Eugene Weekly’s Most-Read Stories of 2018

Readers clicked on a lot of stories about racists

Apparently white supremacy generates clicks. In Eugene Weekly’s more or less annual look back at the most-read stories of the year, the two top stories were, first, “Eugene Actor is a Secret Neo-Nazi,” followed by “I Married a White Supremacist.

The recent news that the actor in question in the top-read story, Evan McCarty, settled with a woman he had harassed online was published in The New York Times this week, with a link to the EW story about local Antifa exposing his racist ties by Arts Editor Bob Keefer. McCarty “agreed to apologize, renounce white supremacy, undergo counseling and help civil rights groups fight hate and bigotry,” the NYT reports.

The story of Keefer and senior staff writer Rick Levin’s brief entry in the Kansas governor’s race was picked up the Associated Press and ran all over the country but did not make EW‘s own top 10.

The third most-read story moves us from neo-Nazis to prostitution. EW reporter Meerah Powell’s “Former Priest Teaches at LCC After Sex Solicitation Conviction” looked at how a Lane Community College instructor on bench probation after his conviction for soliciting sex returned to teaching fall term. Much of the outcry against Daniel Mckay’s return centered on the fact that he solicited a 17-year-old girl for sex, but the prosecutors could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt he knew she was underage, despite the fact that “testimony revealed some such evidence.”

From sex we go to (legal) drugs with the tale of a former Eugene city councilor’s massive fine for selling synthetic marijuana in Wisconsin, in “Eugene Marijuana Retailer and Former City Councilor Hit With $4.5 Million Fine,” by then-intern Michael Tobin. For you digital fans, both this story and the Eugene actor story appeared online only.

Drugs are followed by sex with “Roseburg Sheriff Dick Pic Raises Eyebrows,” a blog post looking at a Roseburg News-Review story about inappropriate photos of controversial Roseburg Sheriff John Hanlin posted online, allegedly by his ex. Hanlin was sheriff at the time of the Umpqua Community College shooting and is known for having posted a video accusing the parents of the children shot at Sandy Hook of being “crisis actors.” This dick pic story was also online only. You’re welcome.

Stories seven and eight in the lineup are, you guessed it, more on Eugene’s troubles with white supremacy. The blog post “Man with White Supremacist Ties Arrested for Assault” and its follow-up print and web story “Arrest Opens Window into Local Supremacist Group,” both by freelancer Colin Houck, delve into the arrest of Jacob Laskey (also known for setting copies of EW on fire after a story we did on Antifa).

In better news, Powell’s “Swiping While Black,” delving into the perils and casual racism of dating as a mixed-race woman, was the ninth most-read story. Powell appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s “Think Out Loud” and on a New York Times “Race Night” program to talk about the story.

For reasons we are deeply unclear about, despite how much we love freelancer Will Kennedy, his story, “Addis Ethiopian Cuisine Opening,” slides into the 10th spot. No controversy there, our readers were just super excited to read about Ethiopian food, we guess.

Not in the top 10, but oh so close, were Brenton Gicker’s “Out from the Void” about missing people (look for a second installment in the new year) and Powell’s story about the downtown businesses who thanked the City Council for not putting a shelter on the former City Hall lot.

The good news is that EW‘s political endorsements were in the top 20 stories. The bad news for us is so were our satirical stories about Facebook buying 4J and EW being sold to a fictional company called FML. It would be funny, except apparently some readers missed that it was April Fools. Yup, we are still locally owned! (We are not linking them for fear they will go viral again).

Eugene Weekly readers also really liked Best of Eugene and Keefer’s piece on the Springfield Renaissance.

And despite all the complaints about our new calendar, the top-read item on EW that isn’t a story … it’s the What’s Happening Calendar. You will be pleased to know we will be debuting ANOTHER new calendar in the near future.

Happy New Year.