Matt Drudge has been off my radar for some time now. I think sometime during the Clinton era was the last time I read his Report with any consistency. I found him to be a simple portal to other conservatives. His original content was usually baseless and amounted to little more than rumormongering. I’ve also encountered him on Fox News and I couldn’t stand him there. The only thing I ever liked about him was his fedora.
Begin parenthetical aside: Oh, how I wish it were socially acceptable again to wear those things! I watch movies from the forties and television shows from the fifties and all of the men are wearing glorious fedoras. I’ve come very close to purchasing one several times over my adult life, but decided against it because I’ve never seen another living human wear one in public. Except Matt Drudge. I’m not one that usually cares about what other’s think, but it’s akin to me to wearing a mohawk; I also don’t like a lot of attention and wearing a fedora out and about nowadays would certainly elicit that and a bunch of comment. End aside.
What brought him back onto my radar? Punnily, an interview with him in the current issue of Radar magazine conducted by Camille Paglia, who wouldn’t be a blip on my radar if it hadn’t been for an interview with her in Reason back in 1995.
<blockquote>I just post the things I find interesting. I can’t remember the last time I actually read a full-blown article, you know. Usually I just scan the first two paragraphs and the last two paragraphs. I’ve had to become a speed-reader simply to feed this great big hole. I’ve got five computer screens lined up, and thousands of news stories to go through on any given day. It comes down to an editorial decision that I make every second that I’m sitting in front of the monitors. If you’re not careful you can fill up people’s minds with stories that go nowhere.</blockquote>
Does this remind anyone else of that sequence in Metropolis with the clock-like machine and the main protagonist? It’s also interesting that he doesn’t read the whole articles, instead just scanning the beginning and the end: that’s exactly how were taught in graduate school to read books and I always hated the practice because you miss so much context.
Final interesting quote about headlines: “They make life seem fun and dramatic and hysterical in the extreme. There is just a drama to every second on earth. There are never any down moments for me.”
[Note to Radar editors: Get rid of the hyphenation in the columns. They don’t correspond to actual column ends. This suggests that the Web version is an afterthought and adjunct to the print magazine. Maybe some day they’ll be able to get a CMS.]
[UPDATE (9/1/03): Drudge has provided some details about his business. More lucrative than I thought.]