by Gina Cobb | December 22, 2007 11:11 am
I see that John Hawkins has already covered this with a list of the top 20 stories of 2007 (so I’ve made some quick adjustments to this blog entry to reflect that), but hot off the “presses” is Don Surber’s list of the top 10 stories of 2007.
Here is his list. (Go to his blog to see his explanations):
1. VICTORY IN IRAQ.
2. DEMOCRATIC MELTDOWN IN CONGRESS.
3. THE RESILIENT ECONOMY.
4. THE RISE AND FALL OF GLOBAL WARMING.
5. THE POLITICAL BREAKDOWN OF HILLARY CLINTON.
6. THE PERPETUAL FLOATING PRESIDENTIAL CRAPS GAME.
7. THE RISE OF PETROCRACY.
9. THE REST OF THE AXIS OF EVIL.
10. THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL ALLIES.
Did he miss any? One big story that I think belongs on the top 10 list is:
11. THE DISCOVERY OF HOW TO TURN DIFFERENTIATED CELLS INTO PLURIPOTENT STEM CELLS. The debate over stem cells is over. Conservatives won. Destroying human lives in embryonic form is not only wrong, but it is not necessary.
One thing’s for sure: Don Surber’s list (and John’s Top 20 list) are a lot better than any you’ll see from the larger broadcast and print media. In fact, via Don Surber, here’s the AP’s list of “top 10 stories for 2007.” It’s a poorly considered list. Here are 2007’s top 10 stories, as voted by AP members:
1. VIRGINIA TECH KILLINGS: Seung-Hui Cho, 23, who had avoided court-ordered mental health treatment despite a history of psychiatric problems, killed two fellow students in a dormitory on April 16, detoured to mail a hate-filled video of himself to NBC News, then shot dead 30 students and professors in a classroom building before killing himself. It was the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.×
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2. MORTGAGE CRISIS: A record-setting wave of mortgage foreclosures, coupled with a steep slump in the housing market, buffeted financial markets, caused multibillion-dollar losses at major banks and investment firms, and became an issue in the presidential campaign.
3. IRAQ WAR: The “surge” that sent more U.S. troops to Iraq was credited with helping reduce the overall level of violence. But thousands of Iraqis and hundreds of U.S. personnel were killed nonetheless during the year, and Iraqi political leaders struggled to make meaningful progress toward national reconciliation.
4. OIL PRICES: Oil prices soared to record highs, at one point reaching nearly $100 a barrel. The high prices, which burdened motorists and owners of oil-heated homes, nudged Congress to pass an energy bill that ordered an increase in motor vehicles’ fuel efficiency.
5. CHINESE EXPORTS: An array of Chinese exports were recalled, ranging from toys with lead paint to defective tires to tainted toothpaste and food. Despite the high-profile problems, America’s trade deficit with China was running at record-high levels.
6. GLOBAL WARMING: Warnings about the consequences of global warming gained intensity with new reports from scientific panels and a Nobel Prize to Al Gore for his environmental crusading that included the film “An Inconvenient Truth.” Across the U.S., many state governments sought to cap emissions blamed for global warming.
7. BRIDGE COLLAPSE: An Interstate 35 bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed during the evening rush hour on Aug. 1, killing 13 people and injuring about 100. The disaster fueled concern about possible structural flaws in other bridges nationwide.
8. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: In a yearlong drama with shifting subplots, large fields in both major parties battled for support ahead of the caucuses and primaries that will decide the 2008 presidential nominees. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama led among the Democrats; some polls showed five Republicans with double-digit support.
9. IMMIGRATION DEBATE: A compromise immigration plan, backed by President Bush and Democratic leaders, collapsed in Congress due to Republican opposition. The plan would have enabled millions of illegal immigrants to move toward citizenship, while also bolstering border security. The issues remained alive in the presidential campaign.
10. IRAN’S NUCLEAR PROGRAM: Worried that the ultimate goal is a nuclear arsenal, the United States and other countries pressed Iran to halt uranium enrichment. Iran said it never had a weapons program. A U.S. intelligence report concluded there was such an effort, but it stopped in 2003.
Just missing the Top 10 were the Southern California wildfires and the resignation of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general.
. . . .
Write-in votes were cast for two events that occurred after AP’s ballot was distributed — the shooting at an Omaha mall that left nine people dead, and the Mitchell Report on use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
Another write-in vote was for “cheaters and liars” — collectively addressing the many athletes and other public figures entangled in scandals.
Among stories about pop culture celebrities, the saga surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith got the most votes, finishing in 32nd place ahead of such stories as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the departure of Tony Blair as British prime minister, and the military crackdown in Myanmar..
What do YOU think were the top stories of 2007?
Gina Cobb blogs at (no surprise here) — GINA COBB
Update: There is a difference between a story being widely publicized or highly interesting at the time and a story having lasting impact on the world. At one end of the spectrum are the Anna Nicole Smith and Larry Craig stories — highly publicized and interesting to many people at the time, but of no lasting import. I put the stem cell story near the top because it will have a lasting impact — as will victory in Iraq, assuming that Democratic partisans do not still find a way to turn that victory into defeat and surrender, that is.
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