BBC News publishes live traffic stats

A great new addition to the BBC News site is the 'Most Popular Now' page. A very pretty Flash app, or a more boring HTML page, tells you which stories on the site are attracting the most clicks (and from where). You can browse through top-level data for the last seven days too, if you click on the 'around the site' tab.
There's a mini-version in the right-hand margin of all (?) News stories, showing the 'most read' and 'most popular' stories. Isn't there a risk this could skew the figures? If you make it easier to find the most popular stories, more people will click on them, which keeps them at the top of the 'most popular' list. It could all be a bit self-perpetuating.
What do we learn? BBC News readers have the same fairly low-brow interests as the less reputable sources. Alongside continuing interest in Iraq and Israel stories, we have Big Brother, a cat chasing a bear, and 'rethinking the clitoris'.