Drudging for a decade now

I never liked the guy. His stupid hat. That annoying smirk. That pompous title The Drudge Report. And of course, the endless claims that he, Matt Drudge, broke the Monica Lewinsky story.

That hat. That smirk

Truth is, he didn’t. Well, sort of. He merely mentioned on his site that Newsweek (after doing a lot of leg work) had pulled the story. So, he leaked it, and the news came out after all. The rest is history.

It’s been ten years to the day. I remember it because I was enjoying the winter warmth in San Diego, where I was attending the Super Bowl. Dutch radio called about the scoop, and within minutes I had to say yes or no to the question whether this would mean that Bill Clinton had to step down.

Carefully formulating I floated somewhere between yes but no but yes but no but… maybe. Hell, what did I know. Had not even heard about the drudge dude.

This morning BBC Radio Four Today was wondering whether investigative internet journalism has made adult steps since Drudge scored big time. In the studio David Hencke of The Guardian and Guy Fawkes of Order-Order, described as the UK version of the Drude Report.

Listen again (scroll to about 22 minutes into the 8.30-9.00 am part of the show)

Biggest premise of the discussion was that blogs are more likely than mainstream media to break stories, to get stuff going, and it is impossible for mainstream media to keep functioning as a gatekeeper. That’s actually what happened in January 1998, when he fingered the world about that woman, miss Lewinsky.


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