Is Matt Drudge finished? To journalists, the Miami news-blogger has always been a quasi-mythological beast who could drive the news through relentless speed and razored headlines. But two pieces in the Columbia Journalism Review and New York Observer allege--as many have before--that the sun is setting on Drudge. Here's Gillian Reagan in the Observer:
The blowback from bloggers was swift and touchy. Despite Drudge's transparent political leanings, all manner of bloggers have beaten down the stories as tired, rote hit-jobs. Why is Drudge arousing sympathy? Perhaps it's because his competitors have multipled, he's remained one of the Web's true free-lances, one man (or two) against the multifarious Huffington Post, and legions of his imitators. Whatever the explanation, it's clear that attacking Drudge has touched a nerve.
But, contrary to what some might think, fewer and fewer of those visitors seem to be the journalists that were once so captivated by Matt Drudge--not to mention his vaguely terror-inducing headlines, taste for the obscure and occasionally spinning siren light. Is it because of increased competition online? Fewer scoops? Or simple Drudge fatigue?
Has Matt Drudge lost his edge?
Why is it too soon to rule him out?
- Editors May Ignore Him, But They're Still Reading, snarks John Cook in Gawker. "He's an unpleasant part of that world, but for Keller to even claim that he ignores him is like a pilot ignoring bad weather. More likely Keller reads Drudge and then smugly dismisses what he sees, which is why his managing editor just acknowledged being "a beat behind" on the Van Jones story that Drudge started hyping a week ago."
- Big Newspapers Are Still Bitter and Envious, says Joe Coscarelli in Mediaite. "As for the sources so eager to pronounce the site dead, when you occupy the top spot, it's common to receive criticism from those gunning for you from below -- it's called throwing rocks at the thrown. But it's always uncomfortable to watch Kings and Queens like the Times and Post aim their rocks downward in a defensive, knee-jerk fit."
- He Ruled the Health Care Debate, argues Ben Smith at Politico. "He and the rest of the conservative media just spent the last month proving that they have the power -- which the GOP congressional leadership doesn't -- to make policy, playing a central role in moving public opinion -- and swing-voting Democrats -- against the public option."
- Two Words: Van Jones, utters Michael Calderone at Politico. "In related news: Jill Abramson, the Times managing editor, talks about why it took so long for the paper to cover the Van Jones controversy, a story that got lots of play on Drudge long before the advisers resignation."
Drudge is in part a victim of his own success. He spawned imitators and emulators, who in turn have only further splintered the media world.