ConstantCommentary® Vol. I, No. 4, **Greatest Hits** 1997-1999

So Sue Me . . .

by Mike Jasper

 Drudge in the media

"Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one." --- A.J. Liebling


What can you say about Matt Drudge that hasn't been said before? Wait, I know:

Matt Drudge Is A Screaming Queen!!!

(Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Probably not. I've only seen him once -- on ABC's Politically Incorrect -- but he was wearing a homosexual hat. You can tell.

Man, did he get the shit kicked out of him on P.I. or what? Bill Maher gave him the Lloyd Bentson treatment.

"I knew Edward R. Murrow," Maher said. "I worked with Edward R. Murrow. Edward R. Murrow was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Edward R. Murrow."

Earlier on, Maher "chinned" him. Ever notice that? Whenever Bill Maher makes a strong point, he locks onto his opponent (formerly his guest), cocks his head back and thrusts his chin out like he's aiming a snub-nosed pistol at a burglar. Very William F. Buckley.

At that point, ladies and gentlemen, you're what we politically incorrect people like to call... fucked.

All right, so I'm exaggerating. This is what Maher really said: "Matt, truth is something Edward R. Murrow looked for. You print rumors and call it truth."

After that, Drudge started to look a little Quaylish, especially when he leaned over to Edie McClurg and whispered, "Quick. How do you spell potato?"

Okay, so he didn't do that either. Who cares? I write for the fucking Internet. If you came here looking for truth, then you need to hear this truth: any moron can write a column on the Web. Believe me, I know.

Here's a true story: At one point during the broadcast, Drudge -- feeling his oats and looking a little cocky -- defended his news stories from Maher's criticisms and predicted that someday, "... we're gonna watch some of your old shows and we're gonna sit back and laugh."

Maher said, "I hope so."

Listen up Drudge. Maher is no Edward R. Murrow either. He's a comedian and a talk show host. He actually goes for laughs. You must have him confused with that other funny guy, Sam Donaldson.

But Drudge never really caught the spirit of Politically Incorrect. The show strives to emulate the lively and topical conversation of a well-attended cocktail party. Drudge acted like he was on Crossfire.

Still, the question needs to be asked: Is Matt Drudge a real reporter? You bet your bird-cage liner he is. He's trying to bring you the honest-to-god unbiased facts as he collects them -- accurate, thorough, and delivered at the speed of silicon. Well, that's what he's trying to do.

Have you ever heard of Matt Drudge? No? Well, Drudge is the guy who broke the Monica Lewinsky story.

Ohhhhhhhhhh. So he's that fuckin' guy.


(Those crazy conspiracy theorists.)

Yeah, that's the guy all right. And with nothing more than a computer, a Web site, a telephone and that stupid, fucking hat, he is stirring the shit big time.

<>Many members of the main stream media deride Drudge and say he's not a reporter at all, merely a rumor monger. They might have a point. I recently read an article about him where he admitted that he has no vices whatsoever. Drudge doesn't smoke, drink, take drugs or gamble. What kind of reporter is that? Not the reporter I used to be, that's for sure. I was a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, trench-coat-wearing sonofabitch who wasn't afraid to ask the hard questions.

"Congressman Bosco, what's the square root of 2,347?"

But eventually I got out of journalism so I could write. Not Drudge. He just wanted to get into the game. Before finding his niche in the news, Drudge, who never went to college, drifted from job to job in New York City. He had little education and no great writing skills, but he was pushy, defensive, ambitious and bullheaded. He also wore a hat.

It's kind of amazing he didn't wind up at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Drudge moved from New York to Los Angeles and got a job at the CBS gift shop, the gateway to stardom. At the gift shop, he collected snippets of dirt on the stars while he hocked his wares. Soon he started a gossip newsletter, which he distributed the old fashioned way: posting to Usenet news groups. As his following grew, he turned to more serious topics and the Drudge Report was born. After a couple of years of diligent work, his Web site column averaged about, oh, two million hits a day.

Prove me wrong.

One day Steve Case, the owner of America OnLine, was slapping his pony through the news groups when he came upon Drudge and his Web site. Impressed, Case offered the burgeoning journalist $3,000 a month just to have his Web site included as an AOL Keyword. Drudge has since been proclaimed by Playboy Magazine as the "first star of the Internet" and has appeared as a guest on Nightline, Politically Incorrect and Meet The Press. He was last month's Playboy interview and recently Fox News Network offered him his own show.

You might be thinking what I'm thinking: Fucking-goddamn-sonofabitch. Get your money for nothin' and your chicks for free.

I can tell you one thing, boys and girls: America OnLine ain't never gonna throw wads of cash my way. And you know the fuck why.


(Damn... I think I stole this one.)

Three thousand dollars a month? Maybe I should get back into the news biz. The more I reread that Playboy interview the more I thought, "I can be a serious journalist, fuck yeah."

What is a serious journalist anyway? Is it a Pulitzer Prize winner? How about that Pulitzer winner Peter Arnett at CNN? Lately, he's been as accurate as a SCUD missile at a skeet shoot, thanks to his bogus nerve gas story. And what was his excuse? "I only read the news," he said. Sure, why not? Maybe after you've had your ass bombed in Baghdad and your Johnson fragged in Nam, it's time to kick back and read whatever script is yanked your way. Nobody really needs two Pulitzers.

How about Ted Koppel? He's the real thing, right? Not only is he the anchor and managing editor of Nightline, he's a fucking Stanford grad. Yet, despite those credentials, I once saw him on a national TV forum that included the editor of the National Enquirer. That's like attending a barbecue with Jeffrey Dahmer. It doesn't matter what they're serving, bubba, it's wrong, wrong, wrong.

Again I ask: is Drudge for real? Believe it. He works his sources, tracks leads, pounds copy on a keyboard and gets the news out faster than any of the so-called mass media -- TV, radio, newspapers, hair salons. True, he may not be the next Edward R. Murrow, but I don't see any other candidates vying for the job either.

Besides, he caught a libel suit for $30 million. What better credentials could a journalist have?

Apparently, Drudge reported that one of Clinton's advisors, Sidney Blumenthal, used to beat his wife. It turns out the story wasn't true. He used to beat his mother (see what I did there?).

Instead of letting it slide, Blumenthal decided to give Drudge thirty million dollars worth of credibility in the form of a lawsuit. I don't think it was a wise decision. Had he not sued, I doubt many people would have ever heard about the story. Now that the lawsuit's gone public, Blumenthal and wife beating are forever linked in my mind.

Hmmm. Wonder if he wants to share the wealth?


(So sue me. But make it $50 million, I'm a college grad.)

You've got to love those screaming headlines, don't you? They look like real news stories, but they're not. The same goes for some Web sites. They look like they're providing valuable information, but they're not. Frankly, the only news source I trust one hundred percent is the Weekly World News, since I know everything in that rag is bullshit.

So when does gossip and rumor cross the line and become news? Beats me.

For example: in his interview, Drudge tells Playboy, "I've got Lewinsky describing Clinton's anatomy, his penis size. I'm deciding if and how I should report it."

Then Playboy asks, "How will you decide?" And Drudge says, "I've decided not to report it at this point, but I'm getting more tempted, because I think it's going to become part of the bigger story."

Well, fuck you Drudge, I'll report it. I don't know if the story's true or not, but I know a scoop when I see one. I think maybe I'll take a little ride on the Hindenburg headline:


WASHINGTON -- In a secretly taped phone conversation to an unidentified blond woman, Monica Lewinsky described the size and shape of President Clinton's penis.
"It was about six to nine inches long, had a little ridge at the top and was kind of flesh-colored," Lewinsky said.
This description was substantiated by a battery of highly credible sources, none of whom could be revealed. The President denied the allegations and refused to be photographed for this report.

(What do you mean Geraldo beat me to the story?)

I don't know from journalism. But I bet I won't be sued by anybody (and, therefore, languish in obscurity) because I'm no Matt Drudge. While we have similarities, the differences are staggering.

The similarities between me and Matt Drudge:

1) We both write for the Internet.
2) Because who in the fuck would hire us.

The differences:

1) He used the Internet to get into journalism. I used it to download porn (see what I did there?).
2) He writes serious news and honestly gives a fuck. I only write the word fuck. Seriously.
3) Matt Drudge, by his own admission, looks like a guy who got beat up a lot. I look like the guy who did the job.
4) He wears a hat. I wear a baseball cap. With a balloon tied to it. On my way to the zoo.
5) I lick pussy.
6) He quit working at a gift shop to report the news full time. Me? I've been turned down from four gift shop jobs in the last fuckin' month.
7) He's a right-winger. I'm a humdinger... folk singer.



(And I've got that atheist bitch tied to my bedpost.)

I admire Drudge's vision. He saw the Internet as a bona fide news medium earlier than most and he jumped on it. You've got to respect him for that.

Still, Drudge attracts criticism and deservedly so. He does seems to be a creature of the right wing and on a sacred mission to dump President Clinton, and in interviews he tends to come off as whiny and insecure. God knows he makes mistakes and occasionally reports bogus information.

It happens. You get sucked in.

For example: When I was a real reporter, I wrote an article about a guy in Sebastopol, California who was developing an electric car. Turns out there was no electric car, he was just some self-deluded guy who made money by having people invest in his non-existent invention. He was aided in this cause by his collection of blueprints, promotional literature and newspaper clippings written by unsuspecting morons like me.

I don't know whatever happened to that guy, but I bet he's writing a column on the Internet now.

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STANDARD DISCLAIMER: This column aims to be funny. If you can read anything else into it, you're on your own.