For a long time the Drudge Report was one of my favorite websites. With its alternative reporting on topics such as Politics, Religion and Aliens it was one of the most interesting sites I had come across in a long time. It was even my home button for a while because I visited it so often. Sadly, the Drudge Report has gone downhill with it’s reporting and no one really knows exactly why.
Drudge originally broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal back in 1998…
I have to take us back in time… The year is 1995 and the Drudge Report has 1,000 email subscribers; by 1997 (2 years), Drudge had 85,000 subscribers to his email service. Drudge’s website, the Drudge Report, registered in 1997, 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 but the big story that made him somewhat famous was the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski scandal. The mainstream media tried to kill the story, Drudge single-handedly pushed it back into the mainstream.
In 1998, Drudge gained popularity when he published the reporting of then Newsweek reporter Michael Issikoff, becoming the first media outlet to publish the news that later became the Monica Lewinsky scandal.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Drudge
The Drudge Report was a website built before the age of social media and was a leader in warning the public about the dangers of social media. He certainly saw the future on this one.
Drudge encouraged internet users to continue building vibrant communities on the web back in a time where the “Ghetto” communities were popping up all over the place. I jumped on that bandwagon almost 15 years ago and developed my own little website which you are reading right here. This forced me to look back at a post I wrote almost 5 years ago called Talking about Ghetto Social Media Communities. Facebook, Twitter & Instagram et all.
The King of the Internet sells out?
Rumor has it that Matt Drudge, the owner of the site, had recently sold it and has a very limited role. This would explain the state of the current reporting.
The site had a large conservative reader base and Drudge openly bragged about not needing social media to get his content out. This was part of his downfall as social media became the main form of receiving your daily intake of news but it was his embrace of the mainstream narrative that really turned off most of his large following.
Drudge helped get Trump Elected
Drudge was very supportive of Donald Trump as a candidate and one of the few platforms that correctly predicted he would win the Presidency.
At the same time he was also very critical of Trump in the early days of his presidency when he was having trouble controlling the leaks. Drudge was able to easily get information out of the White House through various leakers and he was known to blast out headlines in bright red for the President to see.
Drudge was a powerful ally in the early days of this administration and he answered to no one. Even the President would not confront him in a twitter war and would remain silent while Drudge criticized him.
The Battlefield has now changed, the information war is now a hot one on twitter, where the President has his strongest platform, and Drudge is non-existent. The balance of power has swung into the hands of the socials where the President is strongest and Drudge is at his weakest.
Notably, the President recently took a direct swipe at Drudge, the first time he has done this, showing just how much influence the Drudge report has lost in the last few months.
The Drudge Report is now just like CNN
The reporting on the Drudge Report now pretty much mirrors CNN. I still occasionally run across a story or two that I find interesting but the site now follows the mainstream corporate narrative that all the major new outlets push out.
There’s more to this story than I know and I will continue to follow it. In the next video, independent reporter Paul Joseph Watson reports that Drudge is still very much in charge and that he had a falling out with Trump over access to the White House.
Another piece of Internet history gone.
You can still visit the Drudge Report today and kind of get a feel for how the internet was back in the 90’s, but it is a shell of what it once was as the top trafficked independent website on the planet. For a web designer like myself, I still go to admire the old school web design of a bygone era but I will miss the spirit of the original site. Its fight for independence from the socials seems to be a lost one.