News in the Age of Drudge
An editor, goes an old journalism bromide, separates wheat from chaff and prints the chaff.
The biggest chaff-maker on the Internet, according to a new study, is Matt Drudge who still outdoes Facebook and Twitter in telling millions what they should know.
“He can look into a huge stream of news,” says an admirer, “find the hot story and put an irresistible headline on it.”
This Internet skill recalls Henry Luce, who founded Time Magazine in the last century to save readers from being confused by “the million little chaoses of raw news” and give them a Voice from Above to explain what it all means.
From Luce to Drudge, American journalism has gone downhill from fake omniscience to injecting a 24/7 stream of narcotized news into the public bloodstream.
Luce, like Drudge, pursued his own political agenda but had to recognize some bounds in pushing it.