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Eric Boehlert: Drudge unplugged: How his campaign influence has collapsed [View All]

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-21-08 02:33 PM
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Eric Boehlert: Drudge unplugged: How his campaign influence has collapsed
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Drudge unplugged: How his campaign influence has collapsed

by Eric Boehlert

I'm not saying that given the choice I wouldn't pick a robust economy and a worry-free global outlook. But circumstances being what they are, I have to say that as the White House campaign hits its final stride under the ominous shadow of the Wall Street meltdown and the deep recession that's hurtling this way, perhaps the only silver lining -- the one unexpected pleasure -- has been watching the Drudge Report be completely neutered by current events.

Matt Drudge is still doing his loyal best to boost the chances of the GOP down the homestretch in the form of a blizzard of anti-Obama and pro-McCain links on his site. (Last week, it was the half-baked McCain "comeback" that Drudge hyped relentlessly.)

And there's no question that Drudge's Web traffic remains strong and continues to grow, thanks to a burgeoning international audience. But in terms of setting the ground rules -- in terms of setting the campaign agenda -- Drudge has been AWOL since mid-September when the credit crisis erupted.

His current spectator status mirrors that of the low-flying right-wing bloggers. Just as the bloggers were hailed for their (pseudo) detective work in undermining CBS' Dan Rather in 2004, Drudge was credited for the way he used his widely read platform to push the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth story into the mainstream press, which helped derail John Kerry's campaign.

Four years ago, Drudge and the right-wing bloggers were at the peak of their political power. Today, they're pretty much watching the election pass them by, reduced to the role of frustrated sideline hecklers.

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