This story was the most-clicked article on the Seattle Times Website in 2005. (Other stories about the man who died during sex with a horse made the paper’s top-10 list.) “A case can be made that the articles on horse sex are the most widely read material this paper has published in its 109-year history,” writes Danny Westneat. “I don’t know whether to ignore this alarming factoid or to embrace it.”
The problem, of course, is when this type of “evidence” is used to drive circulation or viewer strategy. That’s when we cross the line into tabloid sensationalism, because aberration ceases to be aberration when it’s the norm.