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Old 02-18-2004, 07:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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dredge report

As most of you probably know, Matt Drudge dedicated lots of space over the last couple of weeks to a non-story about an affair that Kerry didn't have.

Here's an interesting story on Drudge and the politics of the right-wing smear.

Quote:
Dredge Report
The cyberhack jumps the gun.

I happen to know that several major news organizations have for some time been looking into claims about portly conservative moralizer William Bennett and a leather-bound dominatrix bodybuilder in Las Vegas, a woman who has some very interesting narratives to recount. What news organizations? The top five that come to your mind are on the list. Some reporters have even traveled far and wide on this story.

Does this mean the story is true? No. It is "developing," as our favorite cybergossip character assassin likes to say, and it may go nowhere. Every day reporters track down leads and follow up on tips. Sometimes this goes on for a while and they may never nail down the leads. And that’s certainly true if there’s no truth to them.

It’s interesting, though, that Matt Drudge, whose standards are far lower than even those of the Weekly World News, hasn’t run a blaring headline like, "Bill Bennett in Grip of Imminent Dominatrix Scandal." I say that, of course, because last week Drudge ran a breathless "world exclusive" report of his own claiming that news organizations were chasing down "recent alleged infidelity" on the part of Democratic front-runner John Kerry.

Now, with regard to the Bennett rumor, take my word for it (and don’t ask any more questions right now, okay?) that several reporters have communicated directly with first-hand sources–as have I. But what Drudge claimed about Kerry was so ridiculously far removed from the supposed source that you’d have better luck using a Ouija board to determine if there’s any scandal in his future. The Washington Post and several other news organizations, Drudge claimed, had been looking into the allegations based on the rantings of a "friend" of a woman who supposedly had an affair with Kerry but who "fled the country" and conveniently couldn’t be reached.

In other words, neither Drudge himself nor apparently any of the supposed reporters he claimed were looking into it seem to have spoken to the alleged expatriate mistress–and Drudge hadn’t even spoken to the woman’s frantic friend himself.

It’s interesting that this unsubstantiated, un-sourced, non-story about the Democratic front-runner–which soon dominated right-wing radio–came as George W. Bush was whirling in the center of an increasingly well-sourced story regarding his past military service and his having gone AWOL. Loyal soldier Drudge, who delighted in exposing Bill Clinton’s sex life, seemed to spin into action to try to save Bush, perhaps fed information from Karl Rove’s right-wing smear machine.

"Was the Drudge item a late hit by an angry Democrat seeking revenge, or a plant by desperate Republicans hoping to distract attention from the president’s problems?" asked Joe Conason, writing in Salon, looking at the possibilities before concluding that it looked like a smear from the right. "Lacking proof, the most pertinent questions are the standards of forensic inquiry: Cui bono (who benefits)? And who had the motive, method and opportunity?"

Even conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan went off the reservation–momentarily–entertaining the notion that the rumor was coming from his side.

"I’m beginning to worry that the Republicans might be behind this smear job on Kerry," he wrote on his blog.

Kerry was forced to flatly deny the claims on Imus a day after Drudge ran his report.

"Well, there is nothing to report. So there is nothing to talk about. I’m not worried about it," Kerry stated.

Usually the denial itself elevates the story dramatically, which is the plan of the right-wing smear artists all along–landing it all over television and in newspapers across the country. But the Drudge smear, so far, has pretty much bombed big time. The British tabloids and Rupert Murdoch-owned papers like the New York Post–and its direct competition, the Daily News–picked it up, as well a few third-rate local tv affiliates down South. This was pretty laughable, but Drudge nonetheless touted these breaks of the story on his site, desperate for attention and validation.

Maybe a lot of media so far haven’t picked up the story not because they’re getting more scruples–I’m not that hopeful–but because Drudge is even more unreliable and wrong than he used to be (and he was pretty bad to begin with). Leonard Downie Jr., the editor of the Washington Post, one of the papers Drudge claimed was working on the story, told Editor and Publisher that no one there was investigating Kerry for any infidelity (though now they probably are). Drudge had also said that Wesley Clark told "dozens" of reporters off the record that Kerry had an "intern issue." Yet, if Clark knew Kerry was about to implode, why did he pull out of the race and why did he then give his endorsement to Kerry?

The allegations, not surprisingly, did get linked up across the right-wing web. Andrew Sullivan perfunctorily attacked the rumor as politically motivated–without actually criticizing his good buddy Drudge. Perhaps Sullivan, who is clearly still incensed over my having exposed his online "bareback" sexcapades two years ago, had to come out against the invasion of privacy if he wanted to remain indignant about the past stories about him and his own behavior.

But soon enough, he was slapped down by fellow right-wing blatherers Jonah Goldberg (writing on National Review online and criticizing Sullivan for saying the smear came from the Republicans) and Jonah’s infamous mother Lucianne, one of the cretins at the center of the Lewinsky affair, who wrote a letter to Sullivan’s site. Like a good little beagle, Sullivan fell back in line and soon began excitedly speculating on how far Drudge’s Kerry smear would get in the mainstream press, hoping it would prove how influential he and his fellow right-wing bloggers have become. Some on the right even began linking to the National Enquirer’s coverage, so hard-up were they to get this story going.

Perhaps by the time you read this they’ll have been more successful. At any rate, they’ve now alerted more reporters to get cracking on looking through Kerry’s personal life, which is perhaps exactly what they wanted, even if they didn’t knock Bush’s AWOL story off the front pages. Then again, maybe Drudge shot his wad with a dubious story and now his further sleaze stories on Kerry–surely "developing" as we speak–will get less and less attention. We can only hope.

Oh, and about Bill Bennett: It’s developing…
http://nypress.com/print.cfm?content_id=9636
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Damn liberal medi-WHAAA!!!???
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Drudges current headline is about the national debt being the highest ever.

Explain to me how drudge is right wing again? You guys don't get it, he is an equal opportunity kinda guy.


Unfortunately, I couldn't stop and leave good enough alone and ended up being edited by lebell.
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Last edited by Lebell; 02-18-2004 at 11:25 PM..
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:06 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
Drudges current headline is about the national debt being the highest ever.

Explain to me how drudge is right wing again? You guys don't get it, he is an equal opportunity kinda guy.
1. Spend and won't tax republicans are quite possibly the cause of the debt influx.

2. Ustwo, I know you are smart enough to notice media bias, when it comes to people who disagree with your political views.
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Last edited by Lebell; 02-18-2004 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nanofever
1. Spend and won't tax republicans are quite possibly the cause of the debt influx.

2. Ustwo, I know you are smart enough to notice media bias, when it comes to people who disagree with your political views.
Drudge also didn't avoid the Bush Twins and their early fun.

Nor did he spare Limbaugh any grief.

And when some staffer had 'made in america' put on boxes behind GWB at some speech a while back, it was drudge who reported the boxes were from China.

Haliburton overcharging for gas...on drudge.

And the whole Chenny duckhunting thing I saw on Drudge first as well.


You guys need to forgive Drudge for exposing Clinton's little fun with Monica. Just because someone writes bad things about your 'guys' doesn't mean he gives the 'the other guys' a pass.
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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After the Kerry incident where it appears Drudge fabricated a story out of bits and pieces, I don't have much respect for anything he has produced, past or present.
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by nanofever
After the Kerry incident where it appears Drudge fabricated a story out of bits and pieces, I don't have much respect for anything he has produced, past or present.
I don’t' know what’s up with the Kerry story, but based on the fact that the Father called him a sleazebag they would never vote for and then turned around the next day with a different story saying they support him makes you wonder what’s going on, don't you think?

And again regardless lets pretend Drudge made it all up (which btw, many people said about the Monica story if you recall *ahem*) that doesn't make it a 'right wing' smear, it just makes it a smear. Its bad journalism, not political sabotage for another parties gain.

Hell talking with a friend tonight we are both VERY glad this story died. We want Kerry to win, Edwards is way to big a variable, and a close democratic primary just keeps the press focused on it.
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
I don’t' know what’s up with the Kerry story, but based on the fact that the Father called him a sleazebag they would never vote for and then turned around the next day with a different story saying they support him makes you wonder what’s going on, don't you think?
Did you talk to the father? No? Of course you didn't. Where did the quote from the father come from? Why, The Sun. What is The Sun? It's the most tabloid of British tabloids. Lower than the National Enquirer. On par with the Weekly World News. Hit their home page and see what a bastion of responsible journalism they are.

Who else carried the "sleazebag" story besides The Sun? No one.

Perhaps you would like to see the cover of the tabloid that Drudge quotes and continues to quote as an authoritative news source.

http://images.thesun.co.uk/picture/0,,2004080536,00.jpg

So think about that. You're defending a "journalist" who quotes tabloids as fact. You're accepting what the tabloid says as truth. As far as I'm concerned, you may as well go hunting for an affair between Kerry and Bat-Boy next, it's about as plausible.

I'm completely, totally disgusted that UsTwo continues to quote Drudge's "facts" as if they are true, and that Drudge himself continues to quote The Sun on his homepage. Drudge is not a journalist. He is the worst kind of muckraker slime.
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Old 02-19-2004, 01:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by HarmlessRabbit
...I'm completely, totally disgusted that UsTwo continues to quote Drudge's "facts" as if they are true, and that Drudge himself continues to quote The Sun on his homepage....

WEEEELLL,

No one is forcing you to read his posts or to reply.

Just a thought.
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lebell
WEEEELLL,

No one is forcing you to read his posts or to reply.

Just a thought.
Maybe I'm enjoying being disgusted by him. Did you ever think of that? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM?



But seriously, people quoting The Sun as a factual source. I mean, if someone came into my office and started quoting the Weekly World News to me as fact I would assume they were totally insane. Drudge does it and still gets to keep his day job as a commentator and radio host. It's a strange world, eh?
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:14 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by HarmlessRabbit
Maybe I'm enjoying being disgusted by him. Did you ever think of that? HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM?



I had considered that possibility
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Old 02-19-2004, 02:19 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ustwo
You guys don't get it, he is an equal opportunity kinda guy.

ya know You seem to fit your opinions to when they suit you the most.

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...threadid=45894

there you are spouting leftist media accusations, but now you decided to change your mind and say "hey ummm, nevermind what I said before..."

Drudge sucks, thats just my opinion though, I dont care what side of the fence its on.
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by HarmlessRabbit
Did you talk to the father? No? Of course you didn't. Where did the quote from the father come from? Why, The Sun. What is The Sun? It's the most tabloid of British tabloids. Lower than the National Enquirer. On par with the Weekly World News. Hit their home page and see what a bastion of responsible journalism they are.

Who else carried the "sleazebag" story besides The Sun? No one.

Perhaps you would like to see the cover of the tabloid that Drudge quotes and continues to quote as an authoritative news source.

http://images.thesun.co.uk/picture/0,,2004080536,00.jpg

So think about that. You're defending a "journalist" who quotes tabloids as fact. You're accepting what the tabloid says as truth. As far as I'm concerned, you may as well go hunting for an affair between Kerry and Bat-Boy next, it's about as plausible.

I'm completely, totally disgusted that UsTwo continues to quote Drudge's "facts" as if they are true, and that Drudge himself continues to quote The Sun on his homepage. Drudge is not a journalist. He is the worst kind of muckraker slime.
Perhaps he is, but he is not a right wing muckraker slime, just a muckraker.

And his poor journalism, got a sitting president impeached, and later disbarred, despite a year of lies and 'vast right wing conspiracy' from the Clinton's. I know this forever branded him as right wing, but its what made a name for him, and had that been Bob Dole doing the same thing in the oral office, I'm sure Drudge would have made his name that way and you would all love him for it. Bob Dole being a man of integrity wouldn't have done it, but thats another issue.
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Shauk
ya know You seem to fit your opinions to when they suit you the most.

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthr...threadid=45894

there you are spouting leftist media accusations, but now you decided to change your mind and say "hey ummm, nevermind what I said before..."

Drudge sucks, thats just my opinion though, I dont care what side of the fence its on.
Ok lets think about this.

I say there is a leftwing bias in the major media. (true, as in true I made statements as such)

I say Drudge isn't a right wing muckraker, and will lampoon anyone (true).

Therefore I say 'ummm, nevermind' ? (false)

No clue how you turned A + B = - A, where both A and B are positive integers, but you might want to rethink it.
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Old 02-19-2004, 06:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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External Validation. That's what Drudge is all about.

He links to reports that mention his website? He's a hack. A compiler of lists. A regurgitator of off the record quotes.

He's not a news source, he's a source for sources of news.

Hit or miss, I check his website out everyday. I really like his list of editorialists from through out the spectrum.

This thread is an interesting read with amusing side-bar sparring.

-bear
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Old 02-19-2004, 08:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Drydge, like ANY news source out there, is just trying to make money. Face it, sleazy, raunchy gossip sells. Look at the rags by the newsstand, the shows on TV (Inside Hollywood, E.T., Behind the Music, and so on). Good news doesn't sell and that is why it is not focussed on.

An example, would anyone listen to Limbaugh if all he did was boast over what the GOP has done? Probably not, he needs controversy and his rants to keep people interested and sell his show. Same with Drudge, and he does put a right winged spin on almost everything he reports. Although, every now and then he will come out with something that hits the right hard.

The problem is if you rely on any one source of news, whether Limbaugh, Drudge, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN and so on, you'll only get part of the story and it will be biased, some more than others. The best way to get the truth is to watch or read a liberal side and a GOP side and from there decide which to believe.

Best thing about the internet are there are many many differing views and by sharing and reading ones that you may not hold, you will learn alot. Not just about the news but of people.
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Old 02-20-2004, 10:33 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Someone finally hits the "profit bias" tack in the media.

Quote:
Originally posted by pan6467
Drydge, like ANY news source out there, is just trying to make money. Face it, sleazy, raunchy gossip sells. Look at the rags by the newsstand, the shows on TV (Inside Hollywood, E.T., Behind the Music, and so on). Good news doesn't sell and that is why it is not focussed on.

An example, would anyone listen to Limbaugh if all he did was boast over what the GOP has done? Probably not, he needs controversy and his rants to keep people interested and sell his show. Same with Drudge, and he does put a right winged spin on almost everything he reports. Although, every now and then he will come out with something that hits the right hard.

The problem is if you rely on any one source of news, whether Limbaugh, Drudge, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CNN and so on, you'll only get part of the story and it will be biased, some more than others. The best way to get the truth is to watch or read a liberal side and a GOP side and from there decide which to believe.

Best thing about the internet are there are many many differing views and by sharing and reading ones that you may not hold, you will learn alot. Not just about the news but of people.
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