On Friday, the Drudge Report flashed the banner,"'Apes' Dominate" for a bit over an hour. The image with the banner depicted a ferociously protective appearing ape brandishing a weapon. It didn't take long for race-baiting accusations to pop up.
Don't miss photos of Obama basking in his "awesomeness."
Did Drudge use the new "Planet of the Ape" movie link and headline to send a subliminal message to the president? Maybe, maybe not. One blogger quickly suggested, "The picture Drudge is running of an angry ape holding a gun could well be another dig at Obama, the so called “ape president”
He also noted George Bush had often been the butte of "Ape" comments with photo-shopped images to go with the insult. His conclusion was a shrugged admission that we'll never know for sure and if the White House is be offended, they are stuck -- no way to prove a thing.
The original Hollywood Reporter headline, before it was altered for the Drudge Report was, "Box Office: 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Sees Strong Friday for $65M." Within the content, with almost a political context, the plot was described thus: "When they are threatened by a band of humans who have survived a worldwide plague, a fierce divide erupts regarding whether peace can be restored, or whether war is the only way to determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant."
Back at the end of March, Drudge promoted an article by CNS regarding criticisms by Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Defense Secretary under President George W. Bush, about the way President Obama had allowed what was a "first rate relationship" with Karzai and Afghanistan in the Bush administration, to deteriorate.The headline over on CNS for that article was critical, though not inflammatory: "Rumsfeld: U.S. ties with Karzai have 'gone downhill like a toboggan' under Obama."
Within that article, which was obviously read by a Drudge Report editor, Rumsfeld made a politically incorrect comment about the management of the war. When the headline popped up on the Drudge Report, it had changed considerably. Drudge's headline read: "Rumsfeld: A trained ape could manage the war better than Obama."
As a testament to Drudge's influence, almost immediately following his link with his salacious headline, almost every major online news outlet picked up the story. None of the PC media squad hesitated to "use" the "trained ape" reference.
At this point, it's important to note that the Drudge Report has led the way as a one-stop online aggregation of links to the latest news. A large portion of those links are political, though not all. It is uncommon, though not rare, for the Drudge Report to break a story, which is then actually "written" by Matt Drudge, or perhaps one of the other two editors, Joseph Curl or Charles Hurt.
Drudge is not responsible for the content of any article which he features; however many would like to hold him responsible for his selection of news articles. Since the White House is frequently "in the hot seat" regarding political news on the Drudge Report, the White House has not been hesitant to pillory the Drudge Report page. Carney once cautioned a reporter who asked about information from the Drudge Report to, "Be mindful of your sources."
Liberal sites frequently complain about Drudge headlines, calling them "race-bait." One analysis highlighted that Drudge often altered headlines just to inject a racial component "when the original source contained none." These sites particularly dislike it when Drudge highlights black on white crime. The complaints reached shrill, deafening heights during the controversy following the death of Trayvon Martin.
However, Matt Drudge has been noted as a "headline genius." Drudge's "way of putting images and headlines together" according to a conversation on The Five, hosted by Greg Gutfeld, is where his real genius lies. Eric Bolling commented about how Matt always manages to "find just the right picture to go with the right headline" for the Drudge Report.
It's a fact that Drudge has been known to toy with headlines and often sends ambiguous messages which can be interpreted anyway a reader pleases. No doubt it will please some folks on both sides of the political ideology to think he did intend to taunt Obama; some will be livid, while others smile and wink.