Drudge's Race-Baiting Is Only Getting Worse
A new study from The New Republic determined that the Drudge Report's use of race-baiting headlines has soared in the last five years, a fact that lends context to the recent flood of conservative media amplifying random, interracial crimes and baselessly assigning them a racial motive.
Matt Drudge's conservative website Drudge Report is infamous  for its obsessive  coverage of alleged black-on-white crime and race-baiting  headlines. But it's only getting worse, according to a new analysis by The New Republic. The magazine analyzed  Drudge's use of race-related terms in headlines after 2008 -- the year President Obama established himself as a national figure with his first presidential campaign -- with Drudge headlines before 2008, and the results are striking. According to the analysis, since 2008, Drudge headlines:
- Referencing "racism" have more than tripled
- With the term "racist" have nearly doubled
- Containing "black" and "crime" have quadrupled, and
- Have included the n-word eight times, a slur not found in Drudge headlines before 2008.
Notably, the analysis highlighted that Drudge often altered headlines to inject a racial component when the original source contained none. This method of race-baiting has spilled over into the broader media. Recently, conservative outlets have seized upon local crime stories and baselessly assigned  them racial motives when no such evidence existed. This spate  of reckless race-baiting has been repeatedly accompanied  by inapt comparisons to the killing of Trayvon Martin, an attempt to highlight a supposed double standard among civil rights leaders and media figures.
When a video of three teenage students beating up another student on a Florida school bus surfaced in early August, local media reported  that the attack was in retaliation for the victim notifying school officials that the three teens tried to sell him drugs. But because the perpetrators happened to be black and the victim white, conservative media broke into a chorus  of race-baiting , complaining that civil rights leaders hadn't spoken about the assault. Fox News bragged  about its insertion of race into the crime, highlighting that it was the only network to bring race "to the forefront" on the story.
When three teens -- two black, one white -- allegedly shot and killed an Australian college student last month because they were "bored ," law enforcement officials emphasized  there was no evidence  "to indicate that the killing of Christopher Lane was related to either his race or to his nationality."
Undeterred by facts, right-wing media  again repeatedly  manufactured  a racial motive. Fox argued  that the murder was "likely motivated by race" and even criticized  other media outlets for "ignoring the race issue" in the crime. Drudge featured  photographs of the two black suspects, neglecting to include the photo of their alleged white accomplice.
When a World War II veteran was senselessly beaten to death in Washington state in late August during an apparent robbery attempt, Fox immediately wondered  if the crime was racially motivated since the victim was white and the suspects black. Drudge, unsurprisingly, linked  to news reports of the crime with a headline emphasizing the men's race.
Drudge and conservative media's unwarranted injection of racial overtones is not only offensive, it's harmful to society . But as The New Republic's analysis reveals, the race-baiting only appears to be getting worse.