noem Flew Son, Nephews, Son’s Pal on State Plane the Weekend of Daughter’s Custer State Park Wedding 6,765
Complaint: Racist Rapid City Hoteliers Actually Denied Service to and Ejected Indian Customers 6,612
Sign of Trouble: State Police Search Bandidos’ Rapid City Clubhouse 6,292
Ben Carson Suffers Headache, Gives Kristi Noem Heart Attack in Pierre 5,774
Noem Hires Florida/DC Grad Student to Spin and Burn SD Press 5,280
Noem Appears on Riotously False Nebraska Billboard 5,072
Harold Salem Dies After Dec. 3 Hospitalization with Coronavirus and Pneumonia 4,932
Transgender Students Not Welcome at Sioux Falls Catholic Schools; Diocese Sees Gender Dysphoria as Disorder to Be Fixed 4,868
Ravnsborg Chief of Staff Thought Sheriff Didn’t Do His Job Night of Crash; Sheriff Ignored Boever’s Flashlight, Paid Great Attention to Boever’s Truck 4,840
Noem and Vegas Consultant with Connections to Impeachment Billboards and Proud Boys Advising New South Dakota Candidates 4,834
Kristi Noem Mug Shot: Who Is That Masked Woman? 4,737
Two Sioux Falls Men Among 31 Arrested for Plot to Stage Riot at Idaho LGBT Festival 4,640
Rosebud Socked In, Indians Dying, Noem Not Responding 4,625
Teachers’ Feedback on Hillsdale Standards: 10 Yea, 4 Meh, 230+ Nay. 4,604
Tru Shrimp Seeks IPO; Company Has $41M Deficit, Will Be Out of Cash by Fall 4,565
Real Nurse Says Noem Could Be Prosecuted for Lying About Working as a Nurse 4,527
District 27 House Candidate Bud May Arrested for Rape Five Days After Losing Election 4,317
State Not Requiring Koskan to Register as Sex Offender; Schoenbeck Says Vote for Bordeaux 4,251
Noem Taxes Baby Food to Subsidize Concealed Weapons 4,089
Questions About Abortion Policy Ruin Noem’s Golf Addiction Outing 4,023
Brain Drain Not as Bad in South Dakota as Many Adjoining States; Minnesota Still Regional Champ at Drawing and Keeping University Graduates 3,984
Smith Sharply Skewers Lonely Cowgirl Kristi on Travel, Nepotism 3,907
South Dakota Needs More Shots; Noem Goes to Vegas Again 3,905
Noem Bolts Early from Herbster Wake, Avoids Awkward Stage Moment with Lewandowski 3,902
Noem Budget Staffer Wears Dirty Socks to Conference Committee 3,661
Noem Still Shutting out Local Press, Breaking Gubernatorial Tradition of Openness 3,656
Noem Gets $99K Worth of Free Travel, Courtesy of Mike Lindell, Payday Lenders… 3,550
Noem Clouds Location of Family “Ranch”, Exaggerates Risk Posed by 1994 Estate Tax 3,381
Blogger, Lifelong Resident Leaves, Says South Dakota “No Longer the State I’ve Known for More Than Half a Century” 3,362
Trump States Have Higher Murder Rates; South Dakota Leads Region in Chance of Death at Neighbors’ Hands 3,243
Knife River Offers $65M to Turn Fairgrounds into Quarry; Why Not Move Sioux Empire Fair to Wholestone Farms Slaughterhouse Site? 3,208
Lawyers Get Another $33K from SD Taxpayers Because Noem Can’t Read First Amendment 3,167
Trumpist Big Liars Enraged by Ballot Drop Box, Try Taking Over Lincoln, Minnehaha, Yankton Auditor’s Offices 3,160
Noem Family Wedding in Arizona Friday—State Business, Surely. 3,070
Ravnsborg Nearly Crashed into Cops with Inattentive Driving in Pierre, Huron in Weeks Before He Killed Boever 3,049
Racial Cleansing: RCPD Arrests Connie Uhre for Attacking Indian Protestors with Pledge 3,032
Grant Destroyed Brown County Auditor’s Election Computer to Demand Hand Counts of Paper Ballots 3,013
Ravnsborg Out! Joseph Boever’s Killer Won’t Seek Second Term as Attorney General 2,996
Noem Cries “Fake News” at Ten-Year-Old Rape Victim; Ohio Police Arrest Confessing Rapist, Confirm in Court Child Had Abortion in Indiana 2,989
Noem Claims South Dakota Didn’t Take Elevated Unemployment Benefits During Pandemic 2,961
District 26 Republican Candidate Koskan Faces Child Sex Abuse Charges 2,871
Lewandowski Flies out of Pierre After Helping Organize Rapid City Event 2,857
NDN Collective Responds to Rapid City Hotel’s Indian Ban with Swift Civil Rights Lawsuit 2,855
Noem Rides Billionaire Jet to Alabama After Pizza and Party with Lewandowski’s Candidate in Massachusetts 2,832
Mercury Contamination Closes Lead-Deadwood High School 2,822
South Dakota Likely to Ban Teacher of the Year Kurt Russell 2,818
Ravnsborg: Governor’s Daughter Failed Appraiser Certification Four Times 2,815
Noem Chose CRT Promoter St. John to Write K-12 Social Studies Standards 2,766
Contact 2,675
Kansas, Wisconsin, Michigan Women, Democrats Swelling Voter Rolls; SD Shows Slight Surge in New Female Voters 2,669
Noem Administration Ordered Appraiser Certification Chief Not to Talk to Appraisers 2,652
GF&P Plans to Have National Guard Help Build Rapid City Shooting Range 2,635
Hansen Vows to Shout Down Women and Voters Seeking Vote on Roe V Wade Amendment 2,608
Noem Travels to Houston Friday for No-Guns-Allowed NRA Forum 2,604
Noem Flies to Florida Again This Week, Doesn’t Even Get Picture on CPAC Featured Speakers Roster 2,590
FLDS Pringle Compound for Sale: 140 Acres in Black Hills, Great Buildings and Watchtower, $6.9 Million! 2,589
Republican Legislator Not Keeping Party Chairman’s Marijuana Out of South Dakota 2,569
Noem Evidently Sending Guards to Border to Wage Political War 2,531
Wanless Doubles Money on West River Ranch 2,521
Health Secretary Adam Quits After Noem Chews Her Out for Transformation Project Contract 2,483
Correction for Noem: South Dakota Has (12th-) Strongest Economy, (22nd-) Best Business Climate 2,478
Noem Abuses Public Resources to Boost Truckers’ Highway-Obstructing Protest 2,459
DOJ Audit: SF Non-Profit “Call to Freedom” Fails to Meet Multiple Conditions of Federal Grants 2,451
Noem Working to Purge Soye, Randolph, Mulally from House 2,375
Noem Launders Over $1M from Federal PAC into State Committees, Flies Again on Pillow Guy’s Dime 2,366
Sadly, Noem Refuses to Debate Smith on SDPB 2,358
Noem’s Excuse for Silence on Rapid City Hotel Racism: She Can’t Comment on Ongoing Litigation 2,341
Secretary of State Candidate Monae Johnson Ran SD Chapter of Aglow International, Fighting Devilish Feminism, Working for Theocracy 2,324
Noem and Lewandowski Together Again in Houston at Chuck Norris Fundraiser 2,310
KSFY: Jamie Smith to Challenge Noem for Governor 2,289
Democrats Persuade Noem to Promise Food Tax Repeal—Smith Winning? 2,275
KELO-TV Agrees with Blogs: Statistics Don’t Back Noem’s Superlative Claim About SD Economy 2,273
Jackley, Rhoden Nearly Lose Nominations; SDGOP Tosses Barnett, Picks Less Qualified Monae Johnson for Secretary of State 2,260
Noem: SDSU Sucks at Polling! 2,216
Frontrunner Noem Has No Time to Participate in South Dakota Candidate Fora; Speech to NRA in Houston Still a Go 2,214
Biden’s Marijuana Pardons Affect 46 People Convicted in South Dakota 2,211
Angry Election Liars Rebuff Rounds, Threaten Armed Violence 2,195
Manhart Voted in Wisconsin in 2021, Thus Ineligible to Run for South Dakota House in 2022 2,192
Biden, Adams Mistaken in Call to Return from Remote Work 2,183
Noem Says Smith Getting $10M from National Democratic Establishment 2,181
Mobridge Board Lets Seniors Invite Divisive Speaker to Graduation 2,169
Noem Away Again, Hanging out with Trumpist Liars in Alabama 2,156
Florida Firm Polls South Dakota Phones on Messages Affecting Smith/Noem Race 2,152
May Day at Noem Campaign HQ: Campaign Manager Canned After Six Months? 2,114
Fewer Teachers, More Conservatives! Four Months Late, Noem Announces K-12 Social Studies Standards Panel 2,106
Wage War on Putin: Seize Russian Trust Assets in South Dakota 2,097
No Buyers Yet for Lottery Winner’s Giant Meade County Ranch; Seller Prefers Places with Income Tax 2,091
Before Incest Charge, Koskan Slacked Off on Campaign Fundraising; GOP Senators Sent $10K Week Before Charges Made Headlines 2,091
Incurious Sheriff Volek Saw Boever’s Flashlight at Ravnsborg Crash Scene, Dismissed It as Reflection 2,066
Palm Beach Car Dealers Host Noem Fundraiser at Glitzy Seaside Mansion October 14 2,065
Adelstein: South Dakota Deserves Better Than Noem’s Bullying and Lies 2,062
Former Pennington County GOP Chair Starts “Say No to Noem” PAC 2,034

Impeached killer Jason Ravnsborg figured prominently in those top 100 posts, yet I find it surprising that my notably objective report on the Attorney General’s historic impeachment, perhaps the most historic event that happened in South Dakota in 2022, fell far short of the 2,000-view threshold. That historic post ranked 290th for the year, with 1,207 views.

Also surprising to me is that my post that same day on the most damning evidence presented at the Senate impeachment trial drew even less attention. Testifying from the Senate podium, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Arnie Rummel explained that GPS data from Ravnsborg’s phone showed that Ravnsborg took a long time to stop his car after hitting and killing Joseph Boever on Highway 14 and actually pulled his car back into the driving lane. That evidence supported the prosecution’s contention that Ravnsborg knew he had hit a man and had considered fleeing the scene. That’s the evidence I now link back to every time I refer to Jason Ravnsborg as a killer. Yet that blog post, crucial evidence in a unique trial in South Dakota history, ranked only 353rd for 2022, with 1,108 views.

A few pre-2022 blog posts keep getting Google juice. The oldest goodie is 2017’s post on then-Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Instagram promotion of Naked protein smoothies during a committee hearing. No, she never has really paid attention to her official duties, but her fans keep Googling “Kristi Noem naked,” which says a lot about the basis of her political celebrity.

My 2020 post on Aberdeen televangelist Harold Salem’s death from coronavirus continues to draw pious readers. I derive no pleasure from any person’s death, but I do enjoy knowing that many of the faithful are turning to an atheist blog for their news.

One Comment

  1. P. Aitch 2023-01-01 13:13

    A common thread among the top ten is consistent deviant behavior. Not a lot of entertainment in SD and other people’s weirdness seems to fill some of that void.

Comments are closed.