With Monday’s column, David Carr “is still standing on the dock with the S.S. Drudge several miles out to sea,” writes Will Bunch. “Carr breezily dismisses what should be a central issue here: Drudge’s right-wing world view.” Bunch contends Matt Drudge “stays on top” by pandering on race and right-wing paranoia.
In recent years other news aggregators have come along — the popular Huffington Post is Exhibit A — and so in order to “stay on top,” as Carr headlines it, Drudge has refined his editorial skills, and what he does best now is cleverly promote stories that dovetail with the right-wing media barricade erected by his pal Rush Limbaugh, other radio talkers, the Fox News Channel that went from 0 to 60 during the Drudge years, and nascent political groups like the Tea Party or Glenn Beck’s 9-12 Project (all of whom keep Drudge’s traffic high by talking up what they read there.)
Bunch says Drudge also “stays on top” by taking small local police blotter items and making them into a national cause celebre because they involve black-on-white crime.
We should by all means talk about Matt Drudge, but we need to be honest about who he is, who he influences and how — and that is a far uglier picture that the one that New York Times readers got. Of all the exaggerated, half-bogus story lines that have been spun on the Drudge Report, none has been more successful or more enduring than the legend of Matt Drudge himself.
* “How Drudge Stays on Top?: By Pandering on Race, Right-Wing Paranoia” [Philly.com]
* “Washington Post Disputes Study Touting Drudge’s Influence” [HuffPo]
* Earlier: Drudge’s Influence May Remain, but His Audience Waxes and Wanes [Poynter.org]