Top 5 list: media sideshows

Jacko, Terri, and Big Mac vs. the world

The Google News database includes current news stories plus those still accessible in free databases at news sites; most of its contents go back one or two weeks. We decided to crunch the three leading media sideshows of recent days against two news stories that broke last week--the Bush administration's attempt to pass a budget with major health care cuts to Medicaid, and the news that 26 detainees held pursuant to the war on terror had been killed in US custody. [Note: These numbers change all the time; this sample was made at 8:00 a.m. today.]

1. "Michael Jackson"   39,000 results
2. Schiavo                16,300 results
3. Congress + steroids  8,020 results
4. Medicaid + cut         4,510 results
5. 26 + prisoners + died   789 results

Fun fact: If you throw in the search string "Social Security" + reform (8,160 results) and add it to the totals for the Medicaid and prisoner death stories, the combined sum of 13,459 would still place third on the list behind Jacko and Schiavo stories. 

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