It was a good ride.
Drudge and WND. Matt Drudge and Joseph Farah.
They started the internet’s news revolution together, friendly and daring, 24 years ago. It took one day, April 26, 2021, to drop the original name, WorldNetDaily, and all links from drudgereport.com.
That’s when Drudge – or whoever is calling the shots at the DrudgeReport – finally “canceled” WND.
For many years, WND included a permanent link to Drudge above the fold. That was when a Drudge link was a sign of the kind of site you ran – a Drudge-type site.
In the early days, WND had the distinguished honor of having more links back on Drudge than any other website. Joseph Farah was the second one. How did I achieve it way back in the ’90s? I simply asked for it. Yes, Drudge and I had a real relationship. That’s how I knew in recent years that it wasn’t Drudge in charge. He sold it – or sold out.
In fact, before starting WND, I tried to hire Drudge. I liked his style. I thought of him as a promising young “wire editor,” as we called them when I was a newspaperman. I think I offered him some $50,000 in 1997. He thought about it for a while, before deciding on an independent path.
Drudge and I were kindred spirits.
We ran into one another here and there – but he was a loner, and I was, too. Drudge was growing fast and so was WND. For many years he was a one-man show. Then he hired Andrew Breitbart who became a good friend. Between the two of them we had more than our share of links posted to the DrudgeReport.
We counted our “Drudge links” carefully at WND. Sometimes there were four of five links to stories – not counting the perma-links.
Drudge had a great sense of humor. One day he called me with an idea. He loved Jerome Corsi’s new book in 2011 – “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” He told me he was going to tease it with a shameless display on his website, pointing to its No. 1 position on Amazon. You might remember he was not afraid of anything or anybody then – not even Barack Obama.
I knew what that would mean: Obama was going to have to RELEASE an actual birth certificate – real or fabricated!
Sure enough, he did. That was the first time I saw the media close ranks against me. They did it with reckless abandon. The most amazing shot across the bow came from Esquire magazine, owned by Hearst, my old employer – in which the “reporter” made up the whole imaginary story about my pulling the Corsi book from bookshelves. It’s still there at Amazon 10 years later to make my point. (After the story initially went up, Esquire posted an “update” hoping to cover for its fraud.)
We sued the magazine and received a 2-1 loss before the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia, Nov. 26, 2013.
But it wasn’t the end of the birth certificate story.
Perkins Coie, the international law firm, played “fixer” for Obama. They “found” the birth certificate that could not be found even by the governor of Hawaii. They also showed up later to pull another rabbit out of a hat in directing Joe Biden’s “victory” in the 2020 election. You’ll be hearing from them again. They’re in solid with Obama and Biden.
There was a time, in the bad old days, when the people of the world were subjected to a very limited choice of news. But that was before the internet revolution that Drudge, WND and precious few others launched.
Then came the wild West – cyber-style.
Soon there were more choices than you could count.
I’m 67 now, and I remember a time when there were only seven choices of television stations to watch – in NEW YORK CITY! In 1996, there were only competitive daily newspapers in half a dozen cities! The internet in its heyday – circa 2001 to 2015 – showed the world what was possible in the media.
And Big Tech showed us how to destroy a good thing – how to muzzle free expression.
It began in an auspicious year – 2015. That’s when I first saw the signs of something ominous. For decades before that, I taunted Google, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Apple openly. I said they were “evil.” But I just didn’t know how right I was. All it took for them to show their teeth was President Donald J. Trump.
I tried to warn him – and everyone else I knew. Half my columns in those days were devoted to the New Tech Tyranny. But it was too little, too late. Trump saw it too late when even he became a victim – being banned from Twitter late in his presidency.
I swear, the five massive strokes I experienced in 2019 were in part due to the tremendous pressure I was under as my business crumbled. Matt Drudge apparently cracked up, too. I know for a fact he has passed the baton and is definitely not “running the show.” And, who knows what happened to the late Andrew Breitbart?
But I have a plan to survive and flourish in the future. In fact, I’d love to be there with questions for Trump’s second term. That will be a joyous day, won’t it?
Maybe Drudge can come back, too. I hope so. But I’m not holding my breath.
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