Matt Drudge is a gay right wing conservative blogger who runs the Drudge Report, a conservative news aggregation and gossip website, and a popular news and opinion source for American conservatives and man-made global warming deniers. His website is steadily falling in popularity, according to Alexa, and that's despite the 3-minute autorefresh script Drudge uses to artificially inflate visitor numbers (and advertising revenue).
- 1 Education
- 2 Global warming denial
- 3 Political advocacy
- 4 Closet homosexuality and homophobia
- 5 Misreporting the news
- 6 References
- 7 Contact details
- 8 Articles and Resources
- 9 External links
Born into a liberal Jewish family, Drudge graduated 341st out of a class of 355 from High School. He has no other education. He worked at 7-11, McDonalds, and the CBS Studios gift shop before finding his calling as an Internet gossip.
Global warming denial
The conservative The New Republic magazine notes that the Drudge Report frequently links to stories that cast doubt upon global warming: "[Drudge] loves a press release from Senator Inhofe almost as much as he loves taking pot shots at Al Gore." When Drudge links to a climate story, the comments section is overrun with denialist comments. Drudge has often strung together headlines linking climate denier myths to the financial crisis as well as the suffering third world, to create the impression that any attempt to combat global warming is linked to both the financial crisis and the disadvantaging of developing nations. Drudge was a big promoter of the climategate false scandal and, by featuring it prominently on his website, was a key player in creating the beat-up. The Drudge Report carries at least one denialist headline a week, often prompted by the occurrence of cold weather or heavy snowfall events. Drudge has taken to publicizing freak snowstorms in warm places as a routine denialist ploy. If a Senate hearing on global warming gets canceled because of snowy weather, it becomes a headline. The general idea, according to Media Matters, is that for Drudge and his minions, a few days of cold weather trumps climate change science.
Drudge guest hosted for the conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. Drudge gained radio notoriety in the early 2000s by becoming a constant reference for news material on Limbaugh's, Sean Hannity's, and Mark Levin's radio shows. He was often acknowledged by conservative Michael Savage as a source of topics for Savage's rants, and for a short time hosted a Fox News television show.
Richard Siklos, an editor of Fortune magazine, called the Drudge Report a "conservative bullhorn", the Los Angeles Times labelled Drudge a "well-known conservative warrior", the New York Times referred to him as a "conservative muckraker", and Glenn Greenwald called him a "right-wing hack". Greenwald added: "Allowing [sites like the Drudge Report website] to dominate our political debates and drive media coverage guarantees a decrepit, rotted, and deeply corrupt country. ... Their endless lynch mob crusades supplant rational and substantive political debates."
Closet homosexuality and homophobia
In 2003, Drudge faced criticism for smearing ABC reporter Jeffrey Kofman as "openly gay" with the headline "ABC News Reporter Who Filed Troops Complaint Story — Openly Gay Canadian" after Kofman interviewed anti-war soldiers in Iraq.
In addition, Drudge ran erroneous headlines saying that the two student killers in the Columbine High School massacre, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were homosexual.
Drudge's critics, like gay American writer and national talk radio host Michelangelo Signorile, point to the allegations of homosexuality levelled at Drudge himself by David Brock of Media Matters in his memoir Blinded by the Right, and by columnist Jeannette Walls in her book Dish. Walls wrote that Drudge had a long homosexual relationship with Washington D.C. landscaper, David Cohen. Cohen confirmed the relationship to the New York Daily News.
Despite all the evidence, Drudge continues to deny that he is gay, telling the Miami New Times in 2001 that "I go to straight bars, I go to gay bars. [Walls] never said there was sex; she said there was dating. She never had enough to go that far."
In his memoir, David Brock relates how Drudge courted him, complete with yellow roses, and how they danced together at gay dance club Rage in L.A.. Drudge later sent Brock an email expressing the wish to be Brock's "fuck buddy".
In 2002, Drudge threatened to sue actor Alec Baldwin after Baldwin claimed, during a Howard Stern interview, that Drudge had propositioned him. In March 2008, Baldwin repeated the story to the LGBT magazine The Advocate, saying that there was "a kind of creepy quality" to Drudge's sexual advances, and that he was surprised Drudge was so "uptight about being gay".
Out magazine named Drudge #6 of the 50 most powerful gay people in the United States in 2009, #16 in 2012, and #21 in 2013. He was described in Out as "antigay, anti-choice and anti-tolerance".
After celebrity interviewer and former gay stripper Craig Seymour discussed his close friendship with Drudge in his autobiographical book All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C, Signorile and other sources used his anecdotes about Drudge to claim Drudge had been outed by Seymour. However, Seymour denied trying to "out" Drudge in his book.
In his book Queer externalities, author William Conley Harris states that Drudge's gay bashing is a form of homophobia experienced by men who suffer from "male homosexual panic" at being called or thought queer. This panic, according to Harris, dictates a "preemptive homophobia" that requires the queer-baiting of others. Recent studies have linked homophobia to repressed homosexuality.
In 2016, Drudge gifted a $700,000 house next door to his own $1.45 million Miami residence to his “longtime housemate”, Juan Carlos Alvarado, 55. Drudge had lived for 11 years with Alvarado.
Misreporting the news
Alleged John Kerry intern scandal
- Main article: Drudge Report: John Forbes Kerry
During the US 2004 Presidential campaign, Drudge ran a story quoting General Wesley Clark, where Clark claimed that the John Kerry 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 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 GOP Senators
On April 1, 2007 Drudge cited an unnamed "official" source saying that CNN reporter Michael Ware had "heckled" Republican Senators McCain and Graham during a live press conference. Drudge reported that:
An official at the press conference called Ware's conduct "outrageous," saying, "here you have two United States Senators in Bagdad giving first-hand reports while Ware is laughing and mocking their comments. I've never witnessed such disrespect. This guy is an activist not a reporter."
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, which carried opinion questioning Ware's trustworthiness, and in many conservative blogs, some of which called for Ware's resignation.
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) and John McCain volunteer who had allegedly been attacked by a black male for having a McCain sticker on her car. 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, spread to reporters by McCain's Pennsylvania Communications Director.
- Sokol, Brett (2001-06-28). The Drudge Retort. Miami New Times. Retrieved on 2006-11-01. “Matt Drudge: "I am a conservative"”
- Matt Drudge and Julia Phillips (2000). Drudge Manifesto, Chapter one online. Denver Post. Retrieved on 2007-03-02.
- "It’s Always Snowing on the Drudge Report", The New Republic (2009-12-09). Retrieved on 2011-04-24.
- Lambert, Tim (2011 [last update]). Drudge and the denialists : Deltoid. scienceblogs.com. Retrieved on 23 November 2011.
- Johnson, Brad (2011 [last update]). Drudge Hijacks Headlines To Sell Global Warming Denial | ThinkProgress. thinkprogress.org. Retrieved on 23 November 2011.
- Rayner, Gordon. "Who's to blame for Climategate? - Telegraph", The Daily Telegraph, London, UK: Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved on 23 November 2011.
- Connelly, Joel (2011 [last update]). Deniers of global warming harm us - seattlepi.com. seattlepi.com. Retrieved on 23 November 2011.
- Broder, John. "Climate-Change Debate Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze - NYTimes.com", The New York Times, New York, NY: NYTC. Retrieved on 23 November 2011.
- Koppelman, Alex (2011 [last update]). Breaking news: Despite global warming, snow still exists - Global Warming - Salon.com. salon.com. Retrieved on 23 November 2011.
- Fox's claim July temps 'challenge climate change' disputed by original source of data | Media Matters for America. mediamatters.org (2011 [last update]). Retrieved on November 23, 2011.
- Richard Siklos (2008-06-06). "The Web 2.0-defying logic of Drudge", CNN. Retrieved on 2008-06-28.
- Wallsten, Peter. New political era? Same as the old one - Los Angeles Times. www.latimes.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-07. “...well-known conservative warriors such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Matt Drudge...”
- Hansell, Saul (2008-06-16). "The Associated Press to Set Guidelines for Using Its Articles in Blogs - NYTimes.com", www.nytimes.com. Retrieved on 2009-02-21. "Drudge Report, run by the conservative muckraker Matt Drudge"
- Philip Weiss (2007). Watching Matt Drudge. New York Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-08-31.
- Salon.com. www.salon.com. Retrieved on 2009-04-14.
- Canadian reporter 'smeared' over Iraq coverage. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) (2003-07-18). Retrieved on 2007-07-30.
- Drudge, Matt: "ABC News Reporter Who Filed Troops Complaint Story — Openly Gay Canadian", Drudge Report, July 16, 2003
- Antonia Zerbisias (2003). TV Man Is (Shock) Gay, And (Horror) Canadian. commondreams.org. Retrieved on 2007-07-27. Link is a courtesy link, original gone. The original article in the Toronto Times contained the quote "Drudge has some nerve, since he's a gay man himself" but they later retracted this.
- William Conley Harris (2009). Queer externalities: hazardous encounters in American culture. SUNY Press, pp. 86–87. ISBN 1438427514.
- Bad Drudge-Ment. The Advocate (May 1999). Retrieved on 2011-11-24.
- Mike Signorile (2002-05-22). Spreading Drudge’s Sludge. New York Press. Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
- Mike Signorile (2004-01-13). [# Rapture, genocide and the Washington Times.]. New York Press. Retrieved on 2007-08-05.
- Michelangelo Signorile (2003). Queer in America: sex, the media, and the closets of power. Univ of Wisconsin Press, p. 420. ISBN 0299193748.
- Brock, David. Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-1400047284.
- Kerry Lauerman (2002). The apostate. salon.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- Walls, Jeannette (2000). Dish: The Inside Story on the World of Gossip. William Morrow & Company. ISBN 978-0380978212.
- Jennifer Cox (2000). In gossip wars, Jeannette Walls wails: I've been Matt-slammed. Media Life Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- Amy Reiter (2000). Egg on his chest?. salon.com. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- Doug Thompson (2004). Homophobia and the Republican Party. Capitol Hill Blue. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- Keith Stern (2009). Queers in history: the comprehensive encyclopedia of historical gays. BenBella Books, 147. ISBN 1933771879.
- Ellen Talks Back To Dr. Laura. www.nydailynews.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. “Washington D.C. landscaper David Cohen yesterday told us that Walls was correct in reporting that he dated Drudge in their early years”
- Bijou's Knife Jest Turns Bloody. www.nydailynews.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-05. “Walls writes that back when he was his 20s and living in Washington, D.C., Drudge "hung out with a crowd of promiscuous, openly gay men and dated several of them." Walls writes that Drudge used to date a guy named David Cohen, who contends that the future Web-slinger once got kicked out of bar for dousing everyone with beer and that he "seemed very comfortable and open with his sexuality, though they never talked about it."”
- Brett Sokol (2001). The Drudge Retort. Miami New Times. Retrieved on 2007-07-27.
- Baldwin-Drudge spat may lead to lawsuit. Media Life Magazine (2002). Retrieved on 2007-08-26.
- Howard Stern Show Archives. MarksFriggin.com (2002-08-05). Retrieved on 2007-08-26.
- Brandon Voss (2008). Alec Baldwin On Men, Love, & His Bible-Thumping Brother. The Advocate. Retrieved on 2008-10-31.
- Cosmo Landesman (2005-04-17). The world is his laptop. The Sunday Times Online. Retrieved on 2007-07-31.
- Gay Power List 2013: MATT DRUDGE. Out Magazine. Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
- 5thd Annual Power 50. www.out.com. Retrieved on 2011-11-08.
- Amazon.com: All I Could Bare: My Life in the Strip Clubs of Gay Washington, D.C.: Craig Seymour. www.amazon.com. Retrieved on 2009-04-10.
- The Gist: Matt Drudge's Advice on Kissing Guys. www.signorile.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-21.
- How Matt Drudge Helped Nudge a Friend Out of the Closet - Matt Drudge - Gawker. gawker.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-15.
- Craig's Pop Life: What I Wrote About Matt Drudge. www.craigspoplife.blogspot.com. Retrieved on 2009-09-21.
- Homophobics May Be Hidden Homosexuals | Homophobia & Anti-Gay Sentiment | LiveScience. livescience.com (2012 [last update]). Retrieved on 10 April 2012.
- "Drudge gifts South Dade home to longtime housemate", Miami Herald (2016-01-22). Retrieved on 2016-05-16.
- Polier, Alexandra (2004-06-07). John Kerry intern scandal - Alexandra Polier's account. New York Magazine. Retrieved on 2004-06-07.
- Special Reports Personal Collection. Drudge Report Archives. Retrieved on 2007-04-02
- Drudge, Matt (April 2, 2007). "McCain heckled by CNN reporter", Drudge Report. Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
- "CNN's Ware flatly denies report that he "heckled" McCain, but right-wing media flog it anyway", Media Matters for America (April 2, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
- "CNN reporter slams Drudge's charge that he 'heckled' McCain; Exclusive video confirms his claim", Rawstory (April 2, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-04-02.
- CNN's Ware fires back at Drudge report about 'heckling', USA Today April 2, 2007
- UPDATE: CNN's Ware flatly denies report that he "heckled" McCain, but right-wing media flog it anyway. Media Matters (2007-04-02). Retrieved on 2007-08-09.
- McCain volunteer admits to hoax. www.post-gazette.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-03. “One photo appeared on The Drudge Report on Thursday, setting off a storm of media attention.”
- Meg White. Ashley Todd, PA Racist Hoax "Victim," Was Paid Organizer for College Republican National Committee, Not a Volunteer. BuzzFlash.com. Retrieved on 2008-10-29.
- SHOCK: McCAIN VOLUNTEER ATTACKED AND MUTILATED IN PITTSBURGH - "B" carved into 20 yr old Woman's Face. Retrieved on 2008-10-23.
- 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Friday October 24, 2008 - Countdown with Keith Olbermann- msnbc.com. www.msnbc.msn.com. Retrieved on 2009-03-03.
- McCain volunteer made up robbery story. Retrieved on 2008-10-24.
- McCain Campaign Pushed Now-Discredited Attack Story/publisher=TPM (2008-10-24).
Articles and Resources
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Bush administration smear campaigns: John Forbes Kerry
- John Forbes Kerry's military service
- WatchingAmerica.com – similar project
- "Matt Drudge", Media Matters for America.
- David Brock: Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-conservative (New York, NY: Three Rivers Press, 2002), ISBN 1400047285, pages 307-309.
- Sidney Blumenthal, "Why Kerry Should Sue the Sun," Guardian (UK), February 19, 2004, discusses Drudge's false claims that Blumenthal was a wife-beater and that John Kerry had an affair with Alexandra Polier.
- Andrew Hearst, "Is AOL Responsible for Its Hip Shooter's Bullets?", Columbia Journalism Review, November/December 1997.
- Denise Caruso, "The Law and the Internet: Beware", Columbia Journalism Review, May/June 1998.
- Thomas Lang, "Drudge: The Ellipse as a Tool of Deception", Campaign Desk, Columbia Journalism Review, January 15, 2004.
- Brian Montopoli, "The Drudge Report: The Gift That Keeps on Giving", Campaign Desk, Columbia Journalism Review, May 18, 2004.
- Richard Pachter: "Linking News Sites, Matt Drudge Creates an Internet Success", Miami Herald, September 1, 2003
- Drudge Report Archives (since Nov. 2001)
- Drudge Tracker - The top Drudge Report headlines of the past 2 weeks