What Wonkette’s ‘Internal Metrics’ Say About Site’s Traffic

Earlier this week, FishbowlDC questioned some conflicting reports on Wonkette’s traffic stats. One site claimed 1 million unique visitors, another just half that—both citing Wonkette’s publisher, Rebecca Schoenkopf, as the source. Neither report matched up with public and directly measured data from Quantcast.com. Turns out Schoenkopf was “misheard” by an editor for Dame Magazine (not misquoted, she tells us there’s a big difference). Dame has since corrected the erroneous 1 million figure.

Our bigger point was that Schoenkopf knew the figure was incorrect and admits she let it stand with Dame for two months because the article was, in her words, a very nice one. But she’d like everyone to know that the other stats she’d been mentioning—roughly a half-million unique visitors every month—do track with data in Wonkette’s Google Analytics account. Screenshots Schoenkopf has provided FishbowlDC show a rough average of about 500,000 unique visitors a month. And that 95 percent drop in web-based traffic in May Quantcast is showing? Quantcast told Wonkette after our story was published that it was an error due to some problems with the source code on Wonkette’s site. We asked Quantcast if they plan to correct that data, and are told they’ll have an answer by the end of the day.

So, what we take from this is that if a purported number makes Wonkette look good, Schoenkopf is happy to ignore it. When it doesn’t, she’s all over you with screenshots and spreadsheets. And FishbowlDC did mention in the first story that there were probably good—innocent, even— reasons for differences between Quantcast’s traffic data and the “internal metrics” cited by one reporter as Schoenkopf’s source, a fact we pointed out to Schoenkopf in between one of the many emails this week (the first of which included an invitation to “go fuck myself”).

“Yes, I do remember that!” Schoenkopf said, about our “innocent” note in the story. “It was about nine paragraphs in, if I remember correctly, in between you laughing at what a liar I am.”

We weren’t laughing, we were cackling. There’s a big difference.