New Media Index: A Taxing Problem for Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas Tops Bloggers’ Shared News Links

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ failure to report his wife’s earnings over a five-year period was the subject of the most news links shared via bloggers, while a TechCrunch item defending Aol against a story in The New Yorker was the most-Tweeted news link, and the most-watched news and politics video on YouTube was the Jan. 19 installment of The Philip DeFranco Show, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of Jan. 24-28.

The Supreme controversy represented 14 percent of shared news links, and it was followed in the blogosphere by: the U.S. economy, particularly a story in The Washington Post stating that President Barack Obama was unlikely to support his deficit commission’s controversial proposals regarding Social Security, at 11 percent; also at 11 percent, a Los Angeles Times post about two teen-agers found dead in an apartment alongside an empty can of caffeinated alcoholic drink Four Loko; a contribution from the British Broadcasting Corp. about a polar bear that swam for more than nine days in search of sea ice, at 10 percent; and another BBC item on the firing of British sports announcer Andy Gray due to allegations of sexist and improper behavior, at 9 percent.

TechCrunch’s defense of its parent company accounted for 14 percent of news links shared via Twitter, and it was followed by: Google’s announcement that the removal of the RSS reader option from Gmail was a mistake, at 13 percent; plans by a team of British engineers to send a mobile phone into space, at 12 percent; another item from TechCrunch about Obama’s appointment of General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt as chairman of his panel of economic advisors, at 11 percent; and the arrest of five men between the ages of 15 and 26 for launching Web attacks in support of WikiLeaks and against companies including PayPal, Mastercard, and Amazon, at 10 percent.

DeFranco was followed on the list of most-viewed news and politics videos on YouTube by: a segment from the June 9, 2010, installment of Glenn Beck; Ricky Gervais on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, discussing his views on religion and atheism; an interview by Mexican journalist Carlos Loret; and another version of the Loret interview, since removed.