With the year wrapping up, Whispers looked back on our most highly trafficked stories of 2013. Here's the Whispers Top 10:
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
1. The Department of Homeland Security ammo stories: Was the Department of Homeland Security stockpiling ammunition to keep it out of civilian hands? Our top Whispers of 2013 revolved around this theory, first floated by right-wing bloggers. In March, the DHS denied that it was buying a reported 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. And in April, DHS training officer Humberto Medina said no to the idea that bulk ammunition purchases were made to keep bullets away from private citizens. But in a follow-up, the Government Accountability Office said it would be investigating such ammo purchases just to make sure.
2. Fashion advice at the DIA: 'Makeup makes you more attractive': Just one week after women were cleared to serve in combat, the ladies of the Defense Intelligence Agency were treated to a presentation advising them "don't be a plain Jane," "no flats," "paint your nails" and "brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads." The workshop, which focused on workplace success through appearance, turned heads and led to DIA director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn sending letters to employees calling the presentation "highly offensive."
3. Inside Obama's Kailua Beach vacation homes: Called the "Winter White House," Whispers showed off the locale of President Obama's Hawaiian beach vacation from 2008 to 2010, while reporting how the first family moved down the street in 2011 to a house that has Kailua residents being "more cagey" when discussing it.
Anthony Weiner courts voters outside a Harlem subway station a day after announcing he will enter the New York mayoral race on May 23, 2013, in New York City. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
4. Poll: 78 percent of young women approve of Anthony Weiner: Anthony Weiner's second rise and fall thanks to sexting became great gossip fodder in 2013 as he campaigned to become New York City mayor. And while it may seem counterintuitive, one poll found that 78 percent of females ages 18-26 approved of the former Democratic Congressman. The caveat being that the poll was produced by Sugar Daddy dating site SeekingArrangement.com, which connects wealthy men to attractive women.
5. Rep. Alan Grayson: Syria intelligence manipulated: In September, Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., made the bold claim that the Obama administration manipulated evidence so that the United States would involve itself in the Syrian civil war. Grayson charged that Members of Congress were being given intelligence briefings that lacked evidence that Syrian leader Bashar Assad had ordered the use of chemical weapons. Later that month, the issue became moot when the United States and Russia agreed on a plan to bring Syrian chemical weapons under international control.
6. Lawmakers to ask where $62 million went for unbuilt Ike memorial: Whispers detailed the unraveling of the Frank Gehry-designed money suck that's been the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial project, which was supposed to be off the ground by 2013. Instead, Congress is following the money trail, the family has publicly opposed Gehry's design – which features imposing screens and columns – and a group called "Right by Ike" has formed.
First lady Michelle Obama was joined by actresses Whoopi Goldberg, left, Naomie Harris, right, and Blake Lively during a careers-in-film workshop for high school students at the White House Friday. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
7. Blake Lively, Harvey Weinstein and Hollywood makeup artists create teachable moments at White House: Hollywood hit the White House in November, as mega-producer Harvey Weinstein and "Gossip Girl" star Blake Lively, among others, came to town to talk to students about careers in film. First lady Michelle Obama was also on hand to talk Hollywood jobs.
8. Assange: Journalism doomed if Chelsea Manning convicted of aiding enemy: In July, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, joined the Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg, warned the world that if Chelsea Manning – then known as Bradley – was charged with aiding the enemy it would "embroil future journalistic sources in possible death penalty cases for speaking with the media." That's because aiding the enemy is punishable by execution, though in Manning's case, she wasn't to face death. Later that month, Manning was found guilty of charges including espionage, theft and fraud, but not of that particular charge.
9. Blackout: Defense Department blocks all articles about NSA leaks from 'millions' of computers: In June, Whispers reported that the Department of Defense was blocking online access to news reports containing the classified information leaked about the National Security Agency by Edward Snowden. Content blocked on the "millions" of DoD computers included the Guardian and other primary sources, along with other news articles citing these reports. The cyber blockade was installed because the DoD still considered the information classified, a protocol it also followed after the Wikileaks revelations.
10. There is no more 'Million Muslim March' on 9/11: Organizers of the "Million American March Against Fear" were annoyed that their event's original name, the "Million Muslim March" had percolated through the media, according to a Whispers item from August. Either way, the protest, which was mainly against government surveillance, was set to go down on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorism attacks. However, by the time the anniversary rolled around, the protest was attended by just a handful of people.