The devil Drudge

Maybe I’m more aware of this because I’m a Hillary supporter, but it does seem as if the New York Times is taking any opportunity to swipe at her. Yesterday’s page one carried a story that was shocked — shocked, I tell you — that the Clinton campaign might actually be feeding stories to the dreaded Drudge Report.

….But it was a prime example of a development that has surprised much of the political world: Mrs. Clinton is learning to play nice with the Drudge Report and the powerful, elusive and conservative-leaning man behind it. . . .

That people in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign orbit would tip off the Drudge Report to its fund-raising numbers is in part a reflection of her pragmatic approach to dealing with potential enemies, like Newt Gingrich or Rupert Murdoch. . . .

The site is a potent combination of real scoops, gossip and innuendo aimed at Mr. Drudge’s targets of choice — some of it delivered with no apparent effort to determine its truth, as politicians of all stripes have discovered at times.

Would they be equally shocked if Rudy Giuliani or John McCain tried to get good publicity from, oh, the New York Times?

And it’s not as if the Times doesn’t benefit plenty from
Drudge. Last I checked, Drudge was the single largest nonsearch referrer to both the Times and the Washington Post. And I’ve heard executives from major publications and blogs say that they wouldn’t piss off Drudge because he sends them so much traffic.

So why are they so shocked that Clinton might try to get a favorable link? What’s the news there? Or is it an opportunity to slap Hillary while she’s up? Just asking.

  • WoofWoof

    Apologies for off topic but this is journalism realted (San Diego Fire) so I thought it might be appropriate here. I’ve gathered over 100 links and maps from local papers and bloggers with info on the San Diego fires. Check it out here.

    Getting a lot of traffic, maybe because the Union Tribune servers have not been working half of the day. They switched their blog over to Google’s to handle the load.

  • Eric Jaffa

    It’s interesting that Hillary’s Clinton campaign apparently released info to the Drudge Report first.

    It’s a good article.

  • Eric Jaffa

    I made a typo. Should be “Hillary Clinton’s.”

    Anyway, the point of the article isn’t that Drudge is the devil, but that he’s a Republican who has previously promoted stories which are negative to the Clintons.

  • Drudge Report is here to stay.

    The demographic winter is here.

    Aging workforce in the US.

    Website with good information on the subject.

    Have a nice day.

    Solange Miller

  • bbebop

    Great to see “Hilary supporter” at the top. But another quibble. I’d recommend saying “sensitive to” instead of “aware of,” because, as a non-Hilary supporter, I read the article without being aware of or sensitive to the point you’re making.

    And to answer the question you asked me last time, I’d have a difficult time supporting Hilary (maybe in the general election I’d find a way to hold my nose). And I’m probably leaning toward Obama at this point. OTOH, I haven’t really made a decision yet and probably won’t for awhile.

    Of course, I’m not blogging about this stuff, so where I might stand seems a little less important.

    I should say that in 2000 I raced home to vote for Dollar Bill Bradley in the California primary even though I knew Gore was sweeping the country. Didn’t even have to hold my nose to vote for Al in the general.

  • Don

    her pragmatic approach to dealing with potential enemies

    "Potential enemies" seems to ring true. Among other things Hillary's Secret War chronicles former Clinton White House aide Sidney Blumenthal’s $30 million lawsuit against the DRUDGE REPORT. Poe's book also tells Matt Drudge’s interesting back story.

    As Drudge tells it, his obsession with news dates from childhood. As a paperboy for the Washington Star in Tacoma Park, Maryland, Drudge used to run late every day with his deliveries, because he would pull his cart over to the nearest park bench and read the paper from beginning to end. "On the bench, 1 would play editor," he later wrote. "I noticed how their lead story was not really the lead story. How the hottest news was buried on the inside pages and the best reporting was riding at the end of the copy when it should have been at the beginning. I'd rewrite my own headlines for an audience of one."

    The only child of divorced parents, Drudge withdrew into a private world where the background hum of electronic media often substituted for human company. "Talk radio tucked me in at night and the police scanner was my unconditional best friend," he recalls. "We remain pals to this day."

    Drudge remembers walking the streets of Washington DC as a teenager. His feet often took him to the Washington Post building at 15th Street. "I'd look longingly, knowing I'd never get in," writes Drudge. "Didn't attend the right schools…. My father was not the son of a famous drunken Southern senator, nor was I even remotely connected to a powerful publishing dynasty."

    Instead, Drudge took a job as a store clerk at a local 7-Eleven right out of high school. "Every morning at about 2 o'clock the bulldog editions of all the major papers would be dropped off right at my doorstep. I couldn't wait to get my hands on them. While the rest of the city slept, I'd read fresh headlines and bylines-first, before anyone else. The predawn customers would get an earful. I was never sure I cared about being first, but boy did I feel connected when I was."

    In 1988; at age twenty-one, Drudge moved to Los Angeles. He became manager of the CBS Studios gift shop – a job he would hold for the next seven years. A natural newsman without a newspaper, Drudge resorted to compulsive snooping. He eavesdropped in the executive suites and hung around the newsroom. Then he discovered the trash bins in the copy room on the ground floor at Television City, filled each morning with overnight Nielsen ratings, box office returns, and memos on their way to the shredder. Suddenly, Drudge had access to real news. But how would he release it?

    Right around that time, Drudge's father, worried that his son was on a career track to nowhere, bought him a 486 Packard Bell computer. "I found a way to post items on Internet newsgroups, things I had gleaned direct from the soundstages, the halls and the stalls," recalls Drudge. "I collected a few e-mail addresses. I set up a list." The Drudge Report launched officially in the winter of 1994. Says Drudge, "One reader turned into five. Five into a hundred … a thousand, five thousand, a hundred thousand."

  • Cooler Heads

    I love a good swipe at Saint Hilary. And it’s even better if Drudge is somehow involved.

  • PSGInfinity

    “…Hillary’s Clinton campaign…”

    Eric, that looks like a great Freudian slip to me.

  • Maybe she’s paying him for favorable coverage. There are growing rumors that the Clinton campaign has an army of stealth bloggers who are being paid to be supportive of her.

  • Dawn,

    That is worse than the worst of which Drudge is accused. Some evidence, please: who’s being paid? who’s spreading the rumors, for that matter? on what basis?

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  • chico haas

    ANYTHING that helps Hillary get the Dem nomination will make the Presidential election far simpler for everyone.

  • You can’t possibly be–or could you?–so naive as to not see that the point of the story is the incredible irony that the very guy who helped launch a crisis in her husband’s presidency is now apparently being used as a leak outlet by the wife in her hunt for her own time in the office. That, and the continuing storyline of what a sad state of affairs it is when such a reckless idiot has any power over journalism.

  • I thought you’d be interested in our findings in the new “Confidence in Foreign Policy Index.” In short, our Foreign Policy Anxiety Indicator measures American attitudes toward current foreign policy and the nation’s place in the world, while providing policy makers, journalists, bloggers and ordinary citizens with the public’s overall comfort level with America’s place in the world and current foreign policy. Here is a snapshot:

    – The number of Americans who say they worry at least “somewhat” about a terrorist attack has increased seven points in six months.
    – More than eight in 10 people give the government a grade of C or worse on controlling immigration – a finding that has increased nine points since 2005
    – Nearly six in 10 say we have a moral obligation to the Iraqi people, while only one-third say the United States should act in its own interest without regard to how it affects the Iraqis
    – When asked if U.S. troops should stay in Iraq to control the violence even if it means more American casualties or withdraw even if it means more Iraqi casualties, 55 percent said the United States should still withdraw

    Of course, these are only a few of the issues mentioned in Public Agenda’s new report. Check it out at Feel free to get back to me with any questions or comments!

  • Drudge is laughing his tail off at you MORONS that think the example noted constitutes “favorable coverage”.

    Hillary is stupid if she thinks Drudge doesn’t hate her guts.

    Anyone who thinks money and advertising is the key to winning a popular election is also retarded. (See Howard Dean).

    And, most cynically, even if for some convoluted reason Drudge wanted Hillary to win the nomination, how do you clowns know that it’s not some grand Karl Rovian strategy to set up the unelectable, contemptible cuckold for a Republican landslide?

  • I took it as a nod to the politically savvy Clinton team of figuring out how to do co-opt (er — do business with) with an adversary by finding common ground.

    Damn Clintonesque, if you ask me … Well done.

  • lvcjmac

    Like it or not, Drudge is here to stay. It’s such an important part of the news day for many people and if the Clinton campaign is feeding information to them, good for them. It’s good to see that someone is aware of the ever-evolving media market, and embracing it…lvcjmac

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  • More evidence that Hillary owns Drudge (link)