Posts Tagged ‘Drudge’

Santorum Day on Drudge?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

His Turn!

Is this the beginning of the Drudge offensive against Santorum? It seems this may be Drudge’s first serious drive to hit Rick Santorum, while he mostly avoids Mitt’s continuing problems.  I realize some of you think that Drudge is an innocent here, and that’s all well and good if you believe it, but let me say plainly that I won’t believe that until he has a Mitt Romney day.  You see, while he’s placed a few mildly critical articles about Mitt Romney, but in the main, what he links about Romney is neutral or positive.  This has led some conservatives to look for alternatives, but I expect before this week is out, we’ll get the flashing alarm light and some red text too.

Santorum is closing in Arizona, and leading in Michigan.  I see it as only a matter of time before Drudge goes full-bore against Santorum, but maybe Drudge will be a little more careful this time, avoiding the the appearance of an obvious parade of smears of the sort he launched against Gingrich.

I suppose I’ll wait here for “Mitt Romney Day” on Drudge, but I suspect I’ll be waiting a long time…

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Exposed: A Drudge-Romney Connection?

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

What's His Game?

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.

The Drudge War on Newt

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

Spin Meister?

I’d like you to take a look at DrudgeReport.  There is an all-out war on Newt Gingrich, not merely by the left-wing media, but particularly on the right side of the political divide.  Drudge has run as many as nine negative articles about Gingrich simultaneously, but he is running few negative articles about Romney, and those he does run are only half-negative, so it’s becoming clear that Drudge is trying to manipulate the outcome in the direction of a result he prefers.  I surely hope conservatives realize that nobody in media is pure, because everybody has biases.  In the case of Drudge, his “developing” take-down story in the middle of last week over the ABC News Marianne Gingrich interview story was his first attempt to ruin Gingrich’s momentum.  When within hours, that attempt failed, making it clear nobody would buy the “big smear” story. Instead, Drudge backed off and began his “death by one-thousand cuts” strategy, and this is what you are now witnessing.

Drudge has learned the lesson well over his years as the prime link aggregation site on the Internet, and indeed, it could be said the term was invented to describe his page.  The problem with Drudge, and it has always been his problem, is that he editorializes in the way he places links to stories in order to manipulate his audience.  His all-out war on Gingrich is a perfect example.  He doesn’t need to write one negative word himself.  He merely decides which stories, where they are placed, and how long they will endure in that position on his page.  A week ago, on Thursday morning, you should have noticed if you visited his site that he was still pushing the Marianne Gingrich story despite the fact that it had already been debunked, and that story persisted as the lead on his page until Thursday night’s debate.  Ordinarily, top stories are not that long-lived on Drudge, but in the case of Gingrich, they go on and on and on.

It’s also the urgency he conveys to his audience.  As I pointed out during last week’s disgraceful episode, when the Gingrich daughters responded to the trash flooding the Drudge site in red letters accompanied by his flashing light symbol, I asked whether he would now treat the antithesis involving the Newt daughters with similar urgency.  Predictably, as was my point, he did not.  This unwillingness to give equal coverage of the debunking of a story indicates a bias, and while I’m accustomed to that coming from most media sources, to see it so openly on Drudge is a bit of a gut-punch.

It’s clear that this is a strategy to take down Newt, and whether he’s coordinating with others, or simply acting out his own political preferences is impossible to determine.  Thursday morning, he continues to run a story by Elliot Abrams from back in the 1980s when Newt was critical of Reagan’s State Department, primarily, but what Drudge fails to mention is that Abrams was the assistant Secretary of State who was under criticism by Gingrich at the time.  On the article itself, you need to flip to page two to learn this by reading the biographical note about Abrams if you didn’t already know it. Most people don’t, and most people don’t make it to page two.  Abrams is also a Council on Foreign Relations player, in case you didn’t know.

What all of this makes clear to me is what I’ve long suspected:  Drudge is part of the GOP’s establishment now.  I’ve had questions about some of the stories he’s placed on his site for years, but he’s the eight-hundred pound Internet gorilla, and there’s little a small voice can say about it.  Some of you will rightly note that he couldn’t run stories that don’t exist, but I will respond that he already has.  That was the meaning of the entire sad episode of last week with the ABC NEws/Marianne Gingrich story: There was no news there, but his placement and pushing of the theme made it a story.  Whether you prefer Gingrich, or any of the others, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Drudge is definitely displaying his bias, whatever the motive.  This is why I have a fundamental distrust of big media, left or right, and it’s also why you shouldn’t be a headlines surfer.  Headlines are frequently misleading, and until you know the guts of a story, it’s best not to form conclusions, because it is too easy to be misled.  We’re all news consumers, but as with any other outlet, be it the “mainstream media” or Drudge, or even this site, you are best always to bear in mind that well-worn but too frequently unobserved phrase: Caveat emptor.