Dean Esmay thinks that, like Bill O’Reilly, Matt Drudge is a “butthead.” Further, he contends that Drudge is one of us:

Only he’s afraid to be called a weblogger. Apparently, he thinks that’s beneath him.

Let me tell you something, Matt Drudge: a weblogger is all you ever were, and it’s all you ever will be. You were in the right place at the right time with the right idea, and you were pretty good. Yes, you pre-date the current lingo, but you’re still one of us, and always will be.

I concur in part and dissent in part. Drudge is in some ways a blogger: He mainly provides links to content generated by other people. But he also differs from us in a couple of important ways. One, he actually does reportage and occasionally breaks significant news stories. That’s not unheard of among bloggers (witness Laurence‘s breaking the story of the Orrin Hatch software mini-scandal), but it’s rather unusual. Sure, he gets most of it wrong and over-hypes the rest, but that’s not much different than the NYT or CNN. Also, Drudge is in some ways less than a blogger: He rarely provides commentary, unless you count hyperbolic and misleading headlines. Not so much as a “heh.” And, as Tiger would note, he doesn’t have a comments feature.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dean Esmay says:

    Ah, but I think you miss a point. Set the WABACK machine to 1990. What was Matt Drudge doing? I was there and I can tell you: not much that didn’t involve spreading gossip from his friends inside the beltway.

    As for providing original content: find a way to make something reasonable–oh, let’s say, $50,000 a year–to run OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY, and tell me: how much more original reportage do you think you could do?

    Dean’s World currently runs what I’d say is about 2% actual news reportage that’s original. Find a way that I can make a moderate income doing Dean’s World, and that percentage would go up. Find a way for me to make a million a year? It’ll go up further.

    Man, he’s one of us. He’s just been at it longer, and found a formula that works for him. Can we all be successful like him? That’s like asking if we can all be Walter Payton. If you see what I mean. Well, no we can’t, but…