Web surfing for food stamps

Why the mad craze for food-stamp info at Yahoo Buzz?


Andrew Leonard
April 2, 2008 2:15PM (UTC)

At buzz.yahoo.com, Yahoo's recently launched Digg-equivalent, the list of Top Searches had "food stamps" ranked No. 5 around 4 p.m. PDT. To give a little perspective, that's below Brooklyn Decker, the former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model who is engaged to marry Andy Roddick, but above Barack Obama and Teri Garr, who is apparently in the news because she smashed in the windows on her cheating boyfriend, in 1990. Go figure.

So what do we make of this? First, Yahoo editors are clearly messing with our heads, because the keywords that usually top real "top search" lists are generally boring and predictable: Apple, MySpace, Porn, Porn and more Porn. But disregarding the editor's choice aspect to the list, there are three immediate possibilities.

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1. People are trying to find Monday's alarming New York Times article on food stamps.

2. The economy is so crappy that libraries everywhere are packed with indigent computer users searching for information on food stamps.

3. A warp in the space-time continuum alerted the Internet to the fact that food stamps are referenced in the first sentence of my current Salon cover story, "The Great Depression: The Sequel" -- several hours before it was published!

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Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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