Those of us who ‘cut our teeth’ on Internet journalism back in the day remember the rise of the Drudge Report, and what’s more, we remember it fondly.
Founded by Matt Drudge, who grew up in Maryland and whose parents were both Democrats, the site began very modestly. After Drudge moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s he took a job in the gift shop of CBS studios, where the entertainment gossip he was privy to served as the inspiration for The Drudge Report, initially just an email newsletter.
Originally part gossip and part opinion, the newsletter went out to a few friends but eventually his email list grew to tens of thousands. At one point, Drudge met the late conservative icon Andrew Breitbart (founder of that well-known news site) who became Matt’s mentor. Later, the two of them ran The Drudge Report website, but Breitbart departed amicably in 2005 to run his own news site.
Drudge broke some stories in the mid-to-late 1990s that brought him notoriety and his website a lot of traffic. The stories he actually broke included a report that Jack Kemp would be Sen. Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential running mate and the affair then-President Bill Clinton was having with intern Monica Lewinsky because Newsweek, which had the scoop first, refused to publish it. The latter led to Clinton’s impeachment.
Over the years and as the site gained popularity, Drudge became known as a news aggregate website featuring mostly conservative and Right-leaning content. He wrote a bestselling book in 2000 called “Drudge Manifesto.” His popularity would land him a Sunday evening talk radio show and a short-lived weekend show on Fox News.
Mainstream media outlets, though they lean very much to the Left, are very much appreciative when Drudge happens to link to one of their stories. With millions of page views daily, stories linked on the site get monster traffic. In fact, in October 2006 then-Washington Post editor Len Downie, speaking at the Online News Convention in Washington, D.C., said, “Our largest driver of traffic is Drudge.” (Related: Cowardly Ambien maker throws shade at Roseanne and Matt Drudge CALLS them out.)
As for his personal beliefs, he told the Miami New Times in 2001, “I am a conservative. I am very much pro-life. If you go down the list of what makes up a conservative, I’m there almost all the way.”
How conservative is Matt Drudge and The Drudge Report? So much so that subscribers to talk giant Rush Limbaugh’s website will almost always see the site pulled up when viewing Rush’s show via the “DittoCam.”
Or, should we say, as conservative as Drudge used to be?
Something strange has been happening over the past year that has turned many of his staunchest supporters into former supporters: The conservative news aggregator who mentored with one of the most influential conservative journalists and media moguls in recent history — Breitbart — appears to be leaning…Leftward.
Fortunately, there is an alternative: Censored.news. The aggregate site, which has been growing steadily since its introduction in 2017, provides readers with legitimate links to sites featuring conservative, pro-Trump, and pro-America content, not Left-wing anti-American sources that Drudge constantly links to nowadays.
What happened? It’s possible that Drudge, who really seemed pro-Trump prior to the 2016 election, is angry at the president over his feud with conservative pundit and pal Ann Coulter (they were seen together attending one of Trump’s debates). That appears to be about the time Drudge started his “leftward” lurch.
If so, that’d be a shame. Drudge has been a stalwart promoter of conservative media. Looks like his crown is about to be taken, however.