BREAKING: Drudge links to Politico 45 times during its two-month existence


As Media Matters for America has noted, Politico chief political correspondent Mike Allen's March 27 article, "Rookie Mistakes Plague Obama," was apparently flagged by Matt Drudge's website, The Drudge Report, approximately one hour before The Politico posted the article on its website on the evening of March 26. John Harris, Politico editor-in-chief, has written about the media's interest in having their work linked to on the Drudge Report. Several commentators, including blogger Glenn Greenwald, have noted an apparent tendency of Drudge to link to Politico items. Media Matters has reviewed the Drudge Report Archives and found that since The Politico launched on January 23, Drudge has linked to Politico items on at least 45 separate occasions.

In The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 (Random House, October 2006), Harris -- then of The Washington Post -- and then-ABC political director Mark Halperin devoted an entire chapter to Drudge's influence over the media, titled "How Matt Drudge Rules Our World," in which they state that Drudge "leans right" and warned that "[n]o Democratic politician will survive in the 2008 presidential campaign," unless they "understand" Drudge and have a "strategy" to "defend" themselves "against" Drudge. Harris and Halperin noted the great interest on the part of media, political operatives and political figures to have the Drudge Report link to an article or other material of theirs, even citing Harris' own book, The Survivor: Bill Clinton in the White House (Random House, May 2005) as an example. They also noted that Post editors are "delighted when Drudge does link to stories at" and "frustrat[ed]" when he does not.

From The Way to Win:

Others have learned the value of a Drudge publicity campaign as well. Publicists for glossy wide-circulation monthly magazines and television networks regularly plan early sanctioned "leaks" to him as part of their promotion of major stories.


Meanwhile, although there is no system for authorized leaks to the Drudge Report at the Washington Post, editors at the website and main newspaper are delighted when Drudge does link to stories at Invariably, traffic to the site soars. And there is evident frustration when the Drudge Report does not acknowledge significant Washington Post pieces. Speaking of the Washington Post, one of its reporters had direct experience with Drudge's astonishing power -- both intoxicating and dangerous for those who come into contact with it. We will call this reporter "John Harris."

In 2005, like Ed Klein, Harris was promoting a book on the Clintons. Harris's volume, a history of the Clinton presidency, was by a wide margin less racy, if also less marketable, than Klein's. On the other hand, Harris knew particular sections had the potential to draw publicity-driving buzz in the news media. He wanted that publicity.

Two weeks before the official publication, he gave a series of talking points, along with an advance copy of the book itself, to a producer for a morning news program. The producer thanked him and wished him good luck, but told him that the book was not really up their alley. Later, the day before the book's publication, a friend with Harris's permission gave a set of the talking points to Drudge. A total of perhaps twenty minutes elapsed between his e-mail to the friend, the friend's e-mail to Drudge, and Drudge regurgitating the material into a banner headline and a dispatch in his own distinctive style. "Summer starts with a bang!" Drudge's "exclusive" read. "Swearing, Screaming, Steaming -- White House as Hot House." Within five minutes of that posting, another producer from the same morning show called: Was Harris free to come on the next morning? As it happened, he was committed elsewhere. But Drudge was no small part of the book's jump from 9,527 to 9 the next day on's sales ranking.

A Media Matters review of the Drudge Report Archives website has found at least 45 different instances in which Drudge has linked to Politico reports over The Politico's two-month existence:

January 23

Politico: "Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed"
Drudge: "Black Caucus: Whites Not Allowed..."

Politico: "McCain Bashes Cheney Over Iraq Policy"
Drudge: "McCain Bashes Cheney Over Iraq Policy..."

January 26

Politico: "Feingold Pushes Plan to Cut Off War Funds"
Drudge: "Dem Feingold Pushes Plan to Cut Off War Funds..."

January 30

Politico: "GOP Right Sees Lemons in White House Race"
Drudge: "GOP Right Sees Lemons in White House Race..."

February 1

Politico: "Sanchez Accuses Democrat of Calling Her a 'Whore,' Resigns from Hispanic Group"
Drudge: "Congresswoman Quits Hispanic Caucus, Says Chairman Called Her a 'Whore'..."

February 3

Politico: "Gore to Testify on Climate Change"
Drudge: "Gore to Testify on Climate Change..."

Politico: "Bush: War Is 'Sapping Our Soul'"
Drudge: "War is 'Sapping Our Soul'"

February 6

Politico: "Obama, Clinton May Skip Early Debates"
Drudge: "Obama, Clinton May Skip Early Debates"

Politico: "Despite Scandal, Page Program More Popular"
Drudge: "Mark Foley Scandal Brings MORE Pages to the Program..."

February 12

Politico: "Obama vs. Clinton: Not Just to Win"
Drudge: "Obama Takes Shot at Hillary...

February 13

Politico: "Rove: 2008 Race Is Already Too Much, Too Soon"
Drudge: "Rove: 2008 Race Is Already Too Much, Too Soon..."

February 14

Politico: "Cheney Says Bush Will Veto Pro-Union Bill"

February 21

Politico: "Cheney Chastises McCain"
Drudge: "Details..."

February 22

Politico: "Daschle to Endorse Obama"
Drudge: "Daschle to Endorse Obama..."

February 23

Politico: "Lieberman Says War Vote Could Prompt Party Switch"
Drudge: "War Vote Could Prompt Party Switch..."

Politico: "Arnold Defends Hillary, Mulls Senate Run"
Drudge: "Schwarzenegger: Stop Criticizing Hillary for war vote..."

February 26

Politico: Gore's Oscar Fuels Call for Late Run
Drudge: Fuels Call for Late Run...

February 27

Politico: Pelosi Falls Short On Election Promises
Drudge: Pelosi Falls Short On Election Promises...

March 1

Politico: "D.C. Madame to Sell 10,000 Phone Records of High-End Washington Clients"
Drudge: "D.C. Madame to Sell 10,000 Phone Records of High-End Washington Clients..."

Politico: "Anyone but McCain, Santorum Says"
Drudge: "Santorum Says Anyone But McCain..."

March 5

Politico: "Edwards Sends Video to 70,000 Iowa Homes"
Drudge: "Edwards Sends Video to 70,000 Iowans..."

March 6

Politico: "Conservatives Bash McCain, Media"
Drudge: "NEWT: 'I'm not that big a McCain fan'..."

Politico: "Liberal Democrats Revolt on Iraq Spending Bill"
Drudge: "Liberal Democrats revolt on Iraq Spending Bill..."

March 8

Politico: "Democrats Want Gitmo Prisoners Sent to U.S."
Drudge: "Dems Want Gitmo Prisoners Sent to USA..."

Politico: "Iraq Pullout Could Begin July 1 Under Democratic Plan"
Drudge: "Iraq Pullout Could Begin July 1 Under Democratic Plan..."

March 9

Politico: "Nevada Dems Nix Fox Debate"

March 12

Politico: "Dems May Fight White House for Testimony"
Drudge: "Dems May Fight White House for Testimony..."

Politico: "Gore's Earth Concert, Live From the Capitol?"
Drudge: "Gore's Earth Concert, Live From the Capitol?"

March 13

Politico: "Air America's Invitation"
Drudge: "Liberal AIR AMERICA Offers to Host GOP Presidential Debate..."

Politico: "Obama's Jewish Problem"
Drudge: "Obama's 'Jewish Problem'..."

March 14

Politico: "Lights Out on Plame?"
Drudge: "Hill Hearing: Lights Out on Valerie Plame?"

March 15

Politico: "Senate Judiciary Set To Vote On Subpoenas For Rove and Miers"
Drudge: "Senate Judiciary Set To Vote On Subpoenas For Rove and Miers..."

Politico: "The New Dean Political Plan"
Drudge: "Howard Dean Meets Secretly with World Leaders, Opens Doors to Another Presidential Run..."

Politico: "Rumsfeld Hospitalized for Heart Treatment"

Drudge: "Rumsfeld Hospitalized for Heart Treatment..."

March 18

Politico: "White House Says No, Conyers Says Yes to Subpoenas"
Drudge: "Dems to Push for Rove Subpoena Next Week..."

Politico: "Dems Seek Maximum Political Gain in Attorneys Uproar"
Drudge: "Republicans Brace for Gonzales Resignation, Dems Demand Rove Testimony..."

March 19

Politico: "White House Seeks Gonzales Replacements"

Drudge: "White House Seeking Gonzales Replacements"

March 21

Politico: "Anti-War Dems Near Defeat on Spending Bill"
Drudge: "Liberals Say Pelosi Pressured them to Soften Antiwar Approach..."

March 22

Politico: "After Honeymoon, the Fight"
Drudge: "Honeymoon is Over..."

Politico: "Hoyer Won't Rule Out Extending War Vote"
Drudge: "Plan to Break Major Campaign Promise..."

Politico: "CORRECTION: Edwards Campaign Goes On"
Drudge: "Edwards to Suspend Campaign"

Politico: "Getting it Wrong"
Drudge: "POLITICO: 'Getting It Wrong'..."

Politico: "GOP Forces House Democrats To Pull DC Voting Bill"

March 25

Politico: "Senate GOP Says No to Al Gore-Global Warming Concert at Capitol"
Drudge: "Senate GOP Says No To Al Gore-Global Warming Concert at Capitol..."

March 26

Politico: "Rookie Mistakes Plague Obama"

The Drudge Report, The Politico
Matt Drudge, Mike Allen, John Harris
Propaganda/Noise Machine
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