Is Matt Drudge Hurting John McCain And The Republicans?
I stop by the Drudge Report several times a day for updates, because like him or hate him, the man has great sources which make for great headlines. What Drudge features on his site is the conversation of news rooms, talk radio, and interesting work places. But many have noticed this election year that the conservative Drudge has either mellowed, or is not totally enamored with the GOP candidate, John McCain.
Politico suggests that Drudge’s softer handling of Barrack Obama might have something to do with the fact that he understands the phenomenon that is embodied in the Illinois Senator. Even the Hillary Clinton campaign speaks that Obama has won the ‘Drudge Primary’, and that may prove to be crippling for McCain in November.
To Obama, meanwhile, Drudge has been admiring at times, featuring the tear-stained faces of Obama supporters with the headline “Screams and Tears of Delight.”Bill Clinton.
More important have been the dogs that didn’t bark: Drudge showed comparatively little interest in the controversy around the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s pastor, ignoring his “God damn America!” sermon for a day after the story of it broke, then linking only to the news that he’d left Obama’s campaign. Among Drudge’s next scattered forays was the story of a McCain aide who was suspended for promoting the story. Then, with more fanfare, he posted an image of Wright with …
Some Drudge watchers note an ideological element, even if they can’t agree on the direction. Drudge’s public statements have long suggested that he has a strong libertarian streak, often linking stories detailing the latest developments in video surveillance or encroachments on speech. McCain is no libertarian, and indeed regulating political speech — campaign finance reform — is one of his signature crusades.
“A big part of Drudge is libertarian and First Amendment and McCain’s not all there,” said a top Republican strategist.
Arianna Huffington, whose Huffington Post is sometimes cast as a liberal alternative to Drudge, views it through a different lens.
“He does have a great grasp of the zeitgeist, and the zeitgeist has shifted,” said Huffington. “What used to be left-wing positions are now solidly mainstream and supported by the majority of the American people.”
Others who know Drudge say Obama benefits from the site’s bias for a good story, and above all for the Next Big Thing.
“I think he is fatigued by Clinton, I think he is invigorated by Obama,” said one person who knows Drudge. “He would say that the Obama story is new. If you’re somebody who does what he does, you get really sick of the same stories.”