Milestone: Over 200,000 comments approved at Must Read Alaska in 7 years; nearly 10,000 stories posted


Since the website version of Must Read Alaska launched in May of 2016, this editor has approved over 200,000 comments. That is nearly 28,600 comments approved per year. Through storms, earthquakes, late-night flights, and early-morning meetings, the first thing I do each morning is approve the latest batch of comments.

Here’s the 200,000th comment, made on the column by Suzanne Downing titled, “Hey Bud, real marketers of genius don’t hate their customers.”

The 200,000th comment came from someone whose handle is “Meadow.” He or she wrote:

“Of all the problems in the world, this is what democrats are concerned about, turning boys into girls and girls into boys. Mean while the rest of the world wants to destroy us. We are doomed with them in charge. I thank people like Marjorie Taylor Green for calling them what they are, pedofiles and perverts. Just look at our little girl hair sniffing excuse of a president we have. We are living in a psychotic bizarro world.” There have been 33 other comments on that column.

Since that 200th comment, another 550 have been approved and posted.

With such a robust conversation, the decisions about what is civilized enough to publish and what is not is made pretty quickly. During the seven-year period, 1,756 comments we’re not approved. Usually it was because of language or unintelligibility, or perhaps it was someone trolling the site to be abusive to readers.

This author has also written 1,200 comments in response to comments over the seven-year period, usually to clarify a point for a reader or answer a question, or even thank someone for pointing out a typographical error.

(I try to approve comments at least five times a day. Thanks to everyone for their patience with this one-person endeavor.)

Spam folder: Sometimes a perfectly good comment ends up in the spam folder, and occasionally I will go through that folder to look for lost comments, but most of what is in there is just spam. More than 53,000 spam comments have gone into that folder over the years.

Also, as of April 17, 2023, 9,955 stories and columns have been posted on this website, an average of four per day.

This week also marks the eight-year anniversary of the Must Read Alaska newsletter, now going out to 35,500 people three times a week. You can subscribe here.

Thank you to all the commenters. I appreciate the feedback and tremendously enjoy the Must Read Alaska community of commenters. Keep ’em coming!

And thank you to all the supporters of this project to balance out the left-leaning media narrative in Alaska. You are the wind beneath my wings.

~ Suzanne Downing


  1. Good job Suzanne! Keep up the hard work, good lord knows we need MRAK more today than we did seven years ago.

  2. Thank you for all the great writing and reporting. This and OAN is the only place I look for the news.

  3. Also amongst the 1756 rejected comments are many expressing a liberal point of view that the Editor chose to quash. I know, because many of them were mine. So much for the “robust conversation”, if your opinions differ from the conservative groupthink of MRAK. But I do give the Editor credit for her stamina and dedication to this monumental task. Kudos.

  4. It was less than 4 years ago that I had the 20,000th comment, that’s some impressive growth! At that rate you’ll be hitting 2,000,000 comments in a few short years.

    Well done Suzanne, you’ve grown the voice of conservatism and shared that voice that has been silent in media for far too long.

  5. Moderating comments is tough work. Congratulations for the fastest growing number of commenters, anonymous as they are, who rarely make sense but are often quite amusing. I just hope they are supporting MRAK with their “subscription”.

  6. Nicely done, Ms. Downing.

    Thanks for putting so much effort into making this an interesting site.

  7. Since our own government no longer allows us to make our voices heard, this may well be our own last chance to do so. Only hope that it will continue. It is a healthy dialogue with a diverse crowd and it’s easy for daily readers to sort out the b.s. from the heart felt opinions. Maybe you will need the test “I am not a robot “ in the future.

  8. Thanks Suzanne! All your hard work has paid off. You run a great forum here that I’ve grown to love reading and look forward to the new articles each day.

  9. Also amongst the 1756 rejected comments are many because many were mine expressing the views of a very pissed off conservative who gets very angry when sexual deviates make attempts to indoctrinate and groom children in the schools WE paid for and My grandchildren were attending which I now have to foot the bill for private schools that thankfully the Editor had to squash. Had they not been squashed Joe “girlsniffy” Biden would order his hitman Garland to go after “terrorist parents” who speak up and get upset over their children being violated in public schools. So with that said I do give the Editor credit for her stamina and dedication to this monumental task. KUDOS Suzanne for saving us from Bidens useful idiots! I owe you more than money can buy! Freedom

  10. How fitting that #200,000 perfectly distills the paranoia and craziness of so many of the commenters on here. They seemed to be obsessesed about gender/transgender/sexuality topics when we have much bigger fish to fry and many also stand by and quote absolute nutjobs like MTG as people who are worth admiring. Politicians like her are not interested in solutions, they’re interested in clicks and likes. Politicians like her have no real ideas of their own, hence they focus on BS that isn’t important. Congratulations on a perfectly constructed echo chamber.

      • Yes, and I appreciate that my comments have rarely ever not been posted, but the vast majority of comments on here are people either agreeing with one another or attacking or using ad hominem to address comments that dare to challenge them. A sad state of affairs but a perfect reflection of the state of our country.

        • You keep your comments civil, you spell people’s names correctly, and you write coherently. So you almost always get the green light. Granted, I am speed reading through these comments, so snap judgments are the norm, and I probably am too liberal in letting some nasty comments through. Thanks for commenting civilly. – sd

        • Can, you know that the REAL and shameful groupthink and conformity in this country today is among those on the (so-called) left, really the radical, neo-Marxist, neo-Puritanical left. Or at least, you WOULD know that, if, like other radical leftist extremists, you did not allow your dogmatic and quasi-religious statist opinions and beliefs to blind you to reality.
          PS: There was nothing “ad hominem” in this comment; referring to you and your political bedfellows as “radical leftist extremists” is simply an acknowledgement of reality. You might want to try doing it some time.

          • You know absolutely nothing about yet you continue to assign a label to me. It may not be ad hominem but its still basically just name-calling and you never fail to take an opportunity to do so, but that’s OK, it’s a free country; for now at least.

          • Cman, it is interesting that you object, and (speciously and falsely) accuse me of “name calling”, when I simply properly describe you by your unambiguous and clearly demonstrated political affiliation. Do you find that truth to be uncomfortable? Your willing choice to advocate for an authoritarian and extremist agenda is not my fault.

  11. You are doing an excellent job. Keep it up! I can’t understand why a couple of my comments were not published, however.

    • Sometimes they mysteriously go into the spam folder and I don’t check there very often. – sd

  12. I and my comments were smashed like a wordsmithereen maliciously at ADN by a venal editor during the recent 2020 Presidential “Election” as I found myself unexpectedly solidly behind President Trump. One particularly venal evening as I carefully prepared a small response in support of a recent conversion to conservative Trumpian positions I was squelched. Oh the diatribe my small comment elicited. So I was removed from ADN commenting. I was verbally assailed in absentia too. I had been a loyal patron of ADN for over 50 years. Smashed to smithereens during a presidential campaign to keep me from any persuasions that could have lifted my peers Alaskan Natives’ hopes. I believe they exhibited a callous disregard for journalistic ethics on an eggregious level. Thank you for letting me haunt your interesting, important articles and your repairs as I mistype sometimes. If President Trump would have won I would have reported to President Trump the qualities and business practices I experienced here in AK. I thank God for you (and President Trump). I believe President Trump and his wonderful associates keeps ears to his base and the nation.

  13. Of course the lefties think MTG is “focusing on BS that isn’t important” such as citizens who have been arrested and held without bail and have no right to a speedy trial as the J6 committee has purposely withheld video tape evidence which could be used in their defense. They are all guilty as charged until they prove their innocents without the surveillance recordings which could possibly prove they were simply standing on the capital steps outside taking selfies. I dont see anyone else standing up for their rights Garland has flat out denied them of. The only people with “real” rights seem to be the gender confused individuals such as the “human” who was released without bail with four previous felony assault charges involving a weapon who decided to slice a cabdrivers throat in downtown Portland Easter Sunday for no apparent reason according to the video cam footage in the car. I was in Portland the day it happened and was shocked to hear how the local news never mentioned a word about the multiple prior pending felony charges. It wasn’t until I returned home and discovered the all important truth famously known as “the rest of the story”from Suzanne’s reporting of the details Portland news failed to mention. I would want to know if people are repeat offenders and being caught and released for felony assault if I were living there. It is no wonder Oregonians seem to have their “Heads in the Sand” and keep reelecting George Soros idiots. This is just one small example how valuable Suzanne’s work is here at MRAK. I urge everyone to reward and support her for the all important work she does. My prayers and thoughts are with the innocent cabdriver without one single complaint from a passenger in his 20 plus year job who met a violent end to his life due to an evil thinking prosecutor and judge who released this seriously deranged individual. I am so glad I left Oregone 50 years ago and never looked back. The Democrats have destroyed another once beautiful city!

    • Like many on here, you seemed to be obsessed with gender and think trans people are the boogeyman; out to get anyone and everyone. The age old strategy of focusing on a small minority and an even smaller minority within that minority to paint a broad brush, which is disgusting. When I said that MTG is focusing on unimportant BS, I meant things like calling for a “national divorce” instead of trying to find solutions to common problems, or calling herself a “Christian Nationalist” in the sense that she thinks this country should become a Christian theocracy, or how about how she’s a Putin-apologist who sides with that evil war criminal, or also see “Jewish space lasers” being responsible for wildfires if you really want to go even further off the reservation. As I’ve said, she has no interest in actual solutions, just focusing on BS that will play well in her district to get her re-elected.

  14. If you have a problem with the majority views on this blog and consider it an ‘echo chamber’, I congratulate you for still being here and reading quality articles and the stimulating posts after each. Maybe you will be pushed into learning something new? And if you feel outnumbered, then get more of your friends to start reading this site. I’m not afraid of more liberals chiming in, are liberals afraid to do the chiming?

    • I very much enjoy reading comments from people with whom I may disagree; otherwise I have no way of judging the veracity of my own opinions. That’s one of the reasons I used the term echo chamber, because it seems the vast majority of the most right wing commenters on here only want to hear from people that they agree with and that proclivity is reinforced on here much of the time. I know this from the mostly vitriolic/name-calling/ad hominem responses I’ve gotten when I dare disagree. Again, that’s OK by me as I’m always interested in hearing differing points of view but its difficult to have a rationale conversation when the responses are so often verging on insane ramblings.

      I don’t consider myself a dyed in the wool liberal. I see myself more as a bleeding heart libertarian for lack of a more accurate label. However, I have been labelled everything from a neo-Marxist (see comments above) to a pedophile-loving America hater. I find it sad more than infuriating. That being said, I have had some very spirited, yet very respectful debates on here, but those seem to be the minority and its not even close to the other side of things.

      • Camn, if you think that you are ANY kind of “libertarian”, then based on your many pro-establishment, pro-authority, pro-radical-leftist comments in this forum, I can only conclude that you are either a blatant liar, or have utterly no idea of what the word “libertarian” actually means.

        • I do know what it means and I’m actually a registered Libertarian, but that doesn’t mean a subscribe to the entire Libertarian platform. The core value is to maximize autonomy and minimize the encroachment of the State onto an individuals liberty. I’m sure we will disagree 100% on what constitutes encroachment, but there it is. Again, you don’t know me at all, so you have no basis by which to judge me, but you are all too quick to do so.

          If consenting adults want to get married, for example, its none of the governments business and there should be no laws passed to make it illegal. If people want to use any and all drugs for personal consumption, then the State has no right to pass laws making it illegal to do so. If a person wants to make the choice to end their life, then its not the governments business to interfere with this decision. If an adult wants to get gender reassignment surgery and live a life opposite of their biological sex, its none of the governments business. If parents want to make choices for their children, then the government has no business involving itself so long as they are not violating basic laws. I’m assuming you would also be in favor of such liberties, unless you’re an ala carte conservative. However, unlike you, I’m not going to make any assumptions.

  15. I forgot to mention Portland is now the Heroin capital of the nation which the Democrats seem to be proud of. They were very sneaky in the wording of legislation that decriminalized most all “dangerous addicting drugs” including heroine methamphetamine LSD etc. Some reports claim one in ten Oregonians have an addiction of “something”. While I was in “Oregone” I was astonished at the number of serious mentally ill people on the streets among the homeless which I feel is a direct result of the addictions. It is down right scary to even attempt to be downtown near the waterfront all the way up to 12th ave in Portland. The used needles human feces trash and people passed out on sidewalks in broad daylight are the norm. I am so heartbroken knowing the city of roses has been transformed into a hell hole. My biggest fear is this is the trajectory Anchorage is headed with our local ASSembly at the helm making the same stupid choices the democrats in Portland have done building the “Homeless Empire”.

    The voting polls need to be downtown Portland so voters have to risk stepping in the feces or get poked by a used needle or be assaulted by a deranged individual before voting for this madness but no they sit back and vote democrat by mail from the safety of their homes and refuse to even go near downtown which is drying up business wise. Salem is no better. A man on the freeway shot to death after randomly shooting at motorists! I will never return to those cities.

  16. Suzanne, Thank you for providing Must Read Alaska. I read your site daily and am impressed with your seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy and creativity.
    Well done!

  17. Dear Suzanne:
    Each and every day you give conservative Alaskans a reason to strive for excellence and optimism. Without MRAK and your talented writing skills (and investigative superlatives), we would have little to look forward to in the way of news. You outclass your peers in the field of journalism by leaps and bounds. THEY present the worst in stories and politics. YOU present the best. Congratulations!

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