Why was this USATODAY.com feature done in Flash?
There are only disadvantages. Flash hinders the content's accessibility: Anyone who uses a non-graphical browser isn't able to see any of this. We're lucky this isn't important information.
Note: I'm not sure whether this, the "USA TODAY Snapshots" graphic, is a daily feature on USATODAY.com, because I don't visit the site often. If it is, perhaps they take more advantage of the Flash format on some days and today was an exception. Still, that's no excuse for saying ignoring users who don't have access to Flash.