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The Drudge Report is a news aggregation website founded by Matt Drudge. It is often considered conservative.
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Bias of Drudge Report
How we determined this rating:
- Independent Review
- Community Feedback: ratings
- AllSides has medium confidence in this bias rating.
Unless otherwise noted, this bias rating refers only to online news coverage, not TV, print, or radio content.
The source either does not show much media bias, displays a balance of articles with left and right biases, or equally balances left and right perspectives in its reporting.
Center doesn't mean better! A Center media bias rating does not necessarily mean a source is totally unbiased, neutral, perfectly reasonable, or credible, just as Left and Right don't necessarily mean extreme, wrong, unreasonable, or not credible. AllSides encourages people to read outlets across the political spectrum.
About Drudge Report's Bias Rating
What a "center" rating means, bias reviews, community feedback, confidence level, additional information.
- Ownership & Funding
Articles from Drudge Report
Drudge Report is a news media source with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Center.
Sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating of Center either do not show much predictable media bias , display a balance of articles with left and right biases, or equally balance left and right perspectives.
- Drudge Report Bias Rating Moved from Lean Right to Center Following 2023 AllSides Bias Analysis and Editorial Review
Drudge Report Rated Lean Right in Aug. 2018 Editorial Review
Drudge report bias rating moved from lean right to center following allsides bias analysis and editorial review.
In June 2023, AllSides moved Drudge Report’s AllSides Media Bias Rating™ from Lean Right to Center. An April-May 2023 AllSides Drudge Report Bias Analysis found the news aggregator displayed articles from news sources with an AllSides Media Bias Rating™ on the left much more than outlets in the center or on the right. The results lead to an Editorial Review of Drudge Report. The AllSides review panel issued an overall AllSides Media Bias Rating™ of Center ( +0.93 ) for Drudge Report. The Editorial Review found Drudge Report displayed bias by sensationalist story choices and word choices , though the sensationalism was often nonpartisan in nature.
Bias Analysis Summary
AllSides analyzed the source of 280 articles that appeared on DrudgeReport.com’s homepage April 26 to May 9, 2023. Of those, 49% of articles came from sources on the left and 10% from sources on the right – indicating a curation bent to the left of center.
On the homepage, 3% of articles were from Left-rated sources, 46% from Lean Left-rated sources, 26% from Center sources, 7% from Lean Right sources, 3% from Right-rated sources, and 14% from sources not rated by AllSides.
The top sources curated on Drudge Report were the following (note: ratings at the time of analysis; some ratings may have changed): the Washington Post (Lean Left), The Associated Press (Lean Left), Wall Street Journal (Center), CNBC (Center), Bloomberg (Lean Left), the New York Times (Lean Left), Mediaite (Lean Left), The New York Post (Lean Right), Reuters (Center), and CNN (Lean Left) .
Editorial Review Summary
The Editorial Review found numerous examples of sensationalism in story choice and word choice . Reviewers on the right and center agreed that even though the articles were often sourced from outlets on the left, the story choice largely appealed to conservative or right-of-center narratives.
Reviewers on the left and center noted that Drudge Report seemed anti-establishment, anti-Biden, anti-Elon Musk, anti-Trump, but pro-LGBT and pro-Desantis.
A reviewer on the left said, “I dont think it’s meant to be serious, it’s meant to be fun.”
The reviewers noted that Drudge Report displayed bias that does not fit easily into AllSides bias rating system, as it relies more on sensationalism than overt partisanship.
Drudge Report was given a Lean Right AllSides Media Bias Rating following an Editorial Review in August 2018.
Despite its reputation as being very right/conservative, the AllSides panel noted that the Drudge Report regularly features news stories that are mostly being covered by outlets AllSides rates on the left. The panel found that the Drudge Report often aggregated stories from outlets we rated as Left or Lean Left at the time of review, including The Huffington Post , The Washington Post , NBC , and more. While the Drudge Report did feature news stories and articles from sources on the left, it also featured lots of stories from sources with a Right, Lean Right, or Center AllSides Media Bias Rating™ , including Fox News , The Wall Street Journal , and Breitbart .
In fact, upon first looking at the Drudge Report, at least one member of the AllSides panel initially thought that the Drudge Report might warrant a Lean Left or Center bias rating. This initial instinct is consistent with a 2005 UCLA study which found the Drudge Report has a Lean Left media bias; read more about that study here .
The AllSides editorial panel noted that the Drudge Report often uses sensational stories or language in its headlines and the stories it chooses to feature. Some members of the AllSides panel expressed concerns about the Drudge Report publishing sensationalist or fake news .
Top of Page
As of November 2023, people have voted on the AllSides Media Bias Rating for Drudge Report. On average, those who disagree with our rating think this source has a Center bias.
As of November 2023, AllSides has medium confidence in our Center rating for Drudge Report. An Editorial Review or Blind Bias Survey has affirmed this rating, or multiple reviews have returned differing results. If we perform more bias reviews and gather consistent data, this confidence level will increase.
Drudge Report is a news aggregation website. Run by Matt Drudge with the help of Joseph Curl and Charles Hurt, the site consists mainly of links to stories from the United States and international mainstream media about politics, entertainment, and current events, as well as links to many columnists. Occasionally, Drudge authors new stories himself based on tips. The Report originated in 1996 as a weekly subscriber-based email dispatch. It was the first news source to break the Monica Lewinsky scandal to the public after Newsweek decided not to publish the story.
Drudge met Andrew Breitbart in Los Angeles during the 1990s and became his mentor, with Breitbart later helping to run the Drudge Report.
UCLA Study on Drudge Report Finds Center / Lean Left Bias Due to Aggregation
A 2005 UCLA stud y found that Drudge Report has a center/lean left bias, due to the website aggregating news from other media outlets. The study's lead author was Tim Groseclose, formerly UCLA faculty and currently Adam Smith Chair at George Mason University's Mercatus Center.
The study authors wrote (emphasis ours):
Another result, which appears anomalous, is not so anomalous upon further examination. This is the estimate for the Drudge Report, which at 60.4, places it approximately in the middle of our mix of media outlets and approximately as liberal as a typical Southern Democrat, such as John Breaux (D-LA). We should emphasize that this estimate reflects both the news flashes that Matt Drudge reports and the news stories to which his site links on other web sites. In fact, of the entire 311 think-tank citations we found in the Drudge Report, only five came from reports written by Matt Drudge. Thus, for all intents and purposes, our estimate for the DrudgeReport refers only to the articles to which the Report links on other web sites. Although the conventional wisdom often asserts that the Drudge Report is relatively conservative, we believe that the conventional wisdom would also assert that—if confined only to the news stories to which the Report links on other web sites—this set would have a slant approximately equal to the average slant of all media outlets, since, after all, it is comprised of stories from a broad mix of such outlets.
Previous AllSides Media Bias Ratings™ for Drudge Report
AllSides previously rated The Drudge Report as having a Right media bias. We switched its bias rating to Lean Right following the Aug. 2018 Editorial Review .
Third-Party Accusations of Bias
The Drudge Report has been criticized in the past for running stories that were hoaxes, poorly sourced, or unfactual , including a theory that Barack Obama was not a U.S. citizen, a hoax about a former prostitute who claimed her son was fathered by Bill Clinton, and a false statement that an undocumented immigrant started the October 2017 Northern California wildfires.
Bias of Drudge Report's Audience
According to a 2014 Pew Research study , the clear majority of Drudge Report's audience (74%) is right-of-center (by comparison, 26% of all Pew panelists were right-of-center). 8% of Drudge Report's audience is left or left-of-center (compared with 38% of all respondents to the survey). Roughly 18% of Drudge Report's audience holds political values consistent with the political center or exhibit mixed values (compared with 36% of all panelists).
Drudge Report Ownership and Funding
Owner: Matt Drudge
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The Media Equation
How Drudge Has Stayed on Top
By David Carr
- May 15, 2011
For most big news Web sites, about 60 percent of the traffic is homegrown, people who come directly to the site by dint of a bookmark or typing in www.latimes.com or www.huffingtonpost.com. The other critical 40 percent comes by referrals, the links that are the source of drive-by traffic, new readers and heat-seekers on a particular story.
By far, most of the traffic from links comes from the sprawling hybrid of Google search and news, which provides about 30 percent of the visits to news sites, according to a report released last week by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, part of the Pew Research Center. And the second? Has to be Facebook, right? Nope. Then Twitter must be the next in line. Except it isn’t.
Give up? It’s The Drudge Report , a 14-year-old site — a relic by Web standards — conceived and operated by Matt Drudge. Using data from the Nielsen Company to examine the top 21 news sites on the Web, the report suggests that Mr. Drudge, once thought of as a hothouse flower of the Lewinsky scandal, is now more powerful in driving news than the half-billion folks on Facebook. (According to the study, Facebook accounted for 3.3 percent of the referrals to news sites, less than half as many as generated by The Drudge Report.)
“When you look at his influence, it cuts across all kind of sites, both traditional news outlets and online-only sites,” said Amy S. Mitchell, the deputy director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism and one of the authors of the study. “He was an early and powerful force in setting the news agenda and has somehow maintained that even as there has been a great deal of change in the way people get their news.”
With no video, no search optimization, no slide shows, and a design that is right out of mid-’90s manual on HTML, The Drudge Report provides 7 percent of the inbound referrals to the top news sites in the country. “It’s a real achievement,” said John F. Harris, the co-founder of Politico. “I covered the Clinton White House in 1997 and 1998 and I would never have conceived that he would be an important player in the landscape 12 years later. He does one thing and he does it particularly well. The power of it comes from the community of people that read it: operatives, bookers, reporters, producers and politicians.”
So in a news age when the next big thing changes as often as the weather, how can a guy who broke through on the Web before there was broadband still set the agenda? How can that be?
His durability is, first and foremost, a personal achievement, a testament to the fact that he is, as Gabriel Snyder, who has done Web news for Gawker, Newsweek and now The Atlantic, told me, “the best wire editor on the planet. He can look into a huge stream of news, find the hot story and put an irresistible headline on it.”
On Thursday, a fairly straightforward Reuters article about a NATO attack on Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s compound occupied the skyline of the site with a particularly odious picture of the strongman girded by a headline that blared, “NEXT UP: NATO GOING FOR THE KILL.” Underneath, there were tons of links, news and pictures (Mr. Drudge has a real knack for photo editing) with all kinds of irresistible marginalia: “Desperate Americans Buy Kidneys from Peru Poor” was just above an article about what a prolific e-mailer Osama bin Laden was in spite of his lack of access to the Internet.
Yes, Mr. Drudge is a conservative ideologue whose site also serves as a crib sheet for the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. But if you believe that his huge traffic numbers are a byproduct of an ideologically motivated readership, consider that 15 percent of the traffic at WashingtonPost.com, which is not exactly a hotbed of Tea Party foment, comes from The Drudge Report.
It is, in its own way, a kind of utility, with stable traffic of about 12 million to 14 million unique visitors every month no matter what kind of news is breaking. Everyone goes there because, well, everyone else goes there.
And in the last 14 years, there have been no big redesigns, no big rollout of new features and no staffing up to provide original content. The initial site, designed to load quickly in the age of dial-up modems, remains relatively untouched. (As does Mr. Drudge’s penchant to stay under the radar. He did not respond to e-mails requesting an interview.)
“The genius of Drudge is the simplicity of the layout,” said Matt Labash, a writer for The Weekly Standard. “Everyone else who tries to knock him off complicates that. There’s no tabs. There’s no jumps. There’s hardly any clutter, even if he now runs more headlines than he used to. He’s secure enough in the formula that he’s never changed it.”
Mr. Drudge understood the whole high-low bifurcation that news consumers are drawn to long before there was such a thing as Gawker. Andrew Breitbart, the founder of several conservative Web sites including Breitbart.com and the author of “Righteous Indignation,” met him in 1995 when Mr. Drudge was still working at the CBS gift shop in Los Angeles and running the Web site on the side. Mr. Breitbart immediately began helping him.
“Matt Drudge is an American original,” Mr. Breitbart said. “He does not rig search optimization, he does not care about the next big Web innovation, he just has the best nose for news there is. He gives people everything, every single thing, they want to know in a single stop.”
A big part of the reason he is such an effective aggregator for both audiences and news sites is that he actually acts like one. Behemoth aggregators like Yahoo News and The Huffington Post have become more like fun houses that are easy to get into and tough to get out of. Most of the time, the summary of an article is all people want, and surfers don’t bother to click on the link. But on The Drudge Report, there is just a delicious but bare-bones headline, there for the clicking. It’s the opposite of sticky, which means his links actually kick up significant traffic for other sites.
I’ve lived the Drudge effect. Over a decade ago, I was working at Inside.com, a media news site, and wrote about a poll that had taken place on one of the presidential candidates’ planes that seemed to suggest a liberal bias among the campaign press. Mr. Drudge liked it, for obvious reasons. Our servers melted as we stood back in wonder, staring at what the linked economy meant and how one guy in a fedora seemed to know something we didn’t. He still does.
E-mail: [email protected]; Twitter.com/carr2n
Read our research on: Israel | Internet & Technology | Science
Regions & Countries
Drudge report: small operation, large influence.
Before Google or Facebook, an early major driver of Internet traffic was the Drudge Report. The site, founded by Matt Drudge, first gained national recognition during the Clinton presidency for posting insider information about the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Two decades later, while Drudge is still a small scale operation, it remains, according to the data, an influential driver of traffic to top news sites. The Drudge Report ranked as a driver of traffic to all but six of the top sites studied. And, more striking, it ranked second or third in more than half (12), outpacing Facebook.
In some cases, Drudgereport.com is an extremely important traffic driver. While Facebook never drove more than 8% of traffic to any one site, for instance, Drudgereport.com provided more than 30% of traffic to mailonline.co.uk (the British newspaper site the Daily Mail), 19% of the traffic to the NYPost.com, 15% to Washingtonpost.com and 11% to Boston.com and FoxNews.com.
In other words, the Drudge Report’s influence cuts across both traditional organizations such as ABC News to more tabloid style outlets such as the New York Post. What’s more, Drudge Report drove more links than Facebook or Twitter on all the sites to which it drove traffic.
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About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .
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Online news *aggregation site in the USA that occasionally breaks its own stories, most notably in 1998 when it revealed the White House sex scandal involving President Bill Clinton and the intern Monica Lewinsky, an exposé of which had been pulled at the last minute by ... ...
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