The eminently influential Drudge Report, historically known for its support of conservatives, has recently shifted its tone to frequently condemn President Donald Trump.
As the Ukraine controversy — one in a string of Trump controversies — causes other conservative outlets to write off the impeachment proceedings as hysteria, Drudge seems to have shifted its tone toward Trump.
The outlet, which lauded Trump’s inauguration with the huge red-and-blue headline “AMERICAN AGAIN!” is now running headlines like “IMPEACHMENT 2019,” “HILL ROCKED,” “REPUBLICAN CRACKS EMERGE,” and “AMERICA BRACES FOR IMPEACHMENT.” A slew of negative stories about Trump, Republicans, and the economy are now regularly featured on the page.
The site’s author, Matt Drudge, is an very powerful and elusive figure in the journalism industry. He and his eponymous news aggregator rocketed to fame in 1998 when he broke the news of President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
“It may be a strange thing to say, but Drudge is making a journalistic decision here,” said Tom Rosenstiel, the executive director of the American Press Institute. “He’s a weather vane, in a sense. If you’re a Republican or conservative or an operative and you’re trying to see which way the wind is blowing, the tone of Drudge has to have an effect on you. This is a signal. This is bad.”
🔦 It’s nearly impossible to overstate Matt Drudge’s impact on American politics. He is known to be fiercely independent and to thrive on chaos. If this trend continues into 2020, it could be very bad indeed for Trump’s re-election efforts.