A Daily Beast columnist, Michael Tomasky, turned critical eyes on Matt Drudge, king of the Internet news promotion hill, to ponder why the media giant seemed to be going out of his way to bolster Donald Trump’s run at the presidency – especially when it entails posting information from sites like this very one, WND.com.
“The Drudge site is (gulp) its readers’ most trusted news source, and nearly every day its playing a pro-Trump piece high up,” Tomasky wrote. “As I write this … the story is ‘New poll shows Trump strong among minorities.’ The link is to a story on World Net Daily, a far-right site whose stock in trade is headlines like ‘Democrats Think Christians Bigger Threat Than Muslims,’ and it’s to a poll commissioned by … World Net Daily! It finds that 40 percent of blacks are lining up behind Trump, as are 45 percent of Hispanics, and even nearly 19 percent of Asians.’ Right.”
Tomasky admits Trump’s favor in the polls comes from a variety of factors. But in his lead, he writes: “The Republican frontrunner owes his rise to a whole host of factors. But Drudge’s conservative media behemoth could’ve stopped him. Why didn’t it?”
He goes on to ask “who’s responsible for Donald Trump” and his lasting popularity among voters? And among his answers: establishment Republican Party chiefs, who’ve allowed the “crazy” GOP types, like Louis Gohmert, Steve King and Michele Bachmann to direct political discourse, as well as the “cable networks,” for allowing Trump to “play them like a fiddle,” Tomasky wrote.
But “a less discussed culprit” is Drudge, who’s captivated with a site that draws 700 million visitors each month, he went on.
“What they’ve been getting for the last six months is a steady stream of pro-Trump agitprop,” he wrote. “Drudge’s own weird, quasi-libertarian, crypto-racialist-populist political views have found their perfect echo in Trump’s campaign. If you’ve read the Drudge site over the years, you know how expert the site has always been at finding and promoting news stories that aren’t capital-P political on their face but whose political moral, and the reason Drudge highlights them, is obvious.”
For example: “A preposterous-sounding grievance from a minority group member; a left-wing academic making some nutty claim or another; some new manifestation of political correctness afoot,” he wrote.
“These stories are the mother’s milk of the site,” Tomasky went on, “and they create the same paranoia that Trump is creating, and among the same audience. And the audience is gobbling it up, and regurgitating it in the hoped-for way. … After every GOP debate, the Drudge site polls its readers on who won. And every time, Trump has won, usually big.”
Tomasky then opined that while Trump probably didn’t need Drudge’s support to “get where he is” in today’s polls, “look at it from the reverse point of view: If Drudge had been anti-Trump these last six months, Trump very well might not be where he is right now,” he wrote.
And on a Trump-Hillary Clinton match-up?
Tomasky said that’s Drudge’s dream: “Destroying, or trying to destroy, a Clinton (Bill) is what made Drudge world famous in the first place, back in 1998. But that didn’t work out for him,” he wrote.