Drudge sucks. I never visit the site because there is never any real news to be found there, only slime and innuendo, but apparently the Washington pundit class loves ’em some Drudge. Figures. Eric Boehlert notes that The Drudge Report has lost a lot of influence recently, and is pleased.
Matt Drudge is still doing his loyal best to boost the chances of the GOP down the homestretch in the form of a blizzard of anti-Obama and pro-McCain links on his site. (Last week, it was the half-baked McCain “comeback” that Drudge hyped relentlessly.)
Well, I’m here to call bullshit.
And no, this isn’t just a wishful, I-don’t-like-Drudge-so-I’m-going-to-claim-he’s-irrelevant column.
This is fact.
Because it’s obvious that since Wall Street’s meltdown commenced five weeks ago, and since America’s economic crisis became a tsunami of a news story that’s not only dominated the media landscape, but also irrevocably altered the course of the campaign, the Drudge Report has become largely irrelevant in terms of the setting the news agenda for the White House run.
That’s because a story like the unfolding credit crisis — sober and complicated — knocks Drudge completely out of his element of frivolous, partisan gotcha links.
The race is unrecognizable in terms of where the players are situated now and where they were five weeks ago. (Between September 15 and October 19, there was a 12-point swing in the Gallup daily tracking poll.) Now ask yourself: What role has the Drudge Report played in that burst of campaign movement? The answer, of course, is zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. His trademark flashing red lights have gone missing.
The dynamics of the campaign have irrevocably changed, and the mighty Drudge Report, the news site Beltway journalists trip over themselves to genuflect in front of, has been a complete bystander in the closing weeks of the 2008 campaign. (Not that this is the first time Drudge has choked down the stretch of a nationwide election.)
The reason is simple. Because of the unprecedented economic turmoil, we’re now in serious times. (Fifty thousand home foreclosures this year, in the state of New Jersey alone, is serious business.) And the Drudge Report doesn’t do serious. The American public’s attention has shifted from the campaign to the economy, and that’s why the Drudge Report remains largely irrelevant to that unfolding story.
Whenever anyone publicly admits to reading The Drudge Report in a non-ironic manner, I lose a lot of respect for them. Corporate Media’s love affair with Matt Drudge says more about Corporate Media than anything else.