The Drudge War on Newt

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.

Leave a comment ?

23 Responses to The Drudge War on Newt

  1. This is a very sad state of affairs when even the so called right wing media is corrupt.

    Thanks for the story Mark.


  2. Adriennea says:

    One thing I've learned since I started to blog and has become my motto is. "Trust but verify," I don't care where I read something, I do a bit of checking.

    Some of the biggest sites are the worst. Gateway Pundit has become way more interested in his hit counter than the truth. If he does print something that turns out to be wrong he usually doesn't do a correction. Meantime the lemmings have all picked it up and it spreads like wildfire.

    The last big one I remember was the story that Ginger White (Cains' accuser) and Kimberly Vey, her business partner claiming they were lesbian lovers for 13 years. It originated from a poorly written sentence in a (I think New York Times) article. It went viral and it wasn't true.

    Only one person that I know of corrected what they had printed. That's a terrible slander against a person and everyone who printed it should have done a correction

    On a nice note, I received an email from Kimberly thanking me for going to bat for her.

  3. Your alert during the Marianne Gingrich thing made me look at Newt's post-SC win graphic as an editorial statement.

    Glancing last night at the multiple wild headlines ALL against Gingrich brought me to the same conclusion.

    I am more than a little shocked considering who his friends and enemies were getting started….

    amazing what we've learned this cycle.

    With the PPP showing Gingrich clearly fall to second without an equivalent rise in Santorum's numbers – i suspect unless there is a knockout debate for Newt – he will need Santorum to pull a Perry.

  4. Kathleen says:

    Here is an article I haven't seen on Drudge Report. It is in Newt's Defense. It seems to me to have some important stuff in it.

  5. I.M. Kane says:

    With your permission, I'd like to post your piece at The Millstone Diaries.

    I.M. Kane

  6. Angela Hale says:

    Legal Insurrection is also defending Newt and talking about the whole stories behind all of the smears. I pray that Newt is able and willing to answer the charges and to get the Florida nomination. This is beyond the pale, IMO but if he can overcome it, what will be left for Obama to hit him with?

  7. Kate says:

    What frightens me is, what is the alternative? Romney? The guy who's been running unsuccessfuly for President for more than a decade? It seems to me the GOP with its constant Newt attacks is going to self destruct and we're going to be stuck with Obama for another 4 years. I don't think this country can survive another 4 years of Obama. And I can't see Romney being any better. People need to wake up and like him or hate him see that Newt is our only shot at beating Obama.

  8. AngieAZ says:

    IMO there's more than meets the eye here. Wasn't Matt Drudge an ex-boyfriend of Ann Coulter & responsible for the cover of her book “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America,”?

  9. Dave says:

    OMG! You guys/gals are all ready to jump on the Newt bandwagon and dismiss all of his past statements and actions as "lies from the media." "It must be media bias." Well I too have learned to do my own homework. I have read the stories from both sides and it puts Gingrich's record at least in some doubt. The part I don't understand from you folks is that there is literally tons of audio and video of Newt claiming he is a big progressive, that his favorite president was FDR, that he is a Wilsonian politician, that the Wilson speeches still work, that Teddy Roosevelt was a great progressive leader. How much more actual audio and video evidence do you need to convince you that Newt is a big government progressive slimeball?

    Let's just ignore that he proposed to his second wife while still married to his first and that he did the same thing with his third wife. I guess character is no longer an issue. Let's nominate the guy we think can destroy Obama in the presidential debates, if there even is one. Obama doesn't need to participate in a debate if he doesn't want to, and he has plenty of ammo to destry Newt with. He doesn't even need to lie to do it.

    Can't you folks find someone with honesty and integrity to support; someone whom we know supports and defends the constitution? Or do you agree with Newt and the other progressives; that the constitution needs to die and be replaced?

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Dave, I think you fundamentally misunderstand what's going on here. I don't know anybody who will tell you Newt was their first choice. I know a HUGE NUMBER who will tell you they have landed there as what they see as the most viable alternative to Mitt, and they are almost all people who are tired of the media, including right-wing establishment media, telling them who their nominee should be.


      • Gail says:

        You said it right, Mark….My first choice was Ron Paul before I knew about his foreign policy.
        After I heard Newt speak in the debates well, I though to myself…this man can lead our Nation…Mitt reminds me of Nixion, stiff and unlikeable…Santorunm will be a good President for good times but I don't think he can handle the stress for now.

  10. audri says:

    This dredges up memories of Benedict Allen West . I still don't trust him nor do I trust many others for that matter.
    How could Sarah Palin stump for McCain in 2010? I'm not buying the PC thing of returning tit for tat.
    Red flags are up and I've now given a middle name to Marco "Pull-o the wool over my eyes" Rubio.
    I'm going to search "Birds of a feather flocking together" to see if it's Biblical.
    Meanwhile, I'll keep clinging to Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

  11. AngieAZ says:

    Video of Newt Bashing Reagan is Bogus:

  12. CPB says:

    Thanks for the info, Mark. I know that the GOP establishment, complicit with the MSM, are in the Newt-bashing mode because they want Romney, but I didn't know Drudge was part of it. Guess I'm not really that surprised. They were all involved in the takedown of Rick Perry too. Perry definitely made a few mistakes in his campaign, but he didn't deserve the treatment he got. I think he has a better conservative record and less skeletons in the closet than Mitt or Newt, but he was never given a chance in the public realm. The site has a 2 part article that relates very honestly "why Rick Perry didn't go all the way". I have lived and voted in Texas all my life and no idea that the media and the GOP leadership in this state was so screwed up – I felt very betrayed after reading this. There is no telling what they are going to do to which ever candidates are left in the circus when they get around to the Texas primary in April. The articles about Perry and your information about Drudge are truly eye-openers and make me even more skeptical of ANYTHING I see in the MSM or on-line now. Get the facts. Verify. Verify. Verify again….

  13. mrfixit says:

    Gingrinch has many issues that speak for themselves, he is a progressive afterall that admires FDR and other progressives, he has said this in his own words!
    Why we are thinking it has to be either Newt or Romney is the real issue, neither are great choices. Of the remaining, I'd go with Santorum, but NONE are perfect.
    Why are we buying this is a 2 man race? It is not.

    • MarkAmerica says:

      As you know, I haven't endorsed any of them. I want to see this continue to play out.

    • Gail says:

      "Progressive" in FDRs time didn't quite mean what it means today…to day it means Marxist leaning…I don't think FDR was a Marxist. Nor do I think Wilson was Marxist. You can call them Liberal but even that doesn't mean the same as today.

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