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Drudge Report

Drudge Report

Overview
The Drudge Report is a news aggregation website
Website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

. Run by Matt Drudge
Matt Drudge
Matthew Nathan Drudge is the American creator and editor of the Drudge Report, a news aggregation website. Drudge is self-described as being conservative and populist. Drudge has also authored a book and hosted a radio show and a television show.-Early years:Matthew Drudge was raised in Takoma...

 with the help of Joseph Curl and Charles Hurt, the site consists mainly of links to stories from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and international mainstream media
Mainstream media
Mainstream media are those media disseminated via the largest distribution channels, which therefore represent what the majority of media consumers are likely to encounter...

 about politics, entertainment, and current events as well as links to many columnists. The Drudge Report is often considered conservative in tone, though the sources cited and linked run the gamut of political leanings.

Occasionally, Drudge authors news stories himself based on tips.
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Encyclopedia
The Drudge Report is a news aggregation website
Website
A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

. Run by Matt Drudge
Matt Drudge
Matthew Nathan Drudge is the American creator and editor of the Drudge Report, a news aggregation website. Drudge is self-described as being conservative and populist. Drudge has also authored a book and hosted a radio show and a television show.-Early years:Matthew Drudge was raised in Takoma...

 with the help of Joseph Curl and Charles Hurt, the site consists mainly of links to stories from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and international mainstream media
Mainstream media
Mainstream media are those media disseminated via the largest distribution channels, which therefore represent what the majority of media consumers are likely to encounter...

 about politics, entertainment, and current events as well as links to many columnists. The Drudge Report is often considered conservative in tone, though the sources cited and linked run the gamut of political leanings.

Occasionally, Drudge authors news stories himself based on tips. The Report originated in 1996 as a weekly subscriber-based email dispatch. It was most famous for being the first news source to break the Monica Lewinsky scandal
Lewinsky scandal
The Lewinsky scandal was a political sex scandal emerging in 1998 from a sexual relationship between United States President Bill Clinton and a 25-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of...

 to the public after Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

decided not to publish the story but later gave an explanation.

Origins


The Drudge Report started as a gossip
Gossip
Gossip is idle talk or rumour, especially about the personal or private affairs of others, It is one of the oldest and most common means of sharing facts and views, but also has a reputation for the introduction of errors and variations into the information transmitted...

 column focusing on Hollywood and Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 Matt Drudge began the email-based newsletter called Report from an apartment in Hollywood, California, using his connections with industry and media insiders to break stories, sometimes before they hit the mainstream media. Drudge maintains the website from his home in Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach, Florida
Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, incorporated on March 26, 1915. The municipality is located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay, the latter which separates the Beach from Miami city proper...

, with help from Andrew Breitbart, who assists in story selection and headline writing. Breitbart, who describes himself as "Matt Drudge’s bitch", works the afternoon shift at the Drudge Report, as well as running his own website (breitbart.com), and another website (BigHollywood.com) providing a conservative perspective for people in the Los Angeles entertainment industry. Drudge added former Washington Times
The Washington Times
The Washington Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. It was founded in 1982 by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, and until 2010 was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the...

columnist Joseph Curl to the Drudge Report staff in 2010; he followed that in 2011 with the addition of Charles Hurt, most recently the Washington bureau chief of the New York Post
New York Post
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and is generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continuously as a daily, although – as is the case with most other papers – its publication has been periodically interrupted by labor actions...

and a columnist for the Times, to the staff.

Drudge, who began his website in 1997 as a supplement to his $10/year email newsletter, received national attention in 1996 when he broke the news that Jack Kemp
Jack Kemp
Jack French Kemp was an American politician and a collegiate and professional football player. A Republican, he served as Housing Secretary in the administration of President George H. W. Bush from 1989 to 1993, having previously served nine terms as a congressman for Western New York's 31st...

 would be Republican Bob Dole
Bob Dole
Robert Joseph "Bob" Dole is an American attorney and politician. Dole represented Kansas in the United States Senate from 1969 to 1996, was Gerald Ford's Vice Presidential running mate in the 1976 presidential election, and was Senate Majority Leader from 1985 to 1987 and in 1995 and 1996...

's running mate in the 1996 presidential election. In 1998, Drudge made national waves when he broke the news that Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

magazine had information on an inappropriate relationship between "a White House intern" and President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 (the Monica Lewinsky scandal), but was withholding publication. After Drudge's report, Newsweek published the story.

Content


The Drudge Report site consists mainly of selected hyperlink
Hyperlink
In computing, a hyperlink is a reference to data that the reader can directly follow, or that is followed automatically. A hyperlink points to a whole document or to a specific element within a document. Hypertext is text with hyperlinks...

s to news websites all over the world, each link carrying a headline written by Drudge or his editors. The linked stories are generally hosted on the external websites of mainstream media outlets. It occasionally includes stories written by Drudge — usually two or three paragraphs in length. They generally concern a story about to be published in a major magazine or newspaper. Drudge occasionally publishes Nielsen
Nielsen Ratings
Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research, in an effort to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States...

, Arbitron
Arbitron
Arbitron is a consumer research company in the United States that collects listener data on radio audiences. It was founded as American Research Bureau by Jim Seiler in 1949 and became national by merging with L.A. based Coffin, Cooper and Clay in the early 1950s...

, or BookScan
Nielsen BookScan
Nielsen BookScan is a data provider for the book publishing industry, owned by the Nielsen Company. BookScan compiles point of sale data for book sales.-History:...

 ratings, or early election exit poll
Exit poll
An election exit poll is a poll of voters taken immediately after they have exited the polling stations. Unlike an opinion poll, which asks whom the voter plans to vote for or some similar formulation, an exit poll asks whom the voter actually voted for. A similar poll conducted before actual...

s that are otherwise not made available to the public.

The site carries advertisements that generate the site's revenue. The Drudge Report's advertising is sold by Vienna, Virginia
Vienna, Virginia
Vienna is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 15,687. Significantly more people live in zip codes with the Vienna postal addresses bordered approximately by Interstate 66 on the south, Interstate 495 on the east, Route 7 to...

-based ad firm Intermarkets.

In April, 2009, Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 announced that it would be examining the fair use
Fair use
Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders...

 doctrine used by sites like Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 and Drudge Report to justify the use of AP content without payment.

On May 4, 2009, the US Attorney General's office issued a warning to employees in Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

 not to visit the Drudge Report and other sites because of malicious code contained in some of the advertising on the website. In March, 2010, antivirus company Avast!
Avast!
Avast! is an antivirus computer program developed by AVAST Software a.s. , a company based in Prague, Czech Republic. It was first released in 1988 although back then it was just a tool to remove the Vienna malware...

 warned that advertising at the Drudge Report, New York Times, Yahoo, Google, MySpace and other sites carried malware that could infect computers. "The most compromised ad delivery platforms were Yield Manager and Fimserve, but a number of smaller ad systems, including Myspace, were also found to be delivering malware on a lesser scale, Avast Virus Labs said."

Design


The site's design has seen few changes since its 1997 debut, and remains entirely written in unscripted HTML
HTML
HyperText Markup Language is the predominant markup language for web pages. HTML elements are the basic building-blocks of webpages....

 with a mostly monochromatic color scheme of black boldface monospaced font text on a plain white background. The Drudge Report was described by Cheryl Woodard, co-founder of PC, Macworld
Macworld
Macworld is a web site and monthly computer magazine dedicated to Apple Macintosh products. It is published by Mac Publishing, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California...

, PC World
PC World (magazine)
PC World is a global computer magazine published monthly by IDG. It offers advice on various aspects of PCs and related items, the Internet, and other personal-technology products and services...

 and Publish magazines,
as "a big, haphazard mishmash of links and photos" and by Dan Rahmel
Dan Rahmel
Dan Rahmel is an American author best known for his work relating to Visual Basic and database servers. Rahmel first began work as a writer for various magazines including DBMS, American Programmer, and Internet Advisor...

 as "popular despite a plain appearance". The Report website is simple and, according to Paul Armstrong of webwithoutwords.com, retro
Retro
Retro is a culturally outdated or aged style, trend, mode, or fashion, from the overall postmodern past, that has since that time become functionally or superficially the norm once again. The use of "retro" style iconography and imagery interjected into post-modern art, advertising, mass media, etc...

 in feel. Jason Fried of 37signals.com calls it "one of the best designed sites on the web." It consists of a banner headline and a number of other selected headlines in three columns in monospaced font
Font
In typography, a font is traditionally defined as a quantity of sorts composing a complete character set of a single size and style of a particular typeface...

. Most link to an outside source, usually the online edition of a newspaper, which hosts the story. When no such source is available, either because the story is 'developing' with little known details at the moment or is an exclusive scoop, a special page is created on the Drudge Report servers which contain text and possibly images.

There are different importance levels a story could appear as on the site, the rating of which relies on Matt Drudge's editorial discretion. The Report almost always holds one major story above the logo, usually just one sentence hyperlinked to the most important story of the day. Other stories surrounding the main headline can be found in the upper left hand side of the page and link to more specific articles dealing with aspects of the headline story. The standard story, either the headline or links below the logo, are written in black. The stories Drudge considers most important are in red, all under a single major headline in large, bold type. For especially important breaking stories, especially if still emerging, Drudge places art of a flashing red light on the screen.

Although the site initially featured very few images, it is now usually illustrated with five or six photographs. Generally the images, like the linked headlines, are hotlinked from other news agencies' servers.

Political leanings


Matt Drudge has said that he is a conservative, but "more of a populist". The Drudge Report website is generally regarded as conservative in tone, and has been referred to in the media as "a conservative news aggregator". More recently Richard Siklos, an editor of Fortune
Fortune (magazine)
Fortune is a global business magazine published by Time Inc. Founded by Henry Luce in 1930, the publishing business, consisting of Time, Life, Fortune, and Sports Illustrated, grew to become Time Warner. In turn, AOL grew as it acquired Time Warner in 2000 when Time Warner was the world's largest...

 magazine, called the Drudge Report a "conservative bullhorn", the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

 labelled Drudge a "well-known conservative warrior", the New York Times referred to him as a "conservative muckraker", and Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald
Glenn Greenwald is an American lawyer, columnist, blogger, and author. Greenwald worked as a constitutional and civil rights litigator before becoming a contributor to Salon.com, where he focuses on political and legal topics...

 called him a "right-wing hack
Hack writer
Hack writer is a colloquial and usually pejorative term used to refer to a writer who is paid to write low-quality, rushed articles or books "to order", often with a short deadline. In a fiction-writing context, the term is used to describe writers who are paid to churn out sensational,...

". Greenwald also wrote that the Drudge Report (inter alia) is part of the "Bush/Cheney right-wing noise machine",

The New Republic
The New Republic
The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

's Jesse Swick notes that the Drudge Report frequently links to stories that cast doubt
Climate change denial
Climate change denial is a term used to describe organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming, its significance, and its connection to human behavior, especially for commercial or ideological reasons...

 upon global warming. "[Drudge] loves a press release from Senator Inhofe almost as much as he loves taking pot shots at Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

...It’s like flashing tasty images of popcorn and sodas between frames at movie theaters, only much less subtle." Ben Shapiro
Ben Shapiro
Benjamin Aaron Shapiro is an American conservative political commentator, radio talk show host, attorney, and media consultant. A native of Los Angeles, Shapiro graduated from high school at age 16 and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles and Harvard Law School...

 of townhall.com
Townhall.com
Townhall.com is a web-based publication primarily dedicated to conservative United States politics. It was previously operated by the Heritage Foundation, but is now owned and operated by Salem Communications...

 wrote "The American left can't restrict Internet usage or ban talk radio, so it de-legitimizes these news sources. Ripping alternative news sources as illegitimate is the left's only remaining option -- it cannot compete with the right wing in the new media....They call Matt Drudge a muckraker and a yellow journalist
Yellow journalism
Yellow journalism or the yellow press is a type of journalism that presents little or no legitimate well-researched news and instead uses eye-catching headlines to sell more newspapers. Techniques may include exaggerations of news events, scandal-mongering, or sensationalism...

."

A 2005 study (see details) placed the Drudge Report "left of center." "One thing people should keep in mind is that our data for the Drudge Report was based almost entirely on the articles that the Drudge Report lists on other Web sites," said Groseclose, the head of the study. "Very little was based on the stories that Matt Drudge himself wrote. The fact that the Drudge Report appears left of center is merely a reflection of the overall bias of the media." The study was criticised by Mark Liberman
Mark Liberman
Mark Liberman is an American linguist. He has a dual appointment at the University of Pennsylvania, as Trustee Professor of Phonetics in the Department of Linguistics, and as a professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. He is the founder and director of the Linguistic Data...

 and liberal media watchdogs.

Influence


According to Mark Halperin
Mark Halperin
Mark E. Halperin is the senior political analyst for Time magazine, Time.com, and MSNBC and serves as a board member on the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College. He is the co-author of Game Change.-Personal:Mark Halperin is the son of Morton Halperin and Ina Young. He has...

, "Drudge's coverage affects the media's political coverage", effectively steering the media's political coverage towards what Halperin calls "the most salacious aspects of American politics." In The Way To Win, a book written by Halperin and John Harris
John F. Harris
John F. Harris is an American political journalist and the editor in chief for Politico, an Arlington, Virginia based political news organization. With Politico executive editor, Jim VandeHei, Harris founded Politico for its launch on January 23, 2007...

, Drudge is called "the Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr. was an American broadcast journalist, best known as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years . During the heyday of CBS News in the 1960s and 1970s, he was often cited as "the most trusted man in America" after being so named in an opinion poll...

 of his era." Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 strategist Chris Lehane
Chris Lehane
Christopher Stephen Lehane is an American political consultant and crisis communications expert who has served as a lawyer, spokesperson and expert in opposition research for the Clinton White House, Democratic candidates for public office and various business, Labor, entertainment and...

 says "phones start ringing" whenever Drudge breaks a story, and Mark McKinnon
Mark McKinnon
Mark McKinnon is a Republican political advisor in the United States, Global Vice-Chairman of Hill & Knowlton, Inc., a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients, and the President of Maverick Media. Originally a Democrat,...

, a former media advisor to George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

, said that he checked the site 30–40 times per day. Matt Drudge has been criticized by other media news personalities: Bill O'Reilly
Bill O'Reilly (commentator)
William James "Bill" O'Reilly, Jr. is an American television host, author, syndicated columnist and political commentator. He is the host of the political commentary program The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel, which is the most watched cable news television program on American television...

 twice called Drudge a "threat to democracy" in response to Drudge disclosing his book sales figures, and Keith Olbermann
Keith Olbermann
Keith Theodore Olbermann is an American political commentator and writer. He has been the chief news officer of the Current TV network and the host of Current TV's weeknight political commentary program, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, since June 20, 2011...

 referred to Drudge as "an idiot with a modem".

Drudge (and his website) was labelled one of the "Top 10 anti-Barack Obama conservatives" by the US editor of The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

 in February 2009.

In addition to the media influence, Drudge Report also has influenced design elements on other sites. Some with opposing view points and some who use the same format of listing news. A left-leaning parody site called Drudge Retort was founded in 1998 as "a send-up of Mr. Drudge's breathless style".
According to the Newspaper Marketing Agency online analytics data for April 2010, the Drudge Report is the number one site referrer to all online UK commercial newspaper websites.

Archives


Many reports from 1995 to early 1997 are available in the Usenet
Usenet
Usenet is a worldwide distributed Internet discussion system. It developed from the general purpose UUCP architecture of the same name.Duke University graduate students Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea in 1979 and it was established in 1980...

 archive provided by Google Groups. A more extensive archive of the website is provided by Drudge Report Archives, which has archives since mid-November 2001 and stores snapshots of the Drudge Report homepage every two minutes.

Monica Lewinsky scandal


The Drudge Report attained prominence when it was the first to report what came to be known as the Lewinsky scandal
Lewinsky scandal
The Lewinsky scandal was a political sex scandal emerging in 1998 from a sexual relationship between United States President Bill Clinton and a 25-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky. The news of this extra-marital affair and the resulting investigation eventually led to the impeachment of...

. Drudge published the story on January 17, 1998, after Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

reportedly turned down the story.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth


During 2004 U.S. presidential campaign, the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth group made claims about John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

's war record, which were mentioned by Drudge and investigated by major newspapers and TV networks.

Obama photo


Drudge published a photo of Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 in Somali
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

 tribal dress on February 25, 2008, and reported that the photo had been sent to him by a Clinton campaign staffer. The publication of the photograph resulted in a brief war of words between the Clinton and Obama campaign organizations.

Prince Harry in Afghanistan


On February 28, 2008 Drudge published an article noting that Prince Harry of Wales
Prince Harry of Wales
Prince Henry of Wales , commonly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and fourth grandchild of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

 was serving with his regiment in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. Prince Harry was ten weeks into a front-line deployment in Afghanistan that was subject to a voluntary news blackout by the UK press. The blackout was designed to protect Prince Harry and the men serving with him from being specifically targeted by the Taliban.

An Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

n weekly women’s magazine New Idea
New Idea
New Idea is a long-running Australian weekly magazine published by Pacific Magazines and aimed at women.-History:The magazine was first published in 1902 by Fitchett Bros. Southdown Magazines purchased Fitchett Bros...

broke the story in January, but it was not followed up at the time. New Idea editors claimed ignorance of any news blackout.
Then a German newspaper, the Berliner Kurier, published a short piece on February 28, 2008, also before Drudge.

Drudge subsequently claimed the report as an exclusive. Chief of the General Staff
Chief of the General Staff (United Kingdom)
Chief of the General Staff has been the title of the professional head of the British Army since 1964. The CGS is a member of both the Chiefs of Staff Committee and the Army Board...

 Sir Richard Dannatt, professional head of the British Army, said: "I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us".
The Prince's tour of duty was prematurely ended, since his unit might be targeted by large scale suicide attacks intended to kill the Prince.

U.S. Senate Problems


On March 9, 2010, The Senate Sergeant-at-Arms claimed the site was "responsible for the many viruses popping up throughout the Senate...Please avoid using [this] site until the Senate resolves this issue...The Senate has been swamped the last couples (sic) days with this issue." The Drudge Report countered stating "it served more than 29 million pages Monday without an e-mail complaint about 'pop ups,' or the site serving 'viruses.'"

Exclusives


Research by the media magazine Brill's Content in 1998 cast doubt on the accuracy of the majority of the 'exclusives' claimed by the Drudge Report. Of the 51 stories claimed as exclusives from January to September 1998, the magazine found 31 (61%) were actually exclusive stories. Of those, 32% were untrue, 36% were true and the remaining 32% were of debatable accuracy.

Sidney Blumenthal lawsuit


In 1997, the Drudge Report reported that incoming White House assistant Sidney Blumenthal
Sidney Blumenthal
Sidney Blumenthal is a former aide to President of the United States Bill Clinton and a widely published American journalist, especially on American politics and foreign policy....

 beat his wife and was covering it up. Drudge retracted the story the next day and apologized, saying he was given bad information, but Blumenthal filed a $30 million libel lawsuit against Drudge. After four years, Blumenthal dropped his lawsuit. Blumenthal said the suit had cost him tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
He agreed to pay $2,500 to Drudge's Los Angeles attorney for travel costs, claiming that Drudge was "backed by unlimited funds from political supporters who use a tax-exempt foundation." The Individual Rights Foundation, led by conservative activist David Horowitz
David Horowitz
David Joel Horowitz is an American conservative writer and policy advocate. Horowitz was raised by parents who were both members of the American Communist Party. Between 1956 and 1975, Horowitz was an outspoken adherent of the New Left before rejecting Marxism completely...

, paid Drudge's legal fees in the Blumenthal lawsuit. A federal judge noted in the judgment that Drudge "is not a reporter, a journalist, or a newsgatherer. He is, as he admits himself, simply a purveyor of gossip."

Alleged John Kerry intern scandal


During the 2004 Presidential campaign
United States presidential election, 2004
The United States presidential election of 2004 was the United States' 55th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Republican Party candidate and incumbent President George W. Bush defeated Democratic Party candidate John Kerry, the then-junior U.S. Senator...

, Drudge ran a story quoting General Wesley Clark
Wesley Clark
Wesley Kanne Clark, Sr., is a retired general of the United States Army. Graduating as valedictorian of the class of 1966 at West Point, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford where he obtained a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and later graduated from the...

, where Clark claimed that the John Kerry
John Kerry
John Forbes Kerry is the senior United States Senator from Massachusetts, the 10th most senior U.S. Senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in the 2004 presidential election, but lost to former President George W...

 campaign would implode over an intern affair. Drudge reported that other news outlets were investigating the alleged affair. He removed it from the site shortly thereafter when the other news outlets dropped the investigations.

Alleged Bill Clinton illegitimate child


In 1999, the Drudge Report announced that it had viewed a videotape which was the basis of a Star Magazine and Hard Copy
Hard Copy
Hard Copy is an American tabloid news television show that ran in syndication from 1989 to 1999. Hard Copy was aggressive in its use of questionable material on television, including gratuitous violence....

story. Under the headline, Woman Names Bill Clinton Father Of Son In Shocking Video Confession, Drudge reported a videotaped "confession" by a former prostitute who claimed that her son was fathered by Bill Clinton. The Report stated, "To accuse the most powerful man in the world of being the father of her son is either the hoax of a lifetime, or a personal turmoil that needs resolution. Only two people may know that answer tonight." The claim turned out to be a hoax.

Alleged CNN reporter heckling of Republican Senators


On April 1, 2007 Drudge cited an unnamed "official" source saying that CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 reporter Michael Ware
Michael Ware
Michael Ware is an Australian journalist formerly with CNN and was for several years based in their Baghdad bureau. He joined CNN in May 2006, after five years with sister-publication Time Magazine...

 had "heckled" Republican Senators McCain and Graham during a live press conference. Drudge reported that:
Ware disputed Drudge's report on CNN April 2, 2007, saying that the story was leaked "by an unnamed official of some kind to a blog", that the story was anonymous, and that no one was willing to put their name to it; he advised people to view the tape. Video hosted by Rawstory shows that Ware did not make a sound nor ask any question during the press conference. The Drudge Report did not retract or apologize for the story. Drudge's report was echoed in The Washington Times
The Washington Times
The Washington Times is a daily broadsheet newspaper published in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. It was founded in 1982 by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, and until 2010 was owned by News World Communications, an international media conglomerate associated with the...

, which carried opinion questioning Ware's trustworthiness, and in many conservative blogs, some of which called for Ware's resignation.

Oprah and Sarah Palin


On September 5, 2008 the Drudge Report reported that Oprah
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

 staffers were "sharply divided on the merits of booking Sarah Palin." He said that he obtained the information from an anonymous source. Winfrey responded in a written statement to news outlets that: "The item in today’s Drudge Report is categorically untrue. There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show. At the beginning of this presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates." Oprah Winfrey's public statement came after she had already endorsed Barack Obama for president on Larry King Live
Larry King Live
Larry King Live is an American talk show hosted by Larry King on CNN from 1985 to 2010. It was CNN's most watched and longest-running program, with over one million viewers nightly....

 in 2007. Drudge was accused of planting a false story for political ends by some commentators.

Ashley Todd attack hoax


On October 23, 2008, Drudge published an unconfirmed exclusive story regarding Ashley Todd, the 20-year old employee of the College Republican National Committee (CRNC)
College Republicans
The College Republican National Committee is a national organization for college and university students who support the Republican Party of the United States...

 and John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 volunteer who had allegedly been attacked by a black male for having a McCain sticker on her car in Pittsburgh. Drudge reported the story without a link but as 'developing', titling the headline "SHOCK: McCAIN VOLUNTEER ATTACKED AND MUTILATED IN PITTSBURGH - "B" carved into 20 yr old Woman's Face". The story set off a "storm of media attention", being quickly picked up by many conservative bloggers and right-wing talk radio show hosts, all citing the Drudge Report as their source. It was also reported in newspapers and TV both in the US and around the world. The story was confirmed to be a hoax perpetrated by Todd and, according to Talking Points Memo
Talking Points Memo
Talking Points Memo is a web-based political journalism organization created and run by Josh Marshall, journalist and historian covering issues from a "politically left perspective,". It debuted on November 12, 2000...

, spread to reporters by McCain's Pennsylvania Communications Director.

Drudge then printed a retraction of the story, including links to the news stories detailing that the attack had been a hoax and that Ashley Todd had performed a similar 'attack' on herself while volunteering in a local Ron Paul grassroots group. She was later asked to leave the group because of the hoax.

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