We made it, Save Jerseyans!
The first (ever) post on this website went live on May 21, 2008. Over the course of the following 15 years, this website has entertained millions of visitors, shared thousands of posts, and endured plenty of craziness as we (quickly) became the Garden State’s undisputed conservative headquarters online.
I’m going to share some anniversary-themed content over the next few weeks, and I thought it might be fun to take a look back at our 15 top posts of all time*.
“Top” is defined here as meaning our most-trafficked and not necessarily my favorite (or even the most impactful, although there’s certainly plenty of overlap). One additional caveat (*): I don’t have super-reliable website stats PRIOR to 2014 (a long, boring story), but since our website has continued to expand its reach, most of our viral posts date to more recent years anyway! I may do a deeper dive post at some point to revisit the “origin years” content. Might be fun for you long-time readers and also newer arrivals. In any event…
Without further ado, in reverse order of raw traffic:
15. NJ.com slanders slain police officer
Six months before George Floyd’s May 2020 demise, Jersey City Detective Joseph Seals was killed in a shooting but NJ.com decided it was a good idea to make an issue of the slain hero cop’s “use of force” history. The PBA called’em out as did Save Jersey, and our post received a ton of hits.
14. New Jersey becomes a ‘Sanctuary State’
Gurbir Grewal’s November 2018 Sanctuary Statehood declaration was the clearest indication to date that the relatively new Murphy Administration would prove as radical as promised during Election 2017. Unsurprisingly, our reporting on the topic fetched a high volume of traffic.
13. The Hydroxychloroquine debate
I doubt you’re shocked to learn that many of our “top” posts date to the early days of the coronavirus shut down. People were home, scared, pissed, and anxiously searching for HONEST coverage of the dramatic decisions being made by our elected officials. State Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26) quickly emerged as a leading critic of the Murphy Administration’s Covid-19 policies, and in April 2020, he struck a chord by stricking out against Phil Murphy for refusing to embrace Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Also not shocking: while President Trump and Senator Pennacchio were mocked at the time, like many things from the Covid-19 Era, the “science” has since shifted.
12. The rain tax
Governor Murphy signed a “rain tax” into law in March 2019, and the new “fees” embodied everything that’s overreaching about Trenton. Save Jersey visitors came pouring in to learn more.
11. A “Shall Issue” State
Back in August 2016, Governor Chris Christie vetoed a pair of gun control bills and voiced his support for turning New Jersey into a “shall issue” state. His comments preceded New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen by nearly six years but were perhaps an indication of things to come thanks to then-future President Trump’s reshaped U.S. Supreme Court.
10. Memorial Day, Covid Edition
There were grim predictions (mostly from the Left) concerning a spike in cases following Memorial Day 2020. We reported that it never happened (at least not in New Jersey), and it was any early indicator of the low level of reliability associated with experts’ and journalists’ efforts to read the tea leaves.
Christie, Norcross, a government shutdown and backroom intrigue? The summer 2017 #HorizonHeist story had it all and was ready-made for monster traffic.
8. 9/11 10th Anniversary
We’ve made it an annual tradition to post the names of each and every New Jersey resident who died in the 9/11 attacks. The Garden State was uniquely impacted by the events of that horrific day. Our 10th anniversary post attracted considerable attention as Americans reflected on what we’d lost – and how much the world has changed – over the past decade.
7. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Decline
Remember the summer 2014 “Ice Bucket Challenge”? It was an early example of social media users grasping for a communal experience. Yours truly decided to NOT participate and explained my reasoning in a fairly substantial post. As you might expect, it was controversial and controversy = traffic. That’s not why I did it! But I also wasn’t complaining; it helped solidify our site’s reputation for saying the unpopular (and sometimes under-appreciated) thing when necessary.
Cory Booker made himself a household name in the summer of 2018 for his theatrical performance during the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. Save Jersey called him out on his bullshit, but we also pointed out that “Spartacus” had ADMITTED to groping a friend as a teenager in a college newspaper column. Gropacus the Hypocrite (who blocked me on Twitter – go figure) is always good for a traffic boost.
5. Christie turns to the Dark Side
The 2012 Obama “hug” may’ve signaled the beginning of the end of Chris Christie’s rebel brand, and in 2013, his singular goal was winning reelection by as large of a majority as possible… by any means necessary. That included making deals with Democrat bosses and signing off on 10 Democrat gun bills.
4. “A special kind of stupid”
My May 2018 commentary on Bill Spadea’s Chasing News went viral after I mocked liberals as “a special kind of stupid” for claiming that archery (!) leads to gun violence. One of the interesting things about this news/commentary blog business? 15 years later and I still can’t always explain why certain things “land” and others don’t. My best guess here: thousands of viewers/readers were as tired as I was of Democrats erecting scapegoats for the consequences of the violent, God-less, Leftist-driven culture that was taking over our schools and cities.
3. The Lockdown
Can you imagine a more hopeless month in the post-WWII era than May 2020? Governor Murphy refused to confirm a reopening plan, and one freshman legislator (Brian Bergen of Morris County) decided to introduce legislation to force Murphy’s hand and curb his powers. It went nowhere, but Brian’s efforts spoke to the frustrations of a growing number of New Jersey who weren’t content with the status quo. Assemblyman Bergen and others (including this site) have been validated by post-Covid polling showing a majority now believe the lockdowns were a mistake.
2. Murphy’s Unemployment Meltdown
One of the worst government failures of the Covid-19 experience was the New Jersey unemployment backlog. When questioned on what was being done to make a change, Governor Murphy characteristically advised complainers to leave the state if they weren’t happy. Our May 8, 2020 story drew a national audience.
1. Covid Aid Discrimination
The #1 post of all time? On April 4, 2020, yours truly reported that “[o]nly 17 of 21 New Jersey counties will receive some of the $82,202,575 in grants coming to the Garden State from the federal government to combat COVID-19.” Hundreds of thousands of visitors read and shared our coverage of the story; I think it was already becoming clear to many that all of the Democrat talk of “equity” during those ugly coronavirus-dominated days was less than sincere.