Original article at The Hill
In my opinion Matt Drudge is the most important and influential single figure in American media. In terms of daily and ongoing influence he is more influential thanThe New York Times, the television networks, cable news or anyone else.
Let me suggest here that Drudge's power may turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing for Republicans and conservatives because in my view, it fosters delusions that can lead to defeat. Recently a Gallup poll, of course highlighted on Drudge, found that Obama's numbers had (then) turned more unfavorable than favorable. This has (now) dramatically changed, unreported by Drudge, with Obama's favorables now well above his unfavorables. The generic Democratic vote is leading the generic Republican vote in the last Gallup congressional election survey. The healthcare bill has passed and the president's polls have moved up. Democratic numbers have crept up. Media focus on right-wing death threats is alienating political independents and motivating the Democratic base. But readers of Matt Drudge, listeners to Rush Limbaugh and viewers of Glenn Beck are being fed a false dose of Republican triumphalism and a megaphone for what a majority of voters might see as extremism that is both delusional and politically damaging to Republicans.
Drudge only reports the polls he likes, which gives a warped view of the state of the nation. Limbaugh says he wants opponents "wiped out," sounding like Michael Corleone and far out of touch with heartland America. Glenn Beck attacks Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the USA."
Excuse me? Attacking "Born in the USA"? What a great Republican platform -- for Democrats! Where do these delusions come from, and on what planet are these people living?
It is true that countless lazy individuals in media just read Drudge, patronize his propaganda, and parrot his party line like robots. His influence is unquestioned and immense. Let's give Matt Drudge credit for entrepreneurial drive to have reached this summit of American media. Let's give a round of boos for progressives with money who never even attempted a meaningful challenge to Drudge.
But my point today is, delusions lead to defeat and Republicans are falling into the trap. Matt Drudge could be an albatross for Republicans who believe their own propaganda, in the same way that Limbaugh and Beck could be true geniuses about promoting themselves for profitability but major dangers to conservatives and Republicans.
Drudge may not report it, but the healthcare bill passing has put the president on the upswing, Democrats lead Republicans in the Gallup poll, the negatives of the healthcare bill are starting to recede, independents are alienated by right-wing extremism, the jobs picture I predict will soon brighten, and the Democratic base is finally being motivated.
Matt Drudge may be the most important and influential figure in American media and journalism, but this may well be a curse for conservatives, not a blessing. Dreams die hard and delusions lose elections.
Brent Budowsky is a regular columnist on thehill.com. He served as Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, responsible for commerce and intelligence matters, including one of the core drafters of the CIA Identities Law. Served (more...)