What's more, another topic that Drudge-ologists will never dare to broach is the question of whether reporters and editors should take their cues from a confirmed serial fact-inventor. Is this, you know, a bad thing? What does it say about the business? Don't the same reporters and editors who proclaim Drudge's influence make editorial decisions to follow him when they do? Isn't one of the dirty secrets of the profession that reporters and editors on occasion actually tailor their stories to get Drudge links?
If Drudge is going to consume our attention, how about a real discussion of Drudge and what the Drudge phenomenon says about the journalism profession -- one that goes beyond the narrow question of how influential he is? The last thing we need is yet more auto-pilot Drudge-worship.
Drudge is, I suspect, a manufactured gate-keeper, promoted to internet stardom precisely so that he can tell web surfers what they should and should not pay attention to.
The reason I say this has to do with the falling out I had with Drudge many years ago during the Clinton administration. At the time, I had just started my own political website, focused almost exclusively on the murder of White House Deputy Council Vincent Foster
At the time, Matt and I traded emails on a regular basis. I fed him information, some of which he used.
Vincent Foster was found with a dark blued steel gun next to him. His fingerprints were not on it. A DNA test could not connect him to it. The gun was made from pieces from at least two other guns to make tracing the serial number useless (an old CIA/Mafia trick). Nevertheless, the official inquiry concluded that the gun found with Vincent Foster's body was Foster's gun, because Lisa, his widow, identified it as such. But the official FBI records, written by the FBI interviewers, proved that the gun Lisa actually identified, the gun shown to her by the FBI, was "silver colored", not dark blued steel.
I presented this hard evidence to Drudge. He ignored it, choosing instead to run a story in which he claimed that Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal had a history of Domestic abuse. Blumenthal sued Drudge for $30 million and the news coverage made Drudge an instant internet celebrity, eventually landing Drudge his own TV show on FOX. Once the objective of making Drudge an internet star was achieved, Blumenthal dropped his lawsuit.
Ever since then, I have ignored Drudge (as he ignores me), as he appears to be the internet's version of a Mockingbird asset.