MIAMI BEACH, Fla.— The Drudge Report is deft at convincing tens of millions of visitors to click on the often-titillating headlines written by founder Matt Drudge or one of his editors. And though Drudge himself denies it, his conservative news aggregation site is also especially proficient in race baiting, according to an analysis conducted by The New Republic.
He and his fellow editors are “not racist,” protested Drudge. “Why, some of our best headlines feature Black Panthers.” Indeed, the term “Black Panthers” appeared 12 times since Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and only once before then.
“But The New Republic is completely misinterpreting our headline, ‘New Black Panthers: Time to shed some blood…,’ said Drudge. “We simply wanted to share with our readers an in-depth look at this group’s political philosophy.”
The study also found that references to “racism” have more than tripled since 2008, while headlines containing the terms “black” and “crime” in close proximity have quadrupled. Often, race did not even feature heavily in the stories to which the race-laden headlines linked.
Pointing to a photograph that the website famously promoted depicting Obama in Somali tribal dress, Drudge maintained that any of his “clean, articulate black friends” would corroborate that he has no problem with African Americans or their culture. “I’ve even come to accept that we have a black president, though I remain unconvinced that he’s truly American.”
Drudge defended linking to The Hollywood Reporter’s serious-minded “Django Unchained: Film Review” with the headline “N*GGER. N*GGER. N*GGER. N*GGER. N*GGER. N*GGER. N*GGER,” which was just one of eight separate occasions on which the obscenity was used in a Drudge Report headline since 2008—there were no instances of its use on the site before then.
“I don’t see what the big deal is,” said Drudge, “I’m hip with the language that my brothers from another mother use when speaking to each other. Ya dig?”