Issues & Insights

Drudge Is Dead

What exactly has happened to the formerly must-read Drudge Report?

It may seem like yesterday to old Washington hands, but it was actually more than a quarter-century ago that a manager of a gift shop in a television network building in greater Hollywood, a 20-something with a thirst for movie star gossip, signaled the end of the establishment media’s chokehold on the American public. He started an amateurishly formatted website featuring links to important but under-the-radar online articles, to go along with his own mysteriously obtained scoops.

It was, let us never forget, Matt Drudge who broke the Monica Lewinsky story that led to Bill Clinton’s presidential impeachment and Senate trial, only the second in American history. Shortly before Drudge dropped his bomb, in an exquisite self-indictment of media bias and protectiveness of Democrats in power, Newsweek, then a half-century-old journalistic institution whose huge Washington bureau was near the top of a high rise on Pennsylvania Avenue a half block from the White House, killed its exclusive story revealing the sex scandal. It had been the work of Michael Isikoff, a famously aggressive – and left-leaning – veteran Washington reporter.

Yet today, it is the Drudge Report that is Newsweek.

The Drudge Report might quaintly sport the same typeface it used in the early days of the Internet, but on Sunday and then all day and all evening Monday, a story of Lewinskyesque scale rocked the nation’s capital.

In a court submission last week, Special Counsel John Durham alleged, as Fox News put it, “that lawyers from Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign … paid to access servers belonging to Trump Tower and later the White House in order to establish an ‘inference’ and ‘narrative’ to bring to federal government agencies linking then-President Trump to Russia.”

Durham, probably the most straight-shooting, apolitical lawyer in the federal government, now years into an exhaustive probe, revealed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign sought out both the FBI and the CIA in peddling lies that Trump was colluding with Russia, so as to get every news outlet it could to keep that false story at the top of the news during the 2016 campaign, and then, when that failed, to use it to cripple the Trump presidency.

But if the Drudge site is your go-to news source, you might never have known on Monday that Durham did anything.

The site offered its readers nary a link nor a word – though it did serve them up about a dozen links to sensationalist stories on the Super Bowl and off-field pro football escapades; three stories on Elon Musk having too much self-made money; the mandatory half dozen or so negative stories on either Donald Trump, his allies, or Jan. 6; three links – in red – gloating about Sarah Palin losing her case against the New York Times; and naturally a half dozen headlines on which to click to get your sex, drugs, or Hollywood bizarre news fix.

It wasn’t until Rich Lowry’s column was posted online late Monday in the New York Post that Drudge readers got their link deep into the evening. But the Drudge editors paired it with a link to a 2019 NBC News article about how “Mueller declined to charge Don Jr. after meeting with Russian for dirt on Hillary …” A move clearly meant to undermine the importance of the latest Hillary bombshell. As of Tuesday morning, that’s been the entirety of Drudge’s interest in this story.

The site became decidedly anti-Trump several years ago, and it isn’t even known for sure whether Matt Drudge remains the owner, be it in whole or part. He himself once craved personal attention, with his own ill-fated weekly Fox show (wearing the cliched reporter’s fedora, though mercifully not including a “press” card tucked into its band. (For the record, back in the days when nearly all male residents of American cities wore fedoras or similar dress headwear, they had the sense and civility to keep their hats off while indoors). He even wrote a book, “Drudge Manifesto,” which one fond Drudge admirer dismissed as “Lots of little phrases, most of them not complete sentences, all strung together in an incomprehensible stream-of-consciousness style.”

Today, Matt Drudge is apparently a confirmed recluse. Did he cash out? Did Trump treat him shabbily, so now he’s getting back at him? Did he change his politics? Whatever the answer, fine. But his past aficionados would like something approximating a manly explanation as to why the Drudge Report died.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

56 comments

  • I can recommend the Morning Report, M-F mornings at Ace of Spades HQ and crossposted at Cut Jib Newsletter. Best news “aggravation” anywhere on the interwebz!

  • I’ve been saying for several years now – Matt Drudge likely sold out to a left-leaning, Hillary-supporting billionaire for huge money in the run-up to the 2016 election, and as a condition of the sale had to sign an ironclad non-disclosure agreement. Thus, the new owner was able to remove the Drudge Report as a source of negative press against HRC, and instead use it against Trump, all the while maintaining the charade that it was the original Drudge jumping ship and training his sights on DJT.

    • I read a story online, years ago, (and no, I don’t remember where) that a reporter managed to sneak onto Drudge’s property and knocked on his door. Drudge answered and explained (just as you thought) that he had sold the entire “Drudge Report” to an unknown somebody else for ENORMOUS sums of money, with ironclad non-disclosure agreements, and had nothing more to do with the paper.

      • I can’t recall when I stopped reading Drudge but it’s been quite a while… I like the reference to Newsweek… while working for an ad agency many years ago, a Newsweek ad executive asked me why I didn’t read magazine… I don’t recall my response but it should have been something along the lines of irrelevancy.

  • Face it…another example of when a Marxist democrat touches something, they ruin it

  • Why did the Drudge Report die you ask? Because it became a useless rag that at best could be used to wrap the garbage. A lot like CNN did.

  • Used to go to Drudge several times a day, but now maybe a few times a week. Off The Press.com is where I find news worth knowing.

  • P.J. O’Rourke died. A very funny wit and Conservative, marred only by his inexplicable Trump Derangement Syndrome and support for those who would destroy Israel.

    Apparently, to those who knew him, a nice guy, although I’m not a fan of devotees of Amalek.

    Nonetheless, De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum. RIP.

    • Yes, he sold out a few years ago (supposedly for $7 million), but to two journalists, not a “liberal group.”

  • Often misunderstood proper hat etiquette, I’m a hat wearing Texan. Taking it off doesn’t necessarily always apply while indoors, you can leave it on in public areas such as hotel lobbies, airports, elevators, public transport, public areas of government buildings, bars, and even some conference areas of government buildings if nobody objects. But you should never wear it in houses, churches, private offices, and etc. even then you may want to keep it on if you’re intentionally sending a message to someone whose office you’re in, its a sign of dominance. You may also wear it when you’re an entertainer or being recorded like if you’re on stage and are a singer/musician or if you’re on camera in a studio, those are acceptable to wear indoors situations.

    • Had a “Discussion” with a guy wearing his cowboy hat at the sit down dinner on a cruise ship. Asked him what part of Southern California his ranch was in.;

    • Bum Phillips used to take his hat off when the Oilers (and later the Saints) were playing in domed stadiums.

  • Minor correction: Sarah Palin didn’t “lose her case against the New York Times”. The case was torpedoed by a corrupt judge while the jury was deliberating.

  • I stopped accessing the Drudge Report a few years back when it became painfully obvious it made a left turn. Liberal/Commies destroy everything they touch.

  • A lot of Drudge readers have been turned off by their incessant sex doll postings over the past year or so.

  • He lasted for a bit over 20 years and then he committed suicide! He turned on the people who made him!

  • Drudge is almost verbatim with the Washington Post. I was on the WP recently and then accessed the drudge report and saw the same WP articles highlighted on Drudge.

  • I would read the Drudge report over everything else now I never look at it .It turned communist all at once and now I never look at so if its dead who cares .

  • The Drudge Report is still worth looking at – on the principle of “Know Your Enemy”.

  • Drudge clearly sold out, probably to Soros or an affiliate. Part of the agreement must have been non-disclosure. Conservatives no longer go there, although it fooled some of them for a long time. And liberals have always hated it. The site is a faint remnant of what it once was, but I’m sure Matt is doing fine, at least financially. Must be hard to look at himself in a mirror though.

  • I used to make Drudge party of my daily routine for years. But three or four years ago I just stopped visiting the site and I had literally forgot it ever existed until I saw this headline. Is Drudge even still around?

    • I met Drudge in the beginning. He was anti-Clintons in spades. He did much to bring people together at several meetings in Hollywood. We found leaders and some $$ and grew freerepublic.com (still here) – The Tea Party – and received the blessings of Rush many times over. Thank you Matt D. You did good – made money and choose to leave the stage. I wish you had made a public statement first.

  • I follow three aggregators: Memeorandum (mostly MSM, therefore left), Real Clear Politics (a mixture, balanced), and Whatfinger (right). I found this I&I post on Whatfinger. My only complaint about Whatfinger is that it’s a bit video-heavy. There is another right-wing aggregator, Censored.News, that’s been getting my attention.

  • The transition happened within a few short days…as if a new owner consumed it. It wouldn’t be all that hard to track down who owns the web address.

  • Most conservative news sites r false flag operations designed to echo left narrative & keep conservatives crying n their beer. Nothing about an effective movement against bankster. No insight into why every power center is leftist etc. Just there to diffuse angst and prevent intelligent discourse.

  • In 2006 Billionaire David Gelbaum gave the sierra Club 100 million dollars on the one condition that they never talk about the harm immigration does to the environment ever again. It worked.

  • I haven’t been to the aforementioned website in years and never will again. I only read this story, as I thought that he had finally folded the site and took it down for good! My monitor will never, ever, visit that site or even type out the name!

  • He sold out years ago. He started another site, if you are conservative, you should be aware of this.

  • citizen free press is the go-to site for everything that drudge used to stand for before he sold out.

  • Go on citizen free press, you don’t have these issues, and your comments aren’t really moderated, or at least not very often

  • Poor Matt Drudge. His whole world collapsed about the time he fell in lust with Mayor Pete Buttjiggler, and went completely berserk.

  • I used to log onto Drudge three or four times a day. I’m going out to cut grass, before I go check Drudge. When I’m done, I would come in and check Drudge. I can’t even tell when the last time I logged onto Drudge. Logging onto It today would be comparable to me sitting in front of my TV and tuning in to CNN. To this day I still miss the old Drudge.

  • Completely correct. Used to look forward to reading Drudge and now use it only to link to other sites of credibility to get information and insights. A real shame the transformation.

  • For years, probably around the time I started listening to Rush Limbaugh, I used to start every morning by browsing to the Drudge Report and following the curated links to dozens of articles from all around the world. Drudge guided what news I consumed. I remember the bold headlines with the goofy flashing lights (sorry Monica). Several years ago I realized Drudge had philosophically, and possibly literally, sold out. I have not been to that sight since. Sad to see but many have taken his place.

  • Years ago, the story was that Drudge sold out for big money. Big money has it’s allure.

  • I read Drudge every day until one day I realized it had changed and was no longer worth the effort.

  • Stopped visiting Drudge 3 or 4 years ago when the site when full on anti-trump and then later full on libtard crazy. I believe around that time he sold his controlling shares, and well good for him, I’m sure he made out like a bandit.

    However, the site is a total disaster and now a leftist controlled site. Whateves, Drudge who?

  • Drudge has been dead for many years now, with no more influence than CNN or other assorted NPC/Bot media outlets. Because, in the end, money always wins.

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