Drudge at 10

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Howard Kurtz catches up with Matt Drudge on the former Webunderkind's 10th anniversary online. Snippets:

Drudge complains about new sites that are "all glib, all mockery." He grumbles about "the hideous pace" of Internet news and says "the big boys"—the big newspapers whose scoops he used to pilfer—are "becoming more competitive" with faster online reports. And, he admits, "I probably am taking myself more seriously than 10 years ago."…

Drudge also acts as a shadowy entrance ramp to the mainstream highway. During last year's campaign, he billboarded a false rumor that John Kerry was having an affair with a young woman, which was picked by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and the Web sites of National Review and the Wall Street Journal, forcing Kerry to deny it and the rest of the press to cover it….

Whatever his mistakes and excesses, Drudge was the first entrepreneur to exploit the Internet's speed in ways we now take for granted. During a phone conversation last week from London, he suddenly realized something was happening in Rome, and within seconds a red siren and headline appeared: "Bells Ringing Signaling Election of a Pope." This was followed moments later by "Ratzinger," then "Benedict," and later a shot of the tabloid headline in Britain's Sun: "From Hitler Youth to . . . PAPA RATZI."…

"I'm in my own little world," Drudge says. He doesn't own a cell phone, doing his reporting by e-mail and instant messaging. And he deflects questions about his personal life, although he told London's Sunday Times he's not gay and once almost got married. "I don't feel like volunteering anything," he says.

Nielsen Net Ratings says his site, which attracts corporate advertisers, draws 3 million unique visitors a month, and Drudge says he had 247 million page views in March. Drudge's biggest traffic day followed Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. "Why? Because I showed the boob, breaking through the PC crowd," he says.

Whole thing here.

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  1. He grumbles about the “hideous pace” of internet news? Oh, good god…his stupid website is so fast-paced, you almost feel out of breath just reading it. What a jackass—first, you’re one of the pioneers of breathless tabloid internerd reporting…then, when the format becomes more widespread, you complain about it? Drudge is a jerkoff, which is why I love Sploid so much. Just the perfect balance of seriousness and backhanded spoof.

  2. Not to echo Rush’s faithful, but “ditto” on Drudge being a jackass. One time, a friend of a friend notified me about the shooting of “Dimebag” Darell Abbott (this friend actually caught the guy’s body) at the Al Rosa in Columbus. On a lark, I Im’ed Drudge and sent him the local news link, and waited for him to at least say thanks. I didn’t get a return IM, but 30 seconds later his page was updated with the link I sent. Couldn’t I at least received a “tip o’ the hat” or some such nonsense?

    Oh yeah, and Drudge isn’t fooling anybody. Does this make Ann Coulter a “fag hag”? (I prefer the term “fairy godmother” myself).

  3. Howard Kurtz catches up with Matt Drudge on the former Webunderkind’s 10th anniversary online.

    Is an Unterkind the opposite of an ?bermensch?

  4. The term is WUNDERKIND, not so much like “wonderbra”, more like “little Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart” (or Carl Friedrich Gauss who also was a big genius when he was still a little boy)

  5. he’s not gay

    Thanks heavens…

    247 million page views in March

    I don’t get it… what is the appeal? I have nothing against him really – I just don’t find the site all the compelling… or trustworthy.

  6. “247 million page views…”

    Well, keep in mind that Drudge has that (annoying) auto-refresh set up, so the page reloads by itself — often with a piping fresh batch of pop-ups! — continually.

    I’ve certainly given Drudge an extra few thousand hits during the past decade simply by leaving him on my browser overnight.

  7. Drudge’s biggest traffic day followed Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. “Why? Because I showed the boob, breaking through the PC crowd,” he says.

    PC crowd? I thought it was the religious right, you know, his buddies, that had a conniption fit over the boob more than the PC crowd. But that’s just me.

    Check that, women’s groups also said some crap about the act promoting violence against women, but the prudes on the right are difficult to tell apart from the uber-feminists (as one saw with all the breathless paeans to Dworkin from the right last week).

  8. “Well, keep in mind that Drudge has that (annoying) auto-refresh set up, so the page reloads by itself — often with a piping fresh batch of pop-ups! — continually.”

    What’s this “pop-up” you speak of? I faintly remember some quaint notion of something like that, back in my pre-firefox days, but…’tis but a distant memory. Same goes for the carpet-humper ad. Hmmm. Ahhh, the good ol’ days…

    “PC crowd? I thought it was the religious right, you know, his buddies, that had a conniption fit over the boob more than the PC crowd. But that’s just me.”

    I think you misunderstood. When he said he “broke through the PC crowd”, he was referring to the PC journalists who refused to show a tit on their website/tv show, not the people who were actually upset over seeing a tit.

  9. Hey, I never heard of reason mag before I clicked the link on Drudge. Now I actually subscribe!

  10. Product Endorser–me, too!

  11. I used to love Drudge’s “developing story” links that would disappear with no explanation when the story didn’t pan out the way the headline claimed. Don’t see much of those these days, though, I suppose his Rolodex is better now than it used to be.

    I do find his a page a good starting point for news & political browsing, with all the links he has to columnists and such.

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