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10 Most-Viewed Videos of 2011: Rick Perry, Alex Jones, Lance Armstrong

As we prepare to ring in the new year, we take a look back at some of our most-viewed videos of 2011.

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Today, we take a look back at the most popular stories produced by our multimedia team — judging by the number of times they were viewed.

The numbers tell us you were intensely interested in Gov. Rick Perry’s run at the Republican presidential nomination from the moment he hinted he might be interested in the job last spring to his most notable debate gaffes and stump speeches of the fall. You also wanted to know about statements the governor before he entered the race, some of them from 2009 and 2010 interviews.

The list doesn't strictly feature politicians, though. Seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong is the subject of one of our most popular TribLive videos. CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith questioned Armstrong about allegations that he doped as a professional cyclist during a discussion that also highlighted his work promoting cancer research and anti-smoking legislation.

A simple, old-fashioned protest also captured your attention. For the better part of 2011, the top spot on the “most-watched” list belonged to outspoken radio host Alex Jones. He convinced dozens of his anti-federal government listeners to storm the Texas Capitol during the legislative session after it appeared lawmakers would be backing off of a notorious bill to ban “groping” by Transportation Security Administration security officers at airports.

As we entered the final week of 2011, we were not surprised to see Perry knocked Jones off the most-watched video spot on the Trib’s site. Probably not for the reason the governor wanted, though. At one point during a September Fox/Google debate, Perry bungled an attempt to zing his leading opponent, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. It would be the first in a string of embarrassing gaffes, leading pundits to declare Perry possibly the worst debater in American political history. 

Here's the full list of the top 10 most-viewed videos of 2011:

1. Perry's First Major Debate Stumble, Attempts to Call Out Romney's Flip Flop — 31,694 views

2. Alex Jones Storms Texas Capitol Over TSA Anti-Groping Bill — 31,289 views

3. Analysis: String of Perry Flubs Sparks Doubts — 20,881 views 

4. TribLive: Lance Armstrong on the Doping Investigation — 10,837 views

5. Perry Responds to Obama's Criticism After He Accuses Bernanke of "Treason" — 9,509 views

6. In May Press Conference, Perry Says He Won't Be "Distracted" by Presidential Rumors — 8,381 views

7. In 2010 Interview, Perry Discusses Death Penalty and Willingham Case — 6,603 views

8. During 2009 Campaign, Perry Says Obama Administration "Trying to Punish Texas" — 6,305 views

9. Perry's August "Response" Revival in Houston Unites, Divides — 5,915 views

10. Within Days of Announcing Presidential Run, Perry Calls Printing Money "Treasonous" — 5,876 views

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Courts Criminal justice State government Barack Obama Death penalty Griffin Perry Rick Perry State agencies Texas death row