The news aggregation site spent much of the last 18 months leading with polls and stories that predicted a Trump victory
(Vocativ) – In an election cycle when just about everyone got it wrong, Matt Drudge ended up vindicated. The editor of the massive, conservative news aggregation site spent much of the last 18 months leading with those rare polls and stories that predicted a Trump victory — meanwhile the Huffington Post, sometimes called Drudge’s liberal mirror, gave Hillary Clinton a 90-something percent chance of winning just hours before the polls started closing.
In the aftermath of an election when just about every major outlet seemed to misread Donald Trump, and when fake and factually dubious news flooded the web, sites like the Drudge Report raise a chicken-and-egg question: Did Drudge and his conservative ilk just get it right, or did they play a more active role, driving a negative (and sometimes made-up) narrative about Clinton that helped cost her the election?
Ever since it broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998, the Drudge Report has maintained a unique place in the American news media landscape. The site, according to Quantcast, attracts over 24 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S., many of whom flock to the bare-bones page to devour its scandalous and sensational content. The aggregator puts a conservative spin on mainstream stories, and then veers into questionable territory — including a tabloid story about Bill Clinton’s allegedly illegitimate child and claims that longtime Clinton family confidante Sidney Blumenthal beat his wife (Blumenthal eventually took Drudge to court over the story).
But this year, Drudge had an almost singular focus: eviscerating Hillary Clinton. Along with linking to coverage of well-reported scandals, including Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, Drudge also spotlighted some very controversial stories.