The Drudge Report

29 Dec

Drudge-Report-28Dec2012-sizedWe used to be fans of the Drudge Report.

It’s probably the #1 website in the country, which may not say much for all of us.

Why will become clear in a moment.

The Drudge Report is run by Matt Drudge and a very small crew of people.

He has been called one of the most influential people in the country.

If influence is measured by the number of people visiting a web site, then that’s true.

The latest figures show twenty-eight million visitors a day – eleven billion in the past year.

We tend to check it often – not because it’s a news site (it isn’t) but because if something big is happening, he usually has it first.

To Drudge’s credit, we don’t ever remember him calling his website a “news” site.

What the site does to link to somewhere between 40 – 50 stories that are published elsewhere.

These are stories he and his staff pick.

Some are oddball, some are interesting, some are boring.

Different things for different folks.

When it comes to politics, Drudge is as conservative as they come and the stories they pick reflect that view.

Our problem is: it’s obvious Drudge has no use for Barack Obama.

The articles linked on his page are almost universally negative, and taken together, make the man look like a stumbling buffoon.

Are we complaining?

No, it’s his website and he can post what he wants.

Remember, he doesn’t write this stuff.

He looks for stories in other places and if he finds them interesting, or they agree with his view – he posts a link to them with a headline.

Sounds exactly like what every blogger is trying to do.

We’re moderates and smart enough to separate the crap from the good stuff, or our view, from his.

Many commentaries have been written about how Drudge should be more unbiased because he’s perceived as a news organization.

Mr. Drudge is definitely not a news organization and can be whatever he wants.

His statistics show there’s a large audience for what he makes available.

One can not help but believe that audience consists of mostly politicians, looking to see what’s being said about them; ultra-conservatives looking to find some affirmation for their views; and the plain curious, like us.

But eleven-billion visits a year is a lot and quite a bully pulpit and the argument can be made what you find there, can, and maybe does, shape many of the discussions in our country.

Still, he has no obligation to make room for people who are liberal or moderate, or be whatever anyone else wants him to be.

Back to the beginning…

We used to be fans of the Drudge Report.

That ended at the last political season where his site was more anti-Obama than most Republican Super-PAC web sites.

The guy could do no right by the rules Drudge allows.

Things like the “birther issue” and Donald Trump got huge play on his website, while reasonable people laughed at the stupidity of those who believed it.

To us, it’s an issue of fairness which should always be there regardless of one’s point-of-view.

To us, he sometimes crosses from a conservative point-of-view to right-wing hatred.

To a significant portion of the twenty-eight million visitors a day, this may be their only source of “news”.

Is there a responsibility with this?

The responsibility is to stick to your guns and don’t be anything but what you are – but be open about it.

Sure, we’d like it to be more middle-of-the-road where everyone gets a fair shot.

But that’s not what it is and has never pretended to be.

Although we also argue it has never openly presented itself with some notice that you’re reading his idea of what’s important.

The Drudge Report leaves it up to you to decide what it is.

Because it doesn’t tell people, too many think it’s a news site.

That’s why we are no longer fans.

2 Responses to “The Drudge Report”

  1. moderatesareamyth December 30, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    Perhaps you ought to be as critical of John Stewart & Steven Colbert, whom so many under 40 feel are “news”. Or the HBO schtick which passes as ‘entertainment’ not propaganda, really??

    • Honolulu Notes December 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      You make an excellent point. Many people who watch Stewart and Colbert say that is where they get their “news”. Since it is so obviously played for laughs we find it difficult to understand how anyone can see it as a source for news, yet some do.

      We’re not sure what HBO “schtick” you mean.

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Honolulu Notes

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