What the readers wanted in 2004

From the presidential bulge to Kitty Kelley to Camille Paglia, Salon presents the most popular stories of the year.

Published December 28, 2004 12:06AM (EST)

Throughout the week Salon is presented its editors' and critics' best-of-the-year picks. But what Salon stories did you, the readers, find the most compelling in 2004? Scroll down memory lane and relive the agony and ecstasy of the year that was.

1) War Room. We launched War Room as our running election blog and it's become our primary source for political news.

2) The Bulge! NASA photo analyst: Bush wore a device during debate. Physicist says imaging techniques prove the president's bulge was not caused by wrinkled clothing. By Kevin Berger

3) Camille for Kerry Paglia says "this entire administration needs to be replaced" -- but finds time to unload on Edwards, O'Reilly, Franken and many others. By Kerry Lauerman

4) Clinton speaks While delegates talked politics, world leaders and one popular former U.S. president discussed what's at stake globally in the November election. By Mark Follman

5) The New Pentagon Papers A high-ranking military officer reveals how Defense Department extremists suppressed information and twisted the truth to drive the country to war. By Karen Kwiatkowski

6) We don't support that We're not here to help fix your computer. We just want to get you off the phone. A tech-support slave tells his hellish tale. By Kyle Killen

7) It's the IQ, stupid Kerry outsmarts Bush in the crucial first debate. By Tim Grieve

8) The hysterical skies She survived a flight with 14 harmless Syrian musicians -- then spread 3,000 bigoted and paranoid words across the Internet. As a pilot and an American, I'm appalled. By Patrick Smith

9) Don't mess with the Bushes In her new book, Kitty Kelley shows how the first family intimidates those who've tried to expose the clan's dark secrets of drugs, drinking, womanizing and nepotism. Now, she tells Salon, they're coming after her. By David Talbot

10) Happy talk from hell Even if you think you're wise to Fox News' right-wing agenda, Robert Greenwald's "Outfoxed" will leave you very afraid. By Andrew O'Hehir

11) G.I. Joe critics How I talked four Army infantrymen from Fort Benning, Ga., into seeing "Fahrenheit 9/11." And telling me what they really think of Michael Moore. By Bill Warhop

12) George W. Bush's missing year The widow of a Bush family confidant says her husband gave the future president an Alabama Senate campaign job as a favor to his worried father. Did they see him do any National Guard service? "Good lord, no." By Mary Jacoby

13) Michael Moore terrorizes the Bushies! The right wing is going all out to stop "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- but it's not working. By John Gorenfeld

14) Weirdness in Kentucky The increasingly strange behavior of Republican Sen. Jim Bunning has led to speculation that he is suffering from some kind of dementia -- and tightened a race he once had in his pocket. By Mary Jacoby

15) Creepier than Nixon The man who brought down Richard Nixon says Bush and "co-president" Cheney are an even greater threat to the country. By David Talbot

16) Strike three! Bush gets that sinking feeling as a steady and presidential Kerry sweeps the series. By Tim Grieve

17) Stung! A swarm of new media stories on young George W. Bush's dereliction of duty pops his heroic-leadership bubble. By Eric Boehlert

18) Hail to the Moon king The deeply weird coronation of Rev. Sun Myung Moon in a Senate office building -- crown, robes, the works -- is no longer one of Washington's best-kept secrets. By John Gorenfeld

19) Horror show The government did not want us to see nightmarish images from Iraq. But with our soldiers and our enemies armed with digital cameras, we can't escape the gruesome realities of war. By Farhad Manjoo

20) Marching off the cliff Free-falling in the polls, Bush stayed with the same tough-guy message. But Michael Lind, Karen Kwiatkowski, Ruy Teixeira and others say he landed with a splat, while AEI's Michael Rubin says the speech was "a good start." Compiled by Mark Follman, Jeff Horwitz and Michal Keeley

21) Richard Clarke terrorizes the White House In a provocative Salon interview, the former terrorism czar fires back at the Bush administration, blasting its "big lie" strategy and "attack dog" Dick Cheney. By Joe Conason

22) Oscar bombs The Passion of the Frodo sweeps, and more beautiful stars bravely impersonate the genuinely homely to great success. But all the crooked teeth in New Zealand can't save a dull, dull Oscar night. By Cintra Wilson

23) Is America ready for the wild Kerry family? Dad may come off like a stiff, but Mom and the kids are a whole other story. By Rebecca Traister

24) The passion of Howard Stern The shock jock says radio colossus Clear Channel fired him because he criticized George Bush -- and he's sure as hell not going to go quietly. By Eric Boehlert

25) The confessions of a semi-successful author I've published several books, won adoring reviews, and even sold a few copies. But I've made almost no money and had my heart broken. Here's everything you don't want to know about how publishing really works. By Jane Austen Doe

By Salon Staff

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