Drudge in the Dregs Again

(Originally published in February 2012)

Republican establishment media alert: On the eve of the Michigan and Arizona primaries, the establishment’s new favorite enforcer, Matt Drudge, was at it again. As I have chronicled so many of The Drudge Report‘s clever, and cleverly timed, manipulations over the course of this primary season, I trust no one will have the gall to suggest that this latest batch of “headlines” is merely coincidental, or to defend Drudge with the feigned naiveté argument that Drudge himself does not write the stories, but merely posts links to whatever is available.

(To this last argument, which I have heard several times, I will only note the obvious: Have you noticed any loving defenses of Obamacare on Canada Free Press lately? If not, why do you think that is? Surely there are many leftists out there writing articles to justify socialized medicine. And yet, strangely, none of them seem to find their way to CFP‘s homepage.)

On the night of Monday, February 27th, TDR‘s above the logo headline was this: “Newt on Rick: ‘Big Labor Repub’.” [Update: That in 2015, Drudge chose to go all in for the one GOP presidential candidate who was clearly pitching himself as the “Big Labor Repub,” and who in fact borrowed that strategy from Santorum himself, falls into the category we commonly label “interesting.” The explanation is no more obscure than it is savory: Drudge was never against “Big Labor Repubs”; rather, he was and is FOR big establishment Repubs, supporting Trump from the get-go in 2015-16 just as he did Romney in 2011-12. Live with it.]

Why does Newt Gingrich, who is running way down in the polls for both Michigan and Arizona, and whose campaign TDR was instrumental in knifing to death when he seemed a threat to Romney, suddenly warrant banner headline status again? The headline itself answers the question. Gingrich is being used as the establishment’s surrogate to destroy his own replacement in the anything-but-Romney sweepstakes. After all, hasn’t Gingrich made criticisms of Romney at least as sharp (and at least as justifiable) as this one against Santorum? So why does this remark in particular warrant headline treatment, and on the eve of two primaries in which Gingrich is not a player? You know why.

Other high-ranking news from the campaign featured on TDR on the same evening:

“RASMUSSEN POLL: Obama Approval at 45%, Lowest in Month—Falls Behind Romney, Paul….”

As it is now widely acknowledged that the Paul campaign is working together with the Romney campaign to wedge out any challenger to Romney—that is, any anti-establishment candidate—this poll, coming from a source at least as much in the tank for the establishment scenario as TDR, is right on cue. Notice that, as with the Gingrich headline, in can only help one person. Paul, like Gingrich, is out of contention in both of the states up for grabs on February 28th. Producing a poll result at this moment that shows both Paul and Romney beating Obama in a head-to-head matchup does little or nothing for Paul, as the result will be nullified by any contrary result released before a primary or caucus where Paul is considered a contender. On the other hand, the result creates bad optics for Santorum—Romney’s only rival in these two states—suggesting that even during his big “surge” of the moment he “cannot” defeat Obama.

Let me state clearly that Matt Drudge is free to support any candidate he likes. The problem is not his personal preference, but his pretense of merely presenting “the news.” The conservative “new media” has always prided itself on being different from the mainstream liberal media in one crucial respect: Honesty. Rush Limbaugh does not pretend to be without biases; Mark Levin and Glenn Beck have openly stated their preferred candidates. This is as it should be. The problem arises when an alleged news source takes steps to avoid the appearance of editorializing, but then presents (i.e. cherry-picks) the news in such a manner as to influence perceptions and opinions.

This effort to create optics that favor one result over another, without the source ever openly clarifying its preferences, demonstrates precisely the lack of integrity that the conservative media was supposedly constituted to redress. That the optics being presented in this case are so perfectly and consistently calibrated to help the Republican establishment achieve its goals is the most disturbing element of TDR‘s manipulations.

Though you won’t find this story linked on TDR, here is how the establishment’s man defines his candidacy:

“‘The reason that I’m going to beat Barack Obama in Michigan in the fall is because this is going to be a contest about who can strengthen the economy,’ Romney told a rally in Royal Oak last night.”

Socialized medicine is being not-so-covertly foisted on the American people—a policy which, if allowed to take root, will functionally end the United States of America as a constitutional republic founded on natural individual rights. The unfunded obligations of Social Security alone constitute an $18 trillion sinkhole—larger than the current, irredeemable national debt. The nation’s independent regulatory agencies are usurping congressional legislative authority, and slipping socialist violations of property rights and globalist subversions of American sovereignty in under every door. The President is apologizing to, and begging for forgiveness from, people who are murdering American citizens in cold blood because someone burned a copy of the Koran which was being used to transfer covert messages between enemy prisoners.

And Mitt Romney says the defining issue of the 2012 election concerns “who can strengthen the economy.”

Is it any wonder he is the establishment’s pick?

Here is a dream for the future of American politics: Someday, the majority of citizens will prove so rational, so principled, and so serious about the fate of their freedom, that cheap manipulations such as that being perpetrated by The Drudge Report, and other establishment toadies, will immediately be recognized for what they are, and ignored, to the point where such “new media” sources become as irrelevant as their predecessors, the New York Times and CBS News.

The problem with dreams is that they all too often run up ahead of us, so that we never quite catch up with them. The survival of the civilized world depends on America catching up with this one before it’s too late. Run hard, run fast, constitutionalists—run as if your life depended on it. It does.

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