In the world of conservative media, there has been a minor storm about the future of the Drudge Report, a news aggregator which gained fame during the Clinton years and once was a darling of conservative media outfits. However, in recent times the Drudge Report has lost the shine it once had, as some people have viewed recent stories on it criticizing President Trump as a sign of “reversing” her previous positions. With claims that the Drudge Report may have changed hands from Drudge as well as allegations that he no longer runs the website, some “conservatives” have been looking for a new place to pull news stories from and call home.
One major website that has emerged as a possible serious contender in that created by Dan Bongino, a “former” Secret Service employee.
Bongino, a former Secret Service agent, began teasing the Bongino Report last month. He has previously revealed on social media that the new media platform will feature “exclusively conservative and libertarian content.” In promoting his new platform, Bongino accused Drudge of abandoning the conservative movement recently and added that he “never will.”
While Drudge has a historically right-leaning tilt, the site, which was founded by Matt Drudge, has been accused of promoting anti-Trump stories amid the impeachment investigation.
President Trump has noticed Drudge’s apparently leftward swing, according to a report in the Daily Beast published last month. Trump asked, “What’s going on with Drudge?”, according to a person familiar with his private remarks. Trump also asked Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and a top administration official, to contact the outlet to repair the relationship, but it’s unclear if Kushner did.
SimilarWeb, a marketing intelligence company, found that Drudge’s traffic dropped from 96 million total visits to 77 million from July to October, according to the Washington Times. (source)
The fact that people are shying away from the Drudge Report because of articles on it criticizing President Trump suggests that the “right” is acting in a way seldom different from the “left,” whereby the Trump movement, like the Obama movement, has become a cult of personality that is devoid of reasoning, be it positive or negative, so long as it supports a certain status quo.
What is more concerning is how a website from a “former” Secret Service employee has become so popular.
I do not wish to unjustly criticize Mr. Bongino or his work. Indeed, he may be genuine in his convictions, and may be doing what he does because he truly loves America and the Conservative movement and this is his way of giving back.
However, there is no way that we can prove this. In fact, we do not know what he really thinks or believes about anything. All that we know is what is publicly available, and what we can prove, is that he has direct ties to the Executive Branch of government.
To ask a comparable question, what would one think if a “former” member of the Russian FSB (the modern equivalent of the KGB) started a similar news website? Would one not, at the very least, consider the possibility that the entire site is just an extension of the FSB and that his “work” is really that of an FSB contractor?
One does not have to apply this to just the Russians, for it could be for any nation in a similar context. The basic principle, is that one’s past associations, especially if they are public, do matter a lot and in particular if they are tied to certain groups.
This was one of the points that I made during my questioning, later turned criticism of Alexander Tschugguel, the new darling of the Catholic “right” wing, because he was publicly associated with major political figures in Austria who either supported or were tied to people who support German nationalism, Nordic Paganism, or even National Socialism. These concerns only became highlighted more when he refused to denounce a major political party in Austria that is directly tied to National Socialists and Germanic Paganism.
There is a tendency in American politics, and especially it seems to be among the right wing, to rush to the service of new idols when they are presented and another is taken away, and without consideration of the fact that idolatry is taking place. The Drudge Report was once the favored idol for news, but now that it is going away, others are moving in. While things come and go, and this is not a bad thing, the fact that a major competitor for Drudge’s place is website run by a man with direct career ties to the Secret Service should cause people to wonder about what is truly taking place, and what this may mean.
Republicans many times will accuse PBS of being a sort of party mouthpiece for the Democrats, and it is true that PBS is funded by the government. However, is it possible that a similar situation is taking place right now with the Republicans, except just by a different means, which would be the Internet and a website?
This does not even address the Drudge Report, as given there was so much secrecy around Matt Drudge as well as how he operated his website, one cannot help but wonder about the details of his site, his rise to popularity, and who helped him to do his work.
While it cannot be definitively confirmed, one should not rule out the possibility of such a thing happening, for it would not be inconsistent with examples from the historical past, and as always, the truth is always stranger than fiction.