At the height of the past week’s Drudge Report punishing of Newt Gingrich, many eyebrows were raised. Drudge seemed to be running an inordinate number of anti-Gingrich hit-pieces, and myself and others began to wonder what might be lurking behind this story. It wasn’t that it was mere bias, something we’ve all learned to expect from all media outlets, but instead an overwhelming sense that Drudge simply wanted to pummel Gingrich into the ground to make way for Mitt Romney. I received emails from readers asking “what the hell is wrong with Drudge,” but I was at a loss to explain it. Drudge has always been a somewhat elusive personality, but this afternoon, somebody passed along a story that might help to explain it. I read the article in fascination, and I apologize to my readers for having missed this when it first published. It seems obvious, reading this article in retrospect, with a few more months behind us what had been going on, and now it seems clearer than ever given Drudge’s one man war on Newt Gingrich during the last week.
The article from last November over at DamnDirtyRino.com offers a view of things when Drudge was pummeling Rick Perry, then still in the campaign for the nomination. While not nearly as exhaustive as his most recent slant against Gingrich, what happened was very similar in terms of his approach. A number of harsh anti-Perry headlines appeared prominently, and they served their purpose well. Apparently, back in 2005, RNC operatives arranged a meeting between Drudge and Matt Rhodes, a highly placed operative in the Romney operation. Ever since then, Drudge’s links haven’t included headlines that were negative toward Romney, and what’s more, it seems that whomever challenges Romney gets ripped, ultimately.
The article concludes with the following:
“What’s disappointing about all of this, though, is the fact that from Matt Drudge’s earliest days posting Hollywood gossip on Usenet discussion boards, he’s set himself up as the answer to the biased media that refuses to air, and often actively suppresses, information that shows conservatives in a positive light. Since then, it appears that Matt Drudge has become the new boss . . . same as the old boss.”
It’s not a new article, published last November, but it made clear allegations about a process of clearly biased smears that had not yet been turned against Newt Gingrich, but at the time, was being fielded against Herman Cain, too, if you’ll remember. Some thought me a bit over-the-top in questioning Drudge, or suggesting that he may well have been blended into the Republican establishment, but given that he was having sit-downs with a high-powered Romney operative in 2005, in a meet put together by RNC operatives, maybe I was closer than I knew. I don’t claim that Drudge shouldn’t be able to advocate on behalf of whomever he likes, but he should at the very least state it out front so the rest of us have no doubt. Of course, looking at his page recently, it shouldn’t have left much doubt anyway.