Mark Halperin appeared on MSNBC's Alex Wagner show to explain why our Beltway media can be so screwed up -- and he demonstrated why, too:
HALPERIN: When Drudge tees something up, even though he tilts right and even though a lot of people denigrate him, he's got … it gives the Republicans the opportunity to dominate a news cycle. But when they cry wolf with a five-year-old video, I think it undermines something that has been so effective for them, the delivery mechanism over the years.
Halperin describes Matt Drudge as a guy who "tilts right". Say what? He's a conservative hit man. So why is he described as vaguely to the right-of-center? In the same sentence, Halperin states that when Drudge posts something, it dominates the 24-hour news cycle. Now that is true, but my question is: Why?
When Drudge first started he was an Internet pioneer because there were no blogs and not much of any type of online news and opinion websites. He broke a Bob Dole story in 1996 and then scooped a story about Monica Lewinsky in 1998 that turned him into a media sensation.
In March 1995, the Drudge Report had 1,000 e-mail subscribers; By 1997, Drudge had 85,000 subscribers to his e-mail service. Drudge's website gained in popularity in the late 1990s after a number of stories which he reported before the mainstream media. Drudge first received national attention in 1996 when he broke the news that Jack Kemp would be Republican Bob Dole's running mate in the 1996 presidential election. In 1998, Drudge gained popularity when he was the first outlet to break the news that later became the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Ever since he's been treated as the 'king of news' who rules the world. Many of us scratch our heads over that characterization. In his heyday he did command considerable clout in the media, but after almost two decades he's only solidified his wingnut hatchet man credentials and yet the Villagers still treat him as Jesus walking on water.
I heard that Drudge was milking the race war this afternoon so I checked in. First time in forever. And I was just hit by the alternative reality. The skewed polls, the bottom giving out from the HMS Titanic Obama, the fight for human rights to oppressed conservatives.
When will the media finally be held accountable for giving this gaseous propagandist any credibility whatsoever? Since after the 2004 election, he's been virtually a non-entity except for Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and the Beltway Villagers. He does get great traffic, but his scoops are basically Breitbartesque tomfoolery. OK, Breitbart learned his trade from Drudge, since he worked for him ...
As an aside, I've been getting a ton of twitter traffic from a 2005 post I wrote called Drudge: The Eggman article. Read it and laugh or cry...
(h/t Video Cafe for video)