Sunday, October 21, 2007

Mr. Drudge

Jim Rutenberg has a good piece in Sunday's (correction: Monday's) NYT about the influence of the Drudge Report. He recounts the 2004 election, for example:

".. Mr. Bush’s aides funneled embarrassing tidbits about Mr. Kerry in which mainstream news reporters had initially shown less interest. From time to time, those former aides said, an item’s appearance on Drudge would drive it into mainstream news coverage: A video clip of Mr. Kerry contradicting himself, or a photograph of him wearing a protective germ outfit."

I think the piece does not overstate just how much power Drudge has.

When Drudge puts something out, the traditional media often jump right into the story. Sometimes the story is true, sometimes it's not (remember how the Clinton staff destroyed the west wing and air force one? NOT!)

The left wing blogs and research sites like Media Matters and Think Progress do wonderful work, and have broken a lot of stories (TPM broke the firing of US attorneys, for example). But day to day, the traditional media latches on far, far more to Drudge.


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