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Drudge Report
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factoids
| commercial = | registration = NoEnglish language>English| num_users = | content_license = | owner = Matt Drudge| author = Matt Drudge| editor = Matt Drudge, Charles HurtHollywood, California, United States| revenue = PUBLISHER= ALEXA INTERNET, June 6, 2018, | current_status = Active| background = | programming_language = News aggregator>News aggregation, blogging| advertising = Yes}}The Drudge Report is an American conservative,*NEWS, MacAskill, Ewen, Conservative media release old video of Obama in so-called 'explosive' exclusive, The Guardian, October 3, 2012,weblink June 27, 2016,
  • NEWS, Deruy, Emily, Why This 'Obama Phone' Ad Is Misleading, October 18, 2012,weblink ABC News, July 4, 2016,
  • NEWS,weblink A Nation Challenged: The Media; Network Coverage a Target Of Fire From Conservatives, The New York Times, New York Times, April 21, 2009, Jim, Rutenberg, Bill, Carter, November 7, 2001, right-wingNEWS,weblink Right-wing media points fingers at anyone but Trump following healthcare bill failure, Business Insider, October 20, 2017, en,
  • NEWS,weblink After Dallas, conservatives rebel against the Drudge Report, Business Insider, October 20, 2017, en,
  • BOOK,weblink Digital Journalism, Jones, Janet, Salter, Lee, November 10, 2011, SAGE, 9781446254042, en, news aggregation website. Run by Matt Drudge with the help of Charles Hurt,NEWS, Calderone, Michael, May 12, 2011,weblink Matt Drudge Hires Washington Times Columnist Charles Hurt, The Washington Post, May 13, 2011, the site consists mainly of links to news stories from other outlets about politics, entertainment, and current events; it also has links to many columnists. Occasionally, Drudge authors new stories himself, based on tips.
The Drudge Report originated in 1995 as a weekly subscriber-based email dispatch.BOOK,weblink 146–7, Encyclopedia of American Journalism, Drudge Report, Jason M Shepard, 978-0-415-96950-5, 2008, It was the first news source to break the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the public, after Newsweek decided to hold its story.NEWS,weblink Scandalous scoop breaks online, June 23, 2007, BBC News, January 25, 1998,

Origins

The Drudge Report started in 1995 as a gossip column focusing on Hollywood and Washington, D.C.WEB,weblink Blumenthal vs Drudge, December 18, 2006, Matt Drudge began the email-based newsletter from an apartment in Hollywood, California using his connections with industry and media insiders to break stories, sometimes before they hit the mainstream media. In its early days Drudge maintained the website from his home in Miami Beach, Florida, with help from assistants in story selection and headline writing. His first assistant was Andrew Breitbart.NEWS, Sappell, Joel, Hot links served up daily, Los Angeles Times, August 4, 2007,weblink August 4, 2007, Breitbart, who described himself as "Matt Drudge's bitch",WEB,weblink Lists: What's Your Source for That? Where Andrew Breitbart gets his information., October 1, 2008, ReasonOnline.com, worked the afternoon shift at the Drudge Report,WEB,weblink Andrew Breitbart: Drudge's Human Face, September 10, 2008, Gawker.com, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080909165225weblink">weblink September 9, 2008, at the same time as running his own website breitbart.com and another website BigHollywood.com, providing a conservative perspective for people in the Los Angeles entertainment industry.WEB,weblink Hollywood Infidel, October 1, 2008, Observer.com, John Ziegler has said that Drudge blocked Breitbart from posting content critical of Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign for the US Presidency.Ziegler, John (March 7, 2012). Matt Drudge Intentionally Ignored Negative Stories to Help Elect Barack Obama {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20120318162013weblink |date=March 18, 2012 }}. News release. Retrieved March 9, 2012.In 2010, Drudge added to the Drudge Report staff former columnist for The Washington Times, Joseph Curl.NEWS,weblink Curl's Secret Gig with Drudge, www.mediabistro.com/fishbowldc, April 26, 2011, Matt, Dornic, November 2, 2010, In 2011, he added to the staff Charles Hurt, most recently the Washington bureau chief of the New York Post and a columnist for The Washington Times. Curl, who served as morning shift editor, left the site in 2014 and, with Drudge's blessing, in January 2015 launched his own aggregator Right Read, for The Washington Times.Calderone, Michael (January 5, 2015). Former Drudge Report Editor Launches Politics-Focused Site 'Right Read'. The Huffington Post. Retrieved January 6, 2015.Drudge, who began his website in 1997 as a supplement to his $10 per year e-mail newsletter,WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080329154002weblink">weblink yes, March 29, 2008, Profile: Matt Drudge â€“ Webmaster of pork pies â€“ Scotland on Sunday, scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com, March 13, 2009, received national attention in 1996 when he broke the news that Jack Kemp would be Republican Bob Dole's running mate in the 1996 US presidential election. In 1998, Drudge made national waves when he broke the news that Newsweek magazine had information on an inappropriate relationship between "a White House intern" and President Bill Clinton—the Monica Lewinsky scandal—but was withholding publication.WEB, Drudge, Matt, Newsweek Kills Story On White House Intern, The Drudge Report, January 17, 1998,weblink October 5, 2006,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20060901114541weblink">weblink September 1, 2006, NEWS, Johnson, Glen, Newsweek got, held scoop on Clinton story, AP/Denver Rocky Mountain News, January 23, 1998,weblink April 5, 2007, NEWS, McClintick, David, Town Crier for the New Age, Brill's Content, July 23, 2010, November 1998,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20000819015036weblink">weblink August 19, 2000, After Drudge's report came out, Newsweek published the story.NEWS, Fineman, Howard, Karen Breslau, Sex, Lies and the President, Newsweek, February 2, 1998,weblink April 5, 2007,

Content

The Drudge Report site consists mainly of selectedBOOK, The lawyer's guide to fact finding on the Internet,weblink Carole A., Levitt, Mark E. Rosch, 2006, 198, American Bar Association, Along with the links comes Drudge's own (conservative) opinions on the news stories he chooses to highlight., 1-59031-671-1, hyperlinks to news websites all over the world, each link carrying a headline written by Drudge or his editors. The linked stories are generally hosted on the external websites of mainstream media outlets. It occasionally includes stories written by Drudge himself, usually two or three paragraphs in length. They generally concern a story about to be published in a major magazine or newspaper. Drudge occasionally publishes Nielsen, Arbitron, and BookScan ratings, or early election exit polls which are otherwise not made available to the public.The site carries advertisements which generate the site's revenue. The Drudge Report's advertising is sold by Intermarkets, the Vienna, Virginia-based advertising firm.WEB,weblink Underground Man, www.tnr.com, April 22, 2009, Sherman, Gabriel, In April 2009, the Associated Press announced that it would be examining the fair use doctrine, used by sites like Google and the Drudge Report to justify the use of AP content without payment.*WEB,weblink AP Worried About Google, Drudge, www.newsmax.com, April 8, 2009, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20090410061201weblink">weblink April 10, 2009,
  • NEWS,weblink Associated Press accuses online news outlets of 'misappropriation', Los Angeles Times, April 8, 2009, David, Sarno, April 7, 2009,
On May 4, 2009, the US Attorney General's office issued a warning to employees in Massachusetts not to visit the Drudge Report and other sites because of malicious code contained in some of the advertising on the website.WEB,weblink U.S. Attorney's office tells employees not to log on to Drudge Report, www.politico.com, May 16, 2009, In March 2010, antivirus company Avast! warned that advertising at the Drudge Report, The New York Times, Yahoo, Google, MySpace and other sites carried malware that could infect computers. "The most compromised ad delivery platforms were Yield Manager and Fimserve, but a number of smaller ad systems, including Myspace, were also found to be delivering malware on a lesser scale", said Avast Virus Labs.WEB,weblink Malware delivered by Yahoo, Fox, Google ads, news.cnet.com, April 15, 2010,

Design

The site's design has seen few changes since its debut in 1997. Drudge has experimented with temporary design tweaks, including using colored text for holidays instead of the standard black throughout the site's existence.{{citation needed|date=August 2017}} It remains entirely written in unscripted HTML, with a mostly monochromatic color scheme of black boldface monospaced font text on a plain white background. The Drudge Report has been described by Cheryl Woodard, co-founder of PC, Macworld, PC World and Publish magazines, as "a big, haphazard mishmash of links and photos"BOOK, Woodard, Cheryl, Lucia Hwang, Every nonprofit's guide to publishing, Nolo, 2007, 185,weblink 1-4133-0658-6, and by Dan Rahmel as "popular despite a plain appearance".BOOK, Beginning Joomla!: From Novice to Professional,weblink Rahmel, Dan, 2007, 217, Apress, 1-59059-848-2, The Drudge Report website is simple and, according to Paul Armstrong of webwithoutwords.com, retro in feel.WEB,weblink The Drudge Report, webwithoutwords.com, April 13, 2009, Drudge Report succeeds in having that web "retro" feel of something stuck in the early 90s, Jason Fried of Basecamp called it "one of the best designed sites on the web".WEB,weblink Why the Drudge Report is one of the best designed sites on the web, www.37signals.com, April 13, 2009, It consists of a banner headline and a number of other selected headlines in three columns in monospaced font. Most link to an outside source, usually the online edition of a newspaper, which hosts the story. When no such source is available, either because the story is "developing",NEWS,weblink A Touching Moment (washingtonpost.com), www.washingtonpost.com, April 13, 2009, The next day, Matt Drudge followed suit with his own 'developing' Kerry-Edwards 'story' titled, 'Can't keep hands off each other.', July 15, 2004, with little known details at the time, or is an exclusive scoop, a special page is created on the Drudge Report servers, which contains text and sometimes images.Stories on the site are ascribed different levels of importance, which Matt Drudge rates at his editorial discretion. The Report almost always holds one major story above the logo, usually just one sentence hyperlinked to the most important story of the day. Other stories surrounding the main headline can be found in the upper left-hand side of the page and link to more specific articles dealing with aspects of the headline story. The standard story, either the headline or links below the logo, is written in black. The newest stories and those Drudge considers most important are in red, all under a single major headline in large bold type. For especially important breaking stories, especially if they are still emerging, Drudge places art of a flashing red light on the screen.NEWS, Malone, Michael S., March 1, 2007, Silicon Insider: Surfing Upstream, ABC News, July 4, 2016,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20160304065821weblink">weblink March 4, 2016, usurped,weblink On a given day, the Drudge Report may contain thirty or forty sentence-long headlines, the most important ones in red, all under a single major headline in large bold type. On the really big breaking stories, especially the ones still emerging, Drudge will even post a flashing siren on the screen., Although the site initially featured very few images, it is now usually illustrated with five or six photographs. Generally the images, like the linked headlines, are hotlinked from the servers of other news agencies.{{citation needed|date=August 2017}} The photos were changed from color to black and white in August 2017.NEWS,weblink Inside Drudge's new look, Mike, Allen, Axios, August 10, 2017, August 10, 2017,

Political leanings

Matt Drudge has said that he is a conservative, but "more of a populist".The Architect: Karl Rove and the Dream of Absolute Power Random House Digital 2007, page 72WEB, Sokol, Brett, The Drudge Retort, Miami New Times, June 28, 2001,weblink November 1, 2006, Matt Drudge: "I am a conservative", yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20050829141236weblink">weblink August 29, 2005, Some regard the Drudge Report as conservative in tone,WEB,weblink Liberal media's voice grows stronger, Crainsnewyork.com, March 19, 2009, On the Web, The Huffington Post has become a leading news and opinion site just three years after launching. Modeled after conservative news aggregator The Drudge Report", WEB,weblink Will a funny thing happen on the way to Washington?, October 29, 2008, The Financial Times, Edward Luce, ...the conservative Drudge Report..., WEB,weblink McCain labels Obama 'the redistributor', October 29, 2008, The Washington Times, Stephen Dinan, ..the conservative Drudge Report..., WEB,weblink MoveOn.org Targets AP's Fournier for Alleged Pro-McCain Bias, September 10, 2008, Editor and Publisher (pay site), ...the Drudge Report ....and numerous other conservative sites, WEB,weblink Drudge Retort Considers Lawsuit Against AP, December 9, 2008, MediaPost NY, ...the conservative Drudge Report, {{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}WEB,weblink A weekly look at what's getting the most looks online, December 9, 2008, The Topeka Capital-Journal, ...the Drudge Report, a popular conservative Web site., WEB,weblink Bill Clinton tells Rush Limbaugh: 'You're tan, fit, look good', December 9, 2008, Rawstory.com, Limbaugh spoke about how the conservative Drudge Report first reported..., yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081203175154weblink">weblink December 3, 2008, and it has been referred to in the media as "a conservative news aggregator".WEB,weblink Is there room for another Drudge Report?, April 23, 2015, Washington Examiner, is there a need for another conservative news aggregator? Drudge has dominated the field since the late 1990s., In 2008, Richard Siklos, an editor of Fortune magazine, called the Drudge Report a "conservative bullhorn".NEWS,weblink The Web 2.0-defying logic of Drudge, June 28, 2008, CNN, Richard Siklos, June 6, 2008, Peter Wallsten, writing in the Los Angeles Times, labelled Drudge a "well-known conservative warrior";NEWS,weblink New political era? Same as the old one, Los Angeles Times, February 7, 2009, Wallsten, Peter, ...well-known conservative warriors such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Matt Drudge..., January 29, 2009, Saul Hansell, writing in the New York Times, referred to him as a "conservative muckraker";NEWS,weblink The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs, The New York Times, New York Times, February 21, 2009, Saul, Hansell, June 16, 2008, and Glenn Greenwald, writing in the New York Magazine, called him a "right-wing hack".WEB,weblink Watching Matt Drudge, August 31, 2007, New York Magazine, 2007, Philip Weiss, Greenwald also wrote that the Drudge Report—inter alia—is part of the "Bush/Cheney right-wing noise machine".WEB,weblink The growing link between the U.S. military and right-wing media and blogs, www.salon.com, April 14, 2009, Jesse Swick of The New Republic notes that the Drudge Report frequently links to stories that cast doubt upon global warming. "[Drudge] loves a press release from Senator Inhofe almost as much as he loves taking pot shots at Al Gore ... It's like flashing tasty images of popcorn and sodas between frames at movie theaters, only much less subtle."NEWS, It's Always Snowing on the Drudge Report, December 9, 2009,weblink The New Republic, April 24, 2011, Ben Shapiro wrote, "The American left can't restrict Internet usage or ban talk radio, so it de-legitimizes these news sources. Ripping alternative news sources as illegitimate is the left's only remaining option -- it cannot compete with the right wing in the new media ... They call Matt Drudge a muckraker and a yellow journalist."WEB,weblink Ben Shapiro : Left behind: the democratization of the media â€” Townhall.com, townhall.com, April 14, 2009, A study in 2005 placed the Drudge Report "slightly left of center". "One thing people should keep in mind is that our data for the Drudge Report was based almost entirely on the articles that the Drudge Report lists on other Web sites", said Timothy Groseclose, the head of the study. "Very little was based on the stories that Matt Drudge himself wrote. The fact that the Drudge Report appears left of center is merely a reflection of the overall bias of the media."WEB,weblink Media Bias Is Real, Finds UCLA Political Scientist â€” UCLA Newsroom, newsroom.ucla.edu, February 28, 2010, ...Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume" and the Drudge Report — were in a statistical dead heat in the race for the most centrist news outlet. Of the print media, USA Today was the most centrist., Professor Mark Liberman critiqued the statistical model used in this study on the basis that model assumed conservative politicians do not care about the ideological position of think tanks they cite, while liberal politicians do.WEB, Liberman, Mark, Multiplying ideologies considered harmful, Language Log, December 23, 2005,weblink November 6, 2006, WEB, Liberman, Mark, Linguistics, politics, mathematics, Language Log, December 22, 2005,weblink November 6, 2006, The study was also criticized by media watchdog Spinwatch for its methodology and its authors' ties to conservative think tanks.HTTP://WWW.SPINWATCH.ORG.UK/LATEST-NEWS-MAINMENU-10/157-US-POLITICS/2468-FLAWED-UCLA-LED-STUDY-ON-MEDIAS-LIBERAL-BIAS >ARCHIVEURL=HTTPS://WEB.ARCHIVE.ORG/WEB/20101101195631/HTTP://WWW.SPINWATCH.ORG.UK/LATEST-NEWS-MAINMENU-10/157-US-POLITICS/2468-FLAWED-UCLA-LED-STUDY-ON-MEDIAS-LIBERAL-BIAS, November 1, 2010, Flawed UCLA-led study on medias liberal bias, www.spinwatch.org.uk, March 7, 2009, In 2015 and 2016, Drudge repeatedly featured pro-Trump headlines during the Republican Party presidential primaries, leading Salon.com and Politico to describe Drudge as "all in" for Trump.WEB,weblink Matt Drudge might elect Donald Trump: The GOP front-runner's secret weapon is the conservative media icon, Jimmy, LaSalvia, WEB,weblink Drudge goes all in for Trump,

Influence

According to Quantcast, the site has more than three million page visits per day.WEB,weblink Drudgereport.com Site Info, Quantcast, January 30, 2012, According to Mark Halperin, "Drudge's coverage affects the media's political coverage", effectively steering the media's political coverage towards what Halperin calls "the most salacious aspects of American politics". In The Way To Win, a book written by Halperin and John Harris, Drudge is called "the Walter Cronkite of his era".BOOK, Halpernin, Mark, John F. Harris, The Way To Win, Random House, October 2006, 1-4000-6447-3, Democratic Party strategist Chris Lehane says "phones start ringing" whenever Drudge breaks a story, and Mark McKinnon, a former media advisor to George W. Bush, said that he checked the site 30–40 times per day.NEWS, Drudge Report Sets Tone for National Political Coverage, ABC News, October 1, 2006,weblink October 1, 2006, Wallsten analyzed the data derived from a detailed content analysis of print, broadcast and blog discussions during the last five weeks of the 2008 campaign. Rather than the broad impact posited by professional political observers, Wallsten found that, even on issues where the site should be expected to have its largest impact, the stories highlighted on the Drudge Report exert a fairly inconsistent influence over what traditional media outlets chose to cover. Specifically, the time series analysis presented by Wallsten shows evidence of a "Drudge effect" on print and broadcast coverage for only five of the 10 political scandals that received the most attention on the Drudge Report between September 30 and November 3, 2008.NEWS,weblink Texas, Kevin, Wallsten, Drudge's world? The Drudge Report's influence on media coverage., 2011, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20151017074336weblink">weblink October 17, 2015,
Matt Drudge has been criticized by other media news personalities: Bill O'Reilly twice called Drudge a "threat to democracy" in response to Drudge disclosing his book sales figures,WEB, Drudge, Matt, Host Unhinged After Sales Figures Revealed; Calls Drudge 'Threat To Democracy', Drudge Report, December 18, 2003,weblink March 26, 2007, and Keith Olbermann referred to Drudge as "an idiot with a modem".NEWS, Kurtz, Howard, MSNBC Pundit Rises With Clinton Crises, E1, The Washington Post, September 15, 1998,weblink October 1, 2006, Drudge, along with his website, was labelled one of the "Top 10 anti-Barack Obama conservatives" by the US editor of The Daily Telegraph in February 2009.NEWS,weblinkfirst=Toby publisher=blogs.telegraph.co.uk, March 3, 2009 location=London, February 27, 2009, In addition to its media influence, the Drudge Report has influenced design elements on other sites, some with opposing viewpoints WEB,weblink Drudge Retort, January 24, 2009, 2009, and some which use the same format for listing news. A left-leaningNEWS,weblink The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs, The New York Times, New York Times, March 21, 2009, The Drudge Retort was initially started as a left-leaning parody of the much larger Drudge Report, run by the conservative muckraker Matt Drudge., Saul, Hansell, June 16, 2008, parody site called Drudge Retort was founded in 1998 as "a send-up of Mr. Drudge's breathless style".NEWS,weblink Pen With Meaning, October 1, 2008, The New York Times, New York Times, James, Barron, January 8, 1999, NEWS,weblink Drudge Retort's Retort To AP: Personal Issue Resolved But 'Larger Conflict' Remains, October 1, 2008, The Washington Post, Staci D., Kramer, NEWS,weblink NEWS WATCH; From the Drudge Report To the Drudge Retort, October 1, 2008, The New York Times, New York Times, Matt, Richtel, August 27, 1998, According to online analytics data for April 2010 from the Newspaper Marketing Agency, the Drudge Report is the number one site referrer for all online UK commercial newspaper websites.NEWS,weblink June 27, 2016, The Guardian, Robert, Andrews, PaidContent: where UK newspapers get their traffic, June 28, 2010,

Notable stories

Monica Lewinsky scandal

The Drudge Report attained prominence when it was the first to report what came to be known as the Lewinsky scandal. It published the story on January 17, 1998, alleging that Newsweek had turned down the story."Newsweek Kills Story on White House Intern", Drudge Report, January 17, 1998

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

During the 2004 US presidential campaign, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group made claims about John Kerry's war record, which were mentioned by Drudge and investigated by major newspapers and TV networks. The book Unfit for Command: Swiftboat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry became a best-seller in part due to its promotion in the Drudge Report.

Obama photo

DrudgeWEB,weblink Obama plays down photo row, english.aljazeera.net, March 3, 2009, published a photo of Barack Obama in Somali tribal dress on February 25, 2008,"Clinton Staffers Circulate 'Dressed' Obama", Drudge Report, February 27, 2008 and reported that the photo had been sent to him by a Clinton campaign staffer.NEWS,weblink Barack Obama tribal photo 'sent to Drudge Report by Hillary Clinton staff', Alex, Spillius, February 25, 2008, The Daily Telegraph, May 7, 2012, London, The publication of the photograph resulted in a brief war of words between the Clinton and Obama campaign organizations.

Prince Harry in Afghanistan

On February 28. 2008, Drudge published an article noting that Prince Harry was serving with his regiment in Afghanistan. Prince Harry was ten weeks into a front-line deployment in Afghanistan that was subject to a voluntary news blackout by the UK press.WEB,weblink News black-out, March 2, 2008, February 29, 2008, BBC News, The blackout was designed to protect Prince Harry and the men serving with him from being specifically targeted by the Taliban. An Australian weekly women's magazine New Idea had broken the story in January,NEWS,weblink New Idea defends claims it endangered Prince Harry, February 29, 2008, February 29, 2008, The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), The Daily Telegraph (Australia), but it was not followed up at the time. The New Idea editors claimed ignorance of any news blackout.WEB,weblink New Idea pleads ignorance on Harry embargo, March 1, 2008, ABC Australia News, Then a German newspaper Berliner Kurier published a short piece on February 28, also before Drudge.WEB,weblink Frontline Harry a well-kept secret, February 29, 2008, The West Australian, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20080304211611weblink">weblink March 4, 2008, Drudge subsequently claimed the report as an exclusive. Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt, professional head of the British Army, said: "I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us".NEWS,weblink Harry leak disappoints army chief, February 29, 2008, BBC News, February 28, 2008, The Prince's tour of duty was prematurely ended, since his unit might have been targeted by large-scale suicide attacks intended to kill the Prince.NEWS, Norton-Taylor, Richard, Gillan, Audrey,weblink Army prepares to evacuate Harry after news blackout fails, The Guardian, February 29, 2008, June 17, 2016,

US Senate problems

On March 9, 2010, The Senate Sergeant-at-Arms claimed that the site was "responsible for the many viruses popping up throughout the Senate...Please avoid using [this] site until the Senate resolves this issue...The Senate has been swamped the last couples {{sic}} days with this issue." The Drudge Report countered stating that "it served more than 29 million pages Monday without an e-mail complaint about 'pop ups,' or the site serving 'viruses'."NEWS,weblink Senate Staffers Warned to Stay Clear of Drudge Report, March 9, 2010, Fox News, February 28, 2008,

Controversial stories, errors and questions about sourcing

Exclusives

Research by the media magazine Brill's Content in 1998 cast doubt on the accuracy of the majority of the "exclusives" claimed by the Drudge Report. Of the 51 stories claimed as exclusives from January to September 1998, the magazine found that 31 (61%) were actually exclusive stories. Of those, 32% were untrue, 36% were true and the remaining 32% were of debatable accuracy.

Sidney Blumenthal lawsuit

In 1997, the Drudge Report reported that incoming White House assistant Sidney Blumenthal beat his wife and was covering it up. Drudge retracted the story the next day and apologized, saying that he was given bad information, but Blumenthal filed a $30 million libel lawsuit against Drudge. After four years Blumenthal dropped his lawsuit, saying that the suit had cost him tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.He agreed to pay $2,500 to Drudge's Los Angeles attorney for travel costs, claiming that Drudge was "backed by unlimited funds from political supporters who use a tax-exempt foundation".NEWS, Big Media Silent, Front Page Magazine, 2001,weblink NEWS, Kurtz, Howard, Clinton Aide Settles Libel Suit Against Matt Drudge – at a Cost, C01, The Washington Post, May 2, 2001,weblink April 11, 2007, WEB, Drudge, Matt, May Day: Lawsuit Against Drudge Dropped; Blumenthal Pays Cash To Get Out!, Drudge Report, May 1, 2001,weblink$2500.htm, December 15, 2006,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20010506000105weblink">weblink$2500.htm, May 6, 2001, WEB,weblink Online Matt Drudge Libel Suit Comes to 'Wimpy Conclusion', July 30, 2007, Newsfactor.com, 2001, Tim McDonald, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070823062024weblink">weblink August 23, 2007, The Individual Rights Foundation, led by conservative activist David Horowitz, paid Drudge's legal fees in the Blumenthal lawsuit. A federal judge noted in the judgment that Drudge "is not a reporter, a journalist, or a newsgatherer. He is, as he admits himself, simply a purveyor of gossip."WEB,weblink Blumenthal vs Drudge, December 18, 2006, Tech Law Journal, 1998,

Alleged John Kerry intern scandal

During the 2004 Presidential campaign, Drudge ran a story quoting General Wesley Clark, in which Clark claimed that the John Kerry campaign would implode over an intern affair. Drudge reported that other news outlets were investigating the alleged affair, but removed it from the site shortly afterwards when the other news outlets dropped their investigations.WEB, Polier, Alexandra, John Kerry intern scandal â€“ Alexandra Polier's account, New York Magazine, June 7, 2004,weblink June 7, 2004,

Alleged Bill Clinton illegitimate child

In 1999, the Drudge Report announced that it had viewed a videotape which was the basis of a Star Magazine and Hard Copy story. Under the headline, Woman Names Bill Clinton Father Of Son In Shocking Video Confession, Drudge reported a videotaped "confession" by a former prostitute who claimed that her son was fathered by Bill Clinton. The Report stated, "To accuse the most powerful man in the world of being the father of her son is either the hoax of a lifetime, or a personal turmoil that needs resolution. Only two people may know that answer tonight."Special Reports Personal Collection. Drudge Report Archives. Retrieved on April 2, 2007 The claim turned out to be a hoax.NEWS,weblink Danney Williams is not Bill Clinton's son, no matter what Matt Drudge tells you, The Washington Post, October 16, 2016, Callum, Borchers,

Alleged heckling of Republican Senators by CNN reporter

On April 1, 2007, Drudge cited an unnamed "official" source saying that CNN reporter Michael Ware had "heckled" Republican Senators McCain and Graham during a live press conference.NEWS, Matt, Drudge, April 2, 2007,weblink McCain heckled by CNN reporter, Drudge Report, April 2, 2007, Drudge reported that:A video hosted by Rawstory shows that Ware did not make a sound or ask any question during the press conference.*NEWS, Roston, Michael, Edwards, David, CNN reporter slams Drudge's charge that he 'heckled' McCain; Exclusive video confirms his claim,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20070406173653weblink">weblink April 6, 2007, Rawstory, April 2, 2007, August 13, 2017,
  • NEWS, Memmott, Mark, April 2, 2007, CNN's Ware fires back at Drudge report about 'heckling',weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081007181114weblink">weblink October 7, 2008, On Deadline (blog), USA Today, August 13, 2017,

Oprah and Sarah Palin

On September 5, 2008, the Drudge Report reported that Oprah staffers were "sharply divided on the merits of booking Sarah Palin". Drudge said that he obtained the information from an anonymous source. Winfrey responded in a written statement to news outlets saying, "The item in today's Drudge Report is categorically untrue. There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. At the beginning of this presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates." Oprah Winfrey's public statement came after she had already endorsed Barack Obama for president on Larry King Live in 2007.NEWS,weblink Oprah Denies Report She's Balking at Having Palin on Show, www.foxnews.com, February 20, 2009, September 5, 2008, Drudge was accused by some commentators of planting a false story for political ends.*NEWS,weblink US election: Storm as Oprah says no to Palin interview, The Guardian, Harris, Paul, Some experts believe the issue, initially reported on Drudge ... was a media ploy to drag Winfrey's backing of Obama into the election and show a media bias against the Republicans, June 27, 2016, September 7, 2008,

Ashley Todd attack hoax

On October 23, 2008, Drudge published an unconfirmed exclusive story regarding Ashley Todd, the 20-year-old employeeWEB,weblink Ashley Todd, PA Racist Hoax "Victim," Was Paid Organizer for College Republican National Committee, Not a Volunteer, October 29, 2008, BuzzFlash.com, Meg White, of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) and John McCain volunteer who had allegedly been attacked by a black male for having a McCain sticker on her car in Pittsburgh. Drudge reported the story without a link but as "developing", titling the headline "Shock: McCain Volunteer Attacked and Mutilated in Pittsburgh – "B" carved into 20 yr old Woman's Face".NEWS,weblink Drudge Puts Dangerous Spin on Mugging, Implies Violence Targeting McCain Volunteers, October 23, 2008, Huffington Post, Jeffrey, Feldman, October 23, 2008, The story set off a "storm of media attention",NEWS,weblink McCain volunteer admits to hoax, www.post-gazette.com, March 3, 2009, One photo appeared on The Drudge Report on Thursday, setting off a storm of media attention., Michael A., Fuoco, October 25, 2008, being quickly picked up by many conservative bloggers and right-wing talk radio show hosts, all citing the Drudge Report as their source. It was also reported in newspapers and TV both in the US and around the world.WEB,weblink Countdown with Keith Olbermann, October 24, 2008, www.msnbc.msn.com, March 3, 2009, The story was confirmed to be a hoax perpetrated by Todd and, according to Talking Points Memo, spread to reporters by McCain's Pennsylvania Communications Director.*WEB,weblink McCain volunteer made up robbery story, October 24, 2008, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081025143418weblink">weblink October 25, 2008,
  • WEB,weblink McCain Campaign Pushed Now-Discredited Attack Story, TPM, October 24, 2008, yes,weblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20081025161605weblink">weblink October 25, 2008,
Drudge then printed a retraction of the story, including links to the news stories detailing that the attack had been a hoax, and that Ashley Todd had performed a similar "attack" on herself while volunteering in a local Ron Paul grassroots group. She was later asked to leave the group because of the hoax.

Birther conspiracy theories

Drudge Report promoted the debunked conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was not a U.S. citizen.*NEWS,weblink 'Birthers' Fanned Flames of Conspiracy for Years, Stelter, Brian, April 27, 2011, The New York Times, October 20, 2017, en-US, 0362-4331,
  • NEWS,weblink Obama birth certificate release won't kill "birther" movement, October 20, 2017, en,

Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign

On August 8, 2016, Drudge Report used a photo of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on their website. The photo depicted two men helping Clinton go up the stairs during her campaign in South Carolina on February 27, 2016. Afterwards, several Twitter accounts in support of Republican nominee Donald Trump used the photo on the site, especially with the hashtag #HillaryHealth, which was used prior to the incident.NEWS, 2016, US Election, Hillary health myth: From Twitter theories to a Trump speech - BBC News,weblink August 22, 2016, August 19, 2016, The use of the photo was criticized by several commentators for taking a relatively old photograph out of context as well as misleading their readers.NEWS, Stelter, Brian, Drudge Report misleads readers with Hillary Clinton photo,weblink August 8, 2016, CNNMoney, August 8, 2016, NEWS, Weigel, David, Armed with junk science and old photos, critics question #HillarysHealth,weblink August 8, 2016, Washington Post, August 8, 2016, On October 3, 2016, Drudge Report published an unfounded claim that Bill Clinton had an illegitimate child named Danney Williams, an allegation that Drudge Report itself had reported as debunked in 1999 based on a Time magazine article.*WEB,weblink Drudge Report is spreading a conspiracy about Bill Clinton it debunked in 1999, Vox (website), Vox, October 3, 2016, Tara, Golshan, On December 30, 2016, Drudge Report accused the United States federal government of attempting to shut down its website with a denial-of-service attack.NEWS, Silva, Cristina, US Government Attacks Drudge Report? Conservative Website Down Because Of Distributed Denial Of Service Attack, Matt Drudge Tweets,weblink December 30, 2016, International Business Times, December 29, 2016, NEWS, Hadley, Greg, Matt Drudge suggests US government behind cyberattack on 'Drudge Report',weblink December 30, 2016, The Sacramento Bee, December 29, 2016, Beginning roughly one week earlier, DDoS attacks had repeatedly taken the site offline for extended periods. Cybersecurity analysts speculated that the attack was on the scale of the 2016 Dyn cyberattack and suggested that only a small number of groups would have the ability to take down a highly-trafficked site for extended lengths of time.NEWS, Darcy, Oliver, Someone is trying to take down the Drudge Report, and it's a mystery who's behind it,weblink Business Insider, January 8, 2017, Drudge Report promoted the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory,NEWS,weblink Flynn under fire for fake news, POLITICO, October 20, 2017, as well as conspiracy theories about the murder of Seth Rich.NEWS,weblink Exclusive: The chaos behind the scenes of Fox News' now-retracted Seth Rich story, Darcy, Oliver, CNNMoney, October 20, 2017,

Conspiracy theories about the 2017 Las Vegas Massacre

In October 2017, Drudge Report promoted conspiracy theories about the 2017 Las Vegas Massacre.NEWS,weblink Las Vegas Massacre Gives InfoWars More Conspiracy Fodder, Grynbaum, Michael M., October 9, 2017, The New York Times, October 20, 2017, en-US, 0362-4331,

Immigration

In October 2017, the Drudge Report falsely stated that an undocumented immigrant caused the October 2017 Northern California wildfires.WEB,weblink Breitbart Made Up False Story That Immigrant Started Deadly Sonoma Wildfires, Sheriff's Office Says, Ansari, Brianna Sacks, Talal, BuzzFeed, October 20, 2017, The story, which originated on Breitbart News, was rebutted by the Sonoma County's sheriff department which stated, "This is completely false, bad, wrong information that Breitbart started and is being put out into the public."In June 2018, the Drudge Report used a misleading headline and photo pairing to suggest that migrant children who had been separated from their parents by the Trump administration were violent criminals. The photo was of a group of Syrian children holding toy guns.NEWS,weblink FACT CHECK: Were Gun-Toting Children Photographed on the United States Border?, Snopes.com, 2018-06-19, en-US, NEWS,weblink Drudge Report Used Photo Of Children In Syria To Depict U.S. Border Crisis, Frej, Willa, 2018-06-19, Huffington Post, 2018-06-19, en-US, NEWS,weblink The Drudge Report chose a very misleading photo for a child immigration story, Vox, 2018-06-19,

References

{{reflist|30em}}

External links

{{Sister project links}}
  • {{Official website}}
  • Archives:
    • WEB,weblink Drudge Report Archive, December 1998,
    • WEB,weblinkweblink" title="web.archive.org/web/20011101001543weblink">weblink November 1, 2001, yes, Internet Archive (less comprehensive), December 10, 1997,
    • WEB,weblink Drudge Report Archives, November 2001,
  • Drudge Tools


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