While the Drudge Report used to be a lone bastion of conservative news, those days appear to be no more, or so it certainly feels like to Fox News host Jesse Watters.
“[I]s Drudge beginning to turn on President Trump?” he asked rhetorically during the latest episode of “Watters World” on Saturday. “Many people keep asking me about this. I get texts, ‘Did you notice this? What’s up with Drudge.’ So we started to look into it.”
And what he and his team found appears to suggest that the Drudge Report’s founder, Matt Drudge, may have essentially sold his conservative bona fides for clicks and moola.
Watch Watters’ full report below:
Source: Fox News
“In August, the traditional-leaning Drudge Report began posting several anti-Trump stories all kind of stacked together,” he said. “Just on August 11th alone, there were five negative Trump headlines all in a row.”
He may have been speaking about the five headlines below that were seen on the Drudge Report early that morning:
“You know, it’s just that’s what you log on to CNN.com for,” Watters continued. “I don’t know. But it just seems like the website has recently played up Trump gaffes and downplayed his successes. Now, of course, the liberal media has pounced on this shift in coverage.”
After playing clips of liberal media personalities celebrating Drudge’s apparent conversion, the FNC host brought on media critic Howard Kurtz to talk about it.
“I have covered Matt Drudge since he was an unknown blogger, and at this point in his career he’s primarily interested in clicks and riding the media wave — and the media wave you may have noticed has been largely anti-Trump,” Kurtz admitted right from the get-go.
In other words, Drudge is just trying to earn a buck.
The evidence suggests he’s right:
@JesseBWatters @charliekirk11 good point on @DRUDGE_REPORT – #Patriots USED to check DR regularly, but it turned to #CLICKBAIT. I mean, anti or pro or no @realDonaldTrump – these ‘headlines’ (at THIS time in history) no red alerts, it’s all just $hit Click Bait. Opinion sells duh pic.twitter.com/gzbphx6UH2
— Liberty (@LizzyBelleFox) November 10, 2019
Drudge has a center headline claiming Brennan says Mueller could “have additional indictments and release his report on Friday!”
Then you read the article and realize Brennan is just guessing and really has no idea.
Nice clickbait Drudge.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) March 6, 2019
It was a really dishonest abstraction from @DRUDGE as we were clearly talking about 3rd party candidates. Today’s @OutnumberedFNC was respectful and somber, and that level of false misrepresentation/clickbait is unacceptable. https://t.co/4awpfKX80c
— Kennedy (@KennedyNation) October 29, 2018
Kurtz did note however that it’s not as if the Drudge Report never contains positive stories about President Donald Trump.
“So I think that he posts a lot of positive stories also about the president,” he maintained. “He posts negative stuff about the Democrats. He tends to post the polls most favorable to POTUS. But people on the right who think that he’s only going to be a cheerleader for the president don’t quite understand how he sees his mission.”
Watters replied by pointing out that what differentiated Drudge from the rest of the pack — and helped make him famous — was his willingness to catalog those stories and headlines that the left-wing mainstream media refused to cover. Yet these days his website contains endless links to those very same left-wing mainstream media outlets.
“I’ve noticed … there’s just been an additional emphasis on some of the negative stories that you would see on other mainstream platforms,” he said. “He can do whatever he wants because it’s his website and he’s a great editor — the best, in my opinion. But it’s hard to tell whether he’s just riding a wave for clicks or there’s something personally inside his heart and his mind that has shifted against the president.”
It seems, Watters implied, like Drudge’s political views have recently changed. To be fair, Drudge has been posting negative headlines about the president since as early as 2017.
— Caz Nova (@caz_nova) August 12, 2017
After offering a couple recent examples of Drudge posting arguably pro-Trump stories, Kurtz reiterated that the guy is just trying to do his job.
“Look, Matt Drudge is an old line conservative. It is possible that he doesn’t completely agree with the way Donald Trump has handled the presidency or his vision of conservatism. It is also possible that the White House doesn’t link to him much,” he said. “But I do think it’s in this media, impeachment, Ukraine environment — it would be hard for anybody who’s not just running an RNC website to ignore the fact that there’s a lot of negative press out there.”
Watters agreed with this point.
“That’s a good point,” he said. “There’s an avalanche of this kind of impeachment information. To not cover it or to, you know, put some sort of spin on it that doesn’t exist would be a disservice, I guess, to his readership. And his readership is absolutely enormous.”
But what comes with big readership? Big money …
“[He gets] 25 million visits a day,” Watters continued. “It looks like projections [for] nine to 30 million in revenue. Obviously, the guy knows what he’s doing. But I’m just saying, I’m having people come up to me and they say, ‘Jesse, what’s going on with Drudge? We go to Drudge for the different side of things.’ That’s all I’m saying.”
For some reason Kurtz replied by mocking those conservatives who’ve been attempting to create an alternative to the Drudge Report.
“People on the right are saying we’re going start an alternative to Drudge. Well, good luck to that,” he said dismissively.
FYI, “people on the right” have already started several of their own alternatives, with the most popular one being The Liberty Daily. And while Kurtz may not be aware of the site, renowned conservative cartoonist Ben Garrison certainly is:
I am soo done with Drudge report -Remember there many, many good balanced news sites now available like @WhatfingerNews @NewsAmmo1 @rantinglydotcom https://t.co/9XOupKS26f and more! Compare front pages and see pic.twitter.com/yQt9bH0VF8
— GrrrGraphics Cartoons (@GrrrGraphics) October 14, 2019