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A local conservative gets mad at the Strib … update!

Remember the Strib’s story on the Christian group protesting a new Starbucks logo? One local conservative didn’t like it, but a stunning number of readers did.

Last week, we relayed local conservative Tom Horner’s complaint the the cash-strapped Strib shouldn’t deploy local reporters to cover non-local silliness. The subject of Horner’s ire: a piece about a Christian group protesting a new and perhaps provocative Starbucks logo.

This week, we learned the story generated 675,000 page views. That’s right; two-thirds of a million.

That puts it in the Top 10 all-time at, online managing editor Terry Sauer says.

Reporter Paul Walsh says originally heard the story on Dan Barreiro’s KFAN show. The next morning, the reporter googled the original release and discovered only blogs had done the story. (It first broke on AdAge’s site.)  “I knew coffee, sex and religion would be a potent threesome for reader interest,” he writes in an e-mail.

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Walsh contends that the Starbucks story “really didn’t keep me away from any local story I would’ve done.” He writes between five and 10 online stories each weekday, from  “little more than press release rewrites” to full-blown pieces such as the Minnesota State student who drank herself to death.

He writes that the Starbucks was an “easy call.” Like a good caffeine addict, he adds, “I can physically feel my pulse quicken when I find a story I just have to do.”