Slate Fare

The Most Popular Slate Stories of 2018

So. Much. Kavanaugh.

A Best of Slate medal
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2018 was the year that broke our sense of time. Remember the Winter Olympics? They happened this year, along with hundreds of other events that you read about on Slate’s pages. The Eagles won the Super Bowl … and their fans reacted accordingly. There was an anonymous op-ed published in the New York Times. Prince Harry got married. And then we all moved on from all but a few enduring stories.

Slate has published almost 14,000 articles this year. Below is the list of our most popular stories based on the total amount of time readers spent on them. They aren’t just the stories that got the most clicks but the ones that held readers’ attention the longest. With that in mind, we present the 10 most popular stories of the year. Fair warning: Brett Kavanaugh makes a lot of appearances on this list.


1. Brett Kavanaugh and the Cruelty of Male Bonding
When being one of the guys comes at a woman’s expense.
By Lili Loofbourow, Sept. 25.

2. I Wrote Some of the Memos That Brett Kavanaugh Lied to the Senate About. He Should Be Impeached, Not Elevated.
His actions were dishonorable and dishonest. In fact, by his own standard, he should clearly be removed from the federal judiciary.
By Lisa Graves, Sept. 7.

3. The Kavanaugh Accusation Has Men More Afraid Than Ever
“The painful experiences claimed by women make no impression at all on a certain kind of man’s sense of reality.”
By Lili Loofbourow, Sept. 18.

4. I Was Brett Kavanaugh’s College Roommate. He Lied Under Oath About His Drinking and Terms in His Yearbook.
“A man who lies effortlessly rather than taking responsibility for his own words and actions is not what we need.”
By James Roche, Oct. 3.


5. Why Queen Elizabeth Wore Such Wild Makeup—and How It May Have Led to Her Decline
Elizabeth I is famous for her face powder. Why she wore it—and whether it poisoned her—is complicated.
By Rebecca Onion, Dec. 6.

6. There’s an Obvious Suspect for That New York Times Anonymous Op-Ed
Who could it be? We have a guess.
By William Saletan, Sept. 7.


7. The America We Thought We Knew Is Gone
“This is open corruption, and it has been openly embraced.”
By Lili Loofbourow, June 28.

8. Investigation at Yale Law School
An inquiry into the actions of a prominent professor reveals why it’s so hard to report inappropriate behavior at the top law school in the country.
By Dahlia Lithwick and Susan Matthews, Oct. 5.


9. How Oprah Winfrey Helped Create Our Irrational, Pseudoscientific American Fantasyland
No assessment of Oprah is complete without a look at her pseudoscience boosterism.
By Kurt Andersen, Jan. 10.


10. Whose Side Is Ben Shapiro Really On?
The conservative firebrand has built a massive young audience by bashing liberals and standing up to Trump. Whose side is he really on?
By Seth Stevenson, Jan. 24.

Honorable Mentions

The Abortions We Don’t Talk About: Six Slate Women Tell Their Stories
We asked the people who write and podcast for Slate if any of them have abortion stories they’d be comfortable sharing. Six of them do.
By Slate Staff, July 29.

The 40 Greatest Family Games
Codenames! Catan! Sorry! Sushi Go! Transform screen time into game time with these immortal classics.
By Noel Murray, Nov. 28.


The Camp Fire Closed In Too Fast for These Survivors to Escape. Now, They’re Trapped.
The fire closed in too quickly for some survivors to leave. And many families who evacuated have nowhere to go.
By April Glaser, Nov. 20.

I’m a Developer. I Won’t Teach My Kids to Code, and Neither Should You.
Coding is not the new literacy.
By Joe Morgan, Dec. 6.

Which of Today’s Hits Will Be Tomorrow’s Classics? Introducing the New American Songbook.
The hits of the past 25 years that we’ll be listening to for the next 100.
By Slate Staff, Oct. 18.