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Drudge Report Uses Racial Undertones, Blatant Propaganda to Boost McCain
Posted By jwilkes - Monday, October 13th, 2008 at 1:37 PM
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If you turn on a computer and open the web browser within a 50 mile radius of Capitol Hill, there’s a pretty decent chance that the first page that pops up on the screen is DrudgeReport, Matt Drudge’s news aggregation powerhouse. Drudge, a reclusive journalist who pores over hundreds of news sources to cull the most interesting and salacious from the world of politics and beyond, essentially has 100% discretion over which headlines are featured on his site. And with upward 150,000 visits a day, that makes Drudge pretty powerful.

The impact of the DrudgeReport in the political world can not be underestimated. Democratic strategist Chris Lehane said, “Whenever Drudge breaks a story, phones start ringing.” And it’s true: a story isn’t a story until Matt Drudge covers it. Accordingly, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2006. In his book The Way to Win, Mark Halperin- one of the nation’s most prominent political strategists- called Drudge, “the Walter Cronkite of his era.”

Drudge makes no pretenses about his own political leanings: he’s conservative, and he lets his site show his ideological slant. Fortune magazine editor Richard Siklos called Drudge, “a conservative bullhorn.” Nonetheless, his site has become a frequent stop for those on the left as well on the right, not only because of Drudge’s influence, but also because of his uncanny ability to remain at the forefront of breaking news.

But there is a difference between slanting news (a la Huffington Post, where a reader is fully aware that the news he or she receives is given from a liberal standpoint) and outright misleading your audience with ethically questionable tactics.

During the Democratic primary, Drudge frequently ran pro-Obama news stories at the top of his page. The reason, of course, was entirely his opponent: Hillary Rodham Clinton, effectively the most prominent conservative archenemy still in politics today. And through most of the general election campaign, Drudge has remained more or less fair (if not just slightly favorable to the GOP- he trumpeted the selection of Sarah Palin as the saving grace of the Republican ticket).

But in the last several weeks, Drudge has ratcheted up his conservative agenda, perhaps in response to John McCain’s dire straits in the 2008 presidential campaign. In the past 24 hours alone, Drudge had posted the following headlines:

1. “Ready for Comeback” beneath a photograph of a confident looking John McCain.

2. “McCain-Obama Gap Narrows” above two national tracking polls that showed Obama leading by five points.

3. “Obama goes door-to-door to drum up votes,” beneath a photograph of Obama kissing the cheek of a white woman.

To show just how blatant Drudge’s bias really is, take a look at these one by one. First of all, nothing in the past weeks has suggested a resurgence on the part of McCain. Last week, he got slaughtered in the second presidential debate (and while every major news network was pointing to the incredible disparity in the two debate performances, Drudge downplayed the entire event with a one-word headline beneath a photograph of the two candidates on the stage: “BORING”). In the meantime, his polling numbers have tanked, and states that have been among the most reliable Republican states in the Union- like South Dakota, West Virginia, Missouri, Virginia, and North Carolina- have shifted hard toward Obama. What was a bad electoral outlook two weeks ago is far worse today.

Secondly, Drudge’s selection of the “narrowing polls” is among the worst cherry-picking I’ve ever seen. In choosing the two polls he chose, he passed up several others that showed an overwhelmingly increasing trend in favor of the Democrat, including: (a) a Gallup poll showing an 8 point Obama lead; (b) an ABC News poll showing a 10 point Obama lead; (c) a Battleground poll showing an 8 point Obama lead; and (d) a Hotline poll showing a 6 point Obama lead. Beyond those, a five point buffer hardly suggests a “narrowing” gap- in fact, those numbers would be right within the national average over the past several weeks.

It’s the third example listed above that really raises eyebrows. Back in 2006, then-candidate for US Senate in Tennessee Bob Corker took a lot of heat for airing a commercial that ended with a plea from an attractive blonde white woman for Corker’s opponent, African American Congressman Harold Ford, to call her. Media and political analysts alike jumped on Corker immediately for the ad, which they said played on the racist tendencies of those who were still uncomfortable with the notion of interracial dating. It was labeled as “despicable,” even among independent viewers. Drudge was among the news outlets that covered the story. But Drudge himself became guilty of the same offense.

The picture Drudge featured on his site is no different. His photograph of Obama kissing the cheek of a blonde white woman will undoubtedly rouse some emotion in those same voters. Moreover, it was not the photograph used in the article linked below the picture. That means Drudge chose that picture himself. And especially at a time when McCain and Palin are being accused of stoking racial tensions as well, one has to ask: why that photo?

That’s not the first time Drudge has used implicit, almost subliminal, references to draw on deeply-held emotions, ostensibly to influence voters. In the past two weeks, Drudge made stories out of two pro-Obama YouTube videos. One was young children singing a song dedicated to Obama. Drudge linked to the video with a suggestive headline: “Obama Kids Sing for Dear Leader.” The “dear leader” part of that line is nowhere in the video. Drudge came up with that on his own. Two other historical figures have made use of the endearing title of “dear leader”: one is North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. The other is Benito Mussolini. The other video featured young African American teenagers wearing matching Obama shirts and army pants marching together, alternately announcing how Obama’s candidacy has inspired them. Drudge called them the “Obama Youth,” a reference to the “Hitler Youth” of 1930s Germany.

In the meantime, the one article unfavorable to Republicans received none of the star treatment the positive stories did. Early Saturday morning, Drudge posted the headline, “Report Stings Palin Over Troopergate,” in response to the harsh critique of Palin’s “abuse of power” to emerge from the State of Alaska’s investigation into the scandal. But far from the top-of-the-fold, bold/underlined/italicized headlines that seemed to offer bad news for the Obama camp, this one was buried on the left-hand side, about two-thirds of the way down the page. By 2:41 on Sunday morning, the story was completely erased from the site.

Then again, the website’s online advertising company estimates that more than 60% of Drudge’s visitors are self-identified Republicans. During the second presidential debate, an online Drudge poll of more than 10,000 viewers found that a whopping 75% of them thought that McCain had won- a full half hour before the debate had even ended.

Still, Matt Drudge is a smart guy. He doesn’t pick photos or headlines randomly. What he does, however, is not jounralism. It’s journalism with the explicit intent of forming, influencing, or modifying public perception- in a word, propaganda.  And from the historical perspective of which Drudge seems to be so fond, that’s a skill both Hitler’s and Mussolini’s regimes perfected.

Support Eyes On Obama!

Drudge~the alternate universe. No wonder conservatives are incredulous that polls are the way they are now, don't know anything about Obama, think Obama hasn't ever answered the Ayers questions, and think they are winning with McCain and Palin. Well, if that is what he wants to do, and they are shocked and angry if Obama wins, then he can live with the consequences. Eventually people will smarten up and look for the truth about what is happeneing in the world so they can feel oriented to reality. How many were blissfully investing in highly leveraged institutions thinking the fundementals of the economy were strong, only to lose 40% in their stock portfolios? That might wake me up to look elsewhere for some more realistic advice.
[ Posted at 2:17 PM on 10/13/08 | Reply ]
"Eventually people will smarten up and look for the truth"

Wow, isn't that ironic coming from an Obama supporter. Obama's entire demographic is people who blindly believe his 'change' propaganda. When are you all going to "smarten up and look for the truth?"

And, perhaps this site's next story should be about the Obama bias in the mass media? Until recently, he was treated like a god. You couldn't say a damn thing about him, or you were a bigoted racist. And of course we all know that there are a huge number of people who, influenced by this bias in the media, will vote for him because it is 'racist' not to do so.

But, since I oppose Obama's lies... err... I mean priciples, I guess now you'll all call me a racist. Whatever helps you delude yourself into thinking that your supporting the right one I guess.
[ Posted at 11:20 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] Cody is a nobody - Guest-Guest-rody
I wouldn't call you a racist, I'd call you an idiot. Listen, the Obama demographic have done some of their homework and have embrace the change this country needs. Not to say that you haven't done so. The liberals at least have some common sense. The republican on the other hand, well, just comb through the internet, the MSM and you'll see how ignorant their base is. Plus having Sarah Palin representing them says a lot about their deep inner belief .... delusional and ignorant to say the least.
[ Posted at 12:25 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
Obama's contingent is educated....The Rock the Vote campaign targeting young voters. I saw a report that showed that the majority of them couldn't ID Biden from a photo...but they all got Judge Judy right! Since the majority of the youth vote is for Obama....Your right they may be educated....but it isn't in politics.
[ Posted at 7:59 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
"But, since I oppose Obama's lies... err... I mean principles, I guess now you'll all call me a racist."

Nope. Just a silly little dreamer on the wrong side of history; believing what you're told without even thinking. Is that better?

By the way: WTF lies are you talking about? Lower taxes for the middle class? McCain out of touch? Wrong war? Again, keep listening to Ruch and O'Really; move out of the country when your guy loses; whine, whine, whine. That's all I hear from you guys

Franklee Mi Deer
Ex-Republicans for Obama
I drank the Kool-Aid!
[ Posted at 3:29 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
Drudge report is a third rate gossip rags....if I want right winged propaganda I'll watch Fox...they have the samr hate filled views
[ Posted at 2:57 PM on 10/13/08 | Reply ]
Raging with hate.....I see it....nope, don't see it.
[ Posted at 8:01 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] shenanigans - Guest-nw
even i have to say "give me a break." People who have a problem with a black man kissing a white woman undoubtedly would have a bigger problem with a black president, therefor I don't think Drudge is swaying anyone a certain way based on one photo. In fact, it probably is comforting to some people I know personally who are convinced he's a racist. bah...
[ Posted at 10:45 PM on 10/13/08 | Reply ]
[-] inflated lies - Guest-ME
people said rove was a genius. turns out he was just criminally immoral.

same story with this gasbag.
[ Posted at 10:04 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] AMEN - Guest-Rafael Rivero
amen! i have been waiting for someone to say something about this. i have been reading drudge for years and years now but i have stopped doing so because his anti-obama bias has become blatant. i also picked up on the racial undertones of the image you described above.
[ Posted at 10:25 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
Isnt it sad! how can anyone support a LIAR. Seems everything out of McBushes mouth lately is eitehr made up as he goes along, or just an outright LIE.

[ Posted at 10:29 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] really? - Guest-scott anderson
People still read the drudge report? There was a time when it was fun and timely - but, y the time anything has Drudge, I've already seen it two other places.

And the hype - worthy of a seventh-grader!
[ Posted at 10:46 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] Use The Right Word - Guest-david
"...journalist who pours over hundreds of news sources..."

The word you were looking for is PORES, I believe.
[ Posted at 10:47 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] racism - Guest-david
And please -- quit calling "racism" on a picture of a popular politician kissing a citizen.
Would you be happier if it the picture showed Obama kissing a black woman? No, then you would claim that Drudge (or GOP, McCain, etc) are racist for NOT showing a picture of a black man kissing a white woman.
Seems like some people see racism wherever they look.
[ Posted at 10:49 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] UtahDemocrat - Guest-Dale
Drudge has always been suspect on my list, a real attention whore. I had a friend who read his site regularly until I countered every article he would show me with one of equally or higher standards of reporting from the opposite point of view. Drudge should get on a boat with Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter...etc...and they should all sail off and start a "perfecte" little country they could buy somewhere and leave the rest of us to get real, accurate, and useful information.
[ Posted at 10:54 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] argh - Guest-argh

Stopped reading after the first paragraph. Please clean up your basic usage and grammar and proof your articles before posting.
[ Posted at 10:56 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
C'mon, give me a break - like all media outlets aren't biased, including the mainstream. You claim cherry picking? Well, quite right. That's what news outlets do. You claim racism for posting a photo? It wasn't photoshopped, so what's the issue? Sounds like worry to me.
[ Posted at 11:01 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
Yea, you didn't see anyone interrogating Obama in his first interviews. It was all' Oh... how's the family?' crap. Yet Palin was grilled. She didn't get an easy interview like Obama, she was ripped to pieces and put down at every turn. Truthfully, if Obama had gotten the same treatment, we would be rid of him now, how much better would this country be?
[ Posted at 11:25 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
"She didn't get an easy interview like Obama.."

She has done 2 interviews in the 2 months since being nominated for VP.. maybe if she answered some questions everyone would be appeased. Oh wait, every time she opens her mouth she gets her stories/policies wrong just like McCain.. who would have thunk that the Republicans were smart enough to have her keep her mouth shut so that she doesn't prove herself a fool?!
[ Posted at 9:24 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] give me a break - Guest-jojo
Obama has been through like a million debates. He's been questioned in every possible way. He's been grilled.

Yes, Palin got two tough interviews, but that's because she was APPOINTED to the ticket and nobody had heard about her before. We didn't know what her views were on anything. By contrast, even before Obama was in the US Senate, he was speaking out on issues of national concern, like Iraq.

That's really the difference. He has demonstrated and interest in foreign and national domestic policy, while Palin has been content to deal with her congressional district-sized constituency as Gov. of Alaska. There's nothing wrong with that, UNLESS YOU'RE RUNNING FOR VP OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
[ Posted at 2:17 PM on 10/15/08 | Reply ]
[-] Couldn't agree more - Guest-Sean P
I used to visit Drudge Report all the time but all he presents is lop-sided bullshit that revolves around pushing his agenda. After seeing enough I stopped going to DrudgeReport and now use Google News...and it's way better.
[ Posted at 11:23 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
Drudge is sick and racist.
Always has been.

All Americans are entitled to their views, but
Drudge does it in a very underhanded, slimey way.
[ Posted at 11:35 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
"What he does, however, is not jounralism." What the main stream media is doing is not journalism! Drudge is not a journalist, so your really comparing apples to oranges. Drudge just compiles different news stories. People go there because they don't want to spend half a day searching 400 different sites for news.
[ Posted at 11:38 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
"The impact of the DrudgeReport in the political world can not be underestimated."

And The embarrassingly low level of writing on this blog can not be *overestimated*.
[ Posted at 11:38 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] This article seems BIAS - Guest-Eric
It appears this article was written by someone who is very pro Obama and trying to make something out of nothing. OMG a picture of Obama kissing the cheek of white woman, of the conspiracy!!!! I've noticed the that liberals that learn really far to the left are very good drumming up conspiracy theories.
I'm fairly liberal myself, Pro-choice, pro-evolution, etc. But I cannot vote for a man who associates himself with people who think that bombing innocent bystanders people is OKAY and attended a church for 20 years that thinks the US government made the AIDS virus to target African Americans.LAMO
Obama is a typical politician telling people only what they want to hear(which varies from venue to venue, sometimes almost a complete reversal).
Hilary would have been a better choice.
So now I have to vote for the best of the worst.

[ Posted at 11:46 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] Airplane smells bad? - Guest-Andrew
How about the one that ran quoting an unnamed NBC correspondent that stated the Obama airplane "smelled bad".

Real cool, Matt...
[ Posted at 11:50 AM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] Polls - Guest-Moe Green
Actually, regarding the polls, I noticed early in the day Drudge listed Gallup, but didn't indicate the spread. It just simply said McCain is narrowing the gap, which was 8 points. Later in the day when the poll was updated, the gap increased to 10 points in favor of Obama, upon which, Drudge removed the link. You can see the entry here:
[ Posted at 12:55 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] titan - Guest-JLS
The Drudge reports days are numbered.
It has shown it's true colors in this election and has lost many users.
[ Posted at 1:52 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] So where's the controversy? - Guest-Larz Blackman
Anyone who is honest knows that this goes on everyday in news outlets around the world. The liberal media is king at this.
[ Posted at 2:11 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[ Posted at 2:42 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
A whole half, huh?
[ Posted at 4:30 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] Great article - Guest-Josh Young
I have checked Drudge everyday for 5 years. I lean to the left, but have noticed the exact same things over the past few months. Thanks for writing about it.
[ Posted at 4:47 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] Low Road Journalist - Guest-MarkB
Good article about a pretty lousy "journalist." Take a moment to email "DRUDGE@DRUDGEREPORT.COM" let him know his bias is showing.

Like Bush said, "Doin' a heckuva job, Drudgie!"

[ Posted at 5:12 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
Ok, but the kids singing to Obama *is* creepy and cultish, so I don't think the analogies are entirely inapt. Of course, there is no organised cult of Obama.
[ Posted at 6:50 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
[-] guest - Guest-garbardas
Drudge, BillO, Limbaugh, Hannity etc, soon you are all going to be irrelevant as former propaganda arms of Tom Delay, Bush, Cheney and the neocons. Goodbye and good riddance.
[ Posted at 8:54 PM on 10/14/08 | Reply ]
It wasn't necessary for Drudge to try so hard to hide something that the educated already know and the ignorant won't acknowledge. He's not the first "journalist" with agendas. You don't see anyone from Fox News hang their head in shame.
[ Posted at 9:54 AM on 10/15/08 | Reply ]
[-] Matt vs. Adrianna - Guest-Allan Erickson
Sure, Drudge tends conservative, but balances postings. Racial undertones? BS. Huffington is a blatant propaganda machine. Try posting a contrary view there. You get banned. How about discussing a real issue?
[ Posted at 10:39 AM on 10/15/08 | Reply ]
wow, the Drudge report is propagandistic?!?!? that's quite a scoop you have there, I wonder if the mainstream press has been alerted!
[ Posted at 12:02 PM on 10/15/08 | Reply ]

The biggest slur at the moment is the ACORN publicity, but there is more to it than a slur, it is being used as a cover for Republican election fraud, and Democrats must counter it.

shows exactly what the republicans are doing on one level. and this

shows exactly why they are doing it. 'Paul Weyrich - "i dont want everybody to vote (goo goo).

This is an old video, but shows the start of the rot, from a man who was then and is still a neo-con Guru.

if people ask you about ACORN, ask them how many convictions there have been for "ACORN voter registration fraud". because i cannot find any. thousands of allegations, by republicans, but no actual prosecutions.

hmmmm? seriously, get this out there. 1 vote, for the man with 1 house.

[ Posted at 8:54 AM on 10/16/08 | Reply ]
[-] Bait and Switch - Guest-Steve Swiller
Good article. I would add another bullet point to the list of journalistic atrocities. Drudge posts 'Developing' news stories that are just headlines without links to published news articles. These stories are typically of the most highly-inflammatory and topical nature; the implication that the issue covered being so important and earth-shattering that you can have a glimpse the story before it even is published. One example is 'BUSH ANGER: OBAMA AIDES LEAK CHAT DETAILS,' Posted 2008 November 11, approx. 14:40EST. In addition to it being in call CAPS, the sinister tease projects the notion that President-elect Obama's aides are insidiously releasing private information, and that is causing President Bush to be filled with wrath. The Headline links to a temporary web address within the site, which will conveniently be eradicated once the headline becomes irrelevant. On it, Drudge cites a number of unnamed, senior, Bush Administration officials, who make the accusation. Within the post, Drudge links to an AP & an IHT post to suggest that Obama's aides demonstrate a pattern of leaking behavior. There is no link to verify or even validate the claims made by the anonymous sources. Whether or not the story has any validity whatsoever has no bearing. If it holds an grain of newsworthiness, then he will link to the article several hours later. If it holds no truth, the link will disappear and so too the story. But often on Drudge, the story will fester for weeks, and like a magnet, draw strength from a constant pipeline of insinuating stories to follow. By that point, enough blogs and water cooler conversations have built up as to make the story newsworthy.
[ Posted at 2:01 PM on 11/11/08 | Reply ]

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