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Drudge pops up in strange company, a report here, name dropping there

Drudge pops up in strange company, a report here, name dropping there
Drudge pops up in strange company, a report here, name dropping there
Evan Agostina

From journalists to news reports to readers, there's new evidence Drudge Report dependency is well established and may even be on the rise. On April 3, 2014, the Drudge Report has a link by Tech Crunch of a study by Quantcast on the use of indash-browser by Tesla drivers, news of Drudge's vast influence. The study revealed that most drivers use their connection to stay abreast of what's happening in the news and political world. Quantcast found that 54 percent of the Tesla drivers were tapping into news sites, and "Drudge Report alone represented ten percent of all Tesla page views."

Often journalists find a way to drop the Drudge name in their articles, especially if their coverage is for election issues or government. Two days ago, a quote from Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report popped up on in a report by the Heritage Foundation on how conservatives could court Hispanics. The Heritage Foundation suggested GOP solutions that would benefit Hispanics must find their way to the Latino media, specifically Jorge Ramos. The report was linked on Drudge.

It's interesting that although the writer on one hand appeared to diminish Drudge in comparison to other "television personalities," on the other hand, the writer chose to quote Drudge, not someone more better known. That may be because those other well-known personalities are not in a position to make an impact on how many readers view their articles. Matt Drudge is; the report was subsequently linked on Drudge.

The following quote from Matt Drudge was smoothly worked into the Heritage content to define the power of Jorge Ramos to reach Latinos:

And although he may not be as well-known as other television personalities, Matt Drudge of the influential Drudge Report recently described Ramos in a tweet like this: 'Jorge Ramos—the last journalist standing. Warning to politicians: If you see him…RUN!

In his report about inaction on global warming, shaming Americans for the "biggest geopolitical misstep of the last 80 years," liberal author of The Wire, Phlip Bump, also included a quote from Drudge's Twitter page. Bump made no effort to develop any context for the Drudge quote insertion; it was just inexplicably, perhaps blatantly, there. Without even a soft lead, a tweet from Drudge is plopped right on the end. That's enough to show up in a Google search; perhaps Bump got the "bump" apparently sought by name dropping. His article did appear in a Google "Drudge Report" search alert.

In an article dated April 2, 2014, on Media Matters, the writer holds Drudge accountable for spreading incomplete information by way of a Daily Caller article. Shauna Theel wrote of an article "hyped at the top of the Drudge Report," which in her opinion, shouldn't have been hyped at all because it provided information out of context. The critic wrote that the alleged hyped article left out some crucial information about the recent scandal that the EPA had tested deadly pollutants on humans, including the elderly and children. Theel's complaint was that The Daily Caller had failed to note "approval from a biomedical Institutional Review Board," as well as signed, informed consent from all subjects.

Even before the news broke that Drudge is a go-to source for Tesla drivers, one only had to check the Drudge Report's page view stats to be aware that throngs of avid news readers --50 percent are regulars -- use Drudge to find the latest updates on what's happening in politics and major news events. However, with the exception of a few breaking news reports, the Drudge Report would not be considered the first source of the news because the Drudge Report is made up of storyboards of links to reports. The link list is ever changing. Still, the power of the page is such that the Drudge Report is often cited as a source of found information in such a way that one would think that Drudge was the first, primary source.

Is a link a source? Just today, Judith Miller of Fox News would appear to have credited Drudge as the original source in this article, when she wrote, "Pollard as a potential “'sweetener,” as was initially reported by Matt Drudge and Reuters, is politically sensitive in both the U.S. and Israel."

Perhaps Drudge's immense reach explains why Drudge's name pops up in all kinds of news stories. One might say that Drudge is found "in strange company," because the articles are generally not reports about Matt Drudge nor reports about his popular page, the Drudge Report, though sometimes Matt Drudge is the news. Recently, a furor arose when Drudge claimed he had paid his "Liberty Tax" for opting out of Obamacare. Refer to: Twitchy report: Drudge hits media with 'truth boom'

Still, sometimes there is no obvious reason to push Drudge's name into an article other than name-dropping, unless one considers the impact of "riding on Drudge's coattails," to mega page views. Since Drudge likely has an ongoing search on the look-out for any mention of his name, writers may be trying to signal Drudge to take a look at their information in the hopes for a Drudge link to the article on his page.

In the event a journalist's report succeeds in actually getting his attention; occasionally Drudge follows with his landmark nod, a link on his page. That tiny link is akin to an online mini-Pulitzer, worthy of a congratulatory note. Today, this "high five" may have captured some attention::

Congratulations to the National Center's David Hogberg, whose work uncovering various pitfalls of ObamaCare has been read on the air twice by Rush Limbaugh and cited on the Drudge Report during the past week. On Tuesday, Drudge linked to David Hogberg's new paper putting the lie to President Obama's claim that '"more than 3 million young adults... have gained insurance under [ObamaCare] by staying on their family's plan.'

One of the most amusing and blatant attempts to get Drudge's notice comes from over on the Washington Post on April 1, 2014, in a report which screamed, "Attn Matt Drudge: Things that will outrage conservatives today." However, the Huffington Post must hold a record for coasting along on Drudge's coattails. Aside from an article about Drudge today, read how Drudge's name popped up on Huffington's search engine a whopping 46,300 times for the bizarre phrase, "Take a breath, Matt Drudge."

Drudge dependency, for readers and for journalists and news sites, is staggering enough to ponder: What would we do without Drudge? Whether for election coverage news or government corruption or just the most exciting news of the day, Drudge appears unequaled in aggregating news. Though the success of the Drudge Report may have gone to Matt Drudge's head, it's comforting to know that Matt Drudge still types his Twitter posts, like the rest of us --140 characters at a time.

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