by WorldTribune Staff, April 19, 2020
The ongoing mystery surrounding the editorial integrity of The Drudge Report made news over the weekend after a twitter exchange between President Donald Trump and the famously reclusive Matt Drudge.
DrudgeReport triggered the exchange with an April 14 headline that the coronavirus had not yet hit its peak in the United States.
President Trump said in response to a tweet by journalist Paul Sperry’s that he, like “many others” had lost faith in Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report. “I gave up on Drudge (a really nice guy) long ago, as have many others. People are dropping off like flies!”
Drudge responded by issuing a rare direct statement to CNN, saying in an email: “The past 30 days has been the most eyeballs in Drudge Report’s 26 year-history. Heartbreaking that it has been under such tragic circumstances.”
Sperry had taken Drudge to task for his headline, tweeting: “DISINGENUOUS DRUDGE: Headline “NO PEAK YET: U.S. deaths set single-day record” is sensationalistic & misleading. Deaths are a LAGGING indicator, by weeks. Daily new US cases of COVID-19 peaked April 4. New cases have been rolling over ever since. Deaths will follow the downtrend”.
President Donald Trump said on April 15 that the U.S. had “passed the peak” of the coronavirus outbreak.
In response to the president’s tweet CNN, which is under fire for lending more credence to Chinese Communist Party propaganda than to White House statements about the coronavirus, suggested that data prove Drudge is right: “Page view data directly from the Drudge Report’s server, provided to CNN by a person with access to the numbers, shows no significant traffic dips since January 2019. The data shows a significant traffic surge in March, up to 1.2 billion page views from 781 million page views in February.”
However, publicly-available stats via Alexa.com tell a different story.
“Matt Drudge always said he relied on Alexa for reliable web-site traffic data,” said an editor who was in contact with the famed aggregator before the DrudgeReport.com made a dramatic shift in editorial direction early last summer. From that time when the site severed ties with its long-time advertising agency, Intermarkets.net, observers noted a dramatic shift in the editorial tone and stance of the legendary aggregator sits.
The global Alexa rankings for the DrudgeReport stood at 598 on October 2015. Three years later the rankings had improved to 586. Today the ranking for DrudgeReport.com has sharply declined to 870.
The Sparta Report noted in December 2019 that “It’s no surprise to conservatives that Drudge Report has been a little different these past few months. The front page news site has taken a decidedly nevertrumper turn with extremely slanted coverage of President Trump and spreading ‘doom porn’ for Republicans who still go to the site.”
Rasmussen Reports stated on Dec. 7, 2019 that there were rumors that Drudge has sold the site and was in the final stages of the sale.
The Sparta Report added: “If #NeverTrump is now in control of the Drudge Report, that would go a long way towards explaining the left-leaning editorial slant in recent months. I wonder if they planned to keep the sale secret in the hopes of using Drudge Report to influence the 2020 election and turn Republicans against Trump.”