What site creator wouldn't want 50K+ visitors per day? That's approximately the traffic Wonkette gets on workdays. Based on a quick estimate from Blogads' quoted prices, that much traffic can earn that site about $80-$140K/year in advertising. For sitting home in your warm space blogging (she's obviously not spending much time fact-checking). I think the content on Wonkette is as engaging as an episode of Will & Grace, only shallow. I glance through it once in a while out of curiosity.
My obsession, however, is the site's public display of popularity, the Site Meter Stats. The free version of Site Meter gives a bunch of running stats (referrers, search terms, duration of visit between two consecutive places on the site); the administrator can set the meter to be public or private. I consider her Site Meter to be essentially a daily GDP indicator. When "Average per day" (visitors) approaches 60K, the workforce is present, accounted for and bored out of their minds. When the numbers are substantially lower, it's usually a holiday or weekend. It's one of the places marginalized, privileged white people go when they're "working" to read about really important stuff.
She usually writes about titillating topics like a photo of a funny bulge in someone's pants, the Olsen Twins or whether or not McCauley Culkin is gay. BUT IT SELLS! 50-60K per day!! Why? It can't be the writing (lots of bullet points and short easy-to-pronounce words dominate the entries).
Why am I obsessed over this?
Because, it's a living. A darn good living for 10 or so entries a day (since she's a pro, she has a quota and stuff). I suspect, with that kind of exposure, all the contributors (site designers, hosting, etc.) are providing free services in exchange for advertising so the income is likely all profit. I run another site and fantasize about traffic like this (not here though, I like davesbeer's small audience). I guess I'll just keep probing search results and traffic and try to figure out the secret.