In an article published at the George Soros-backed Media Matters on Wednesday, Matt Gertz, a “Senior Fellow” at the site, smeared Drudge Report proprietor Matt Drudge as a “pipeline for Russian propaganda.”
According to Gertz, this is because Drudge linked to Russian stories — wait for it — 400 times since 2012.
…Drudge has for years used his site as a web traffic pipeline for Russian propaganda sites, directing his massive audience to nearly 400 stories from RT.com and fellow Russian-government-run English-language news sites SputnikNews.com and TASS.com since the beginning of 2012, according to a Media Matters review. Those numbers spiked in 2016, when Drudge collectively linked to the three sites 122 times.
Drudge’s increasing affinity for and proliferation of Russian propaganda comes amid what The New York Times calls “a new information war Russia is waging against the West.”
RT and Sputnik News are part of what the Times’ Jim Rutenberg has termed “the most effective propaganda operation of the 21st century so far,” a coordinated network of state-controlled TV and online media outlets and social media accounts that take advantage of the traditional protections of Western liberal democracies to undermine public confidence in the governments of those nations. TASS, which has received less attention in the United States, is a Russian news agency similar to The Associated Press but owned by the state.
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That’s right — according to Gertz, Drudge is a puppet of Russian President Vladimir Putin because he linked (gasp) to 400 Russian stories over a period of nearly five years.
Responding at the Gateway Pundit, Joshua Caplan put it into perspective:
Now, 400 links may appear like a large number, yet a simple analysis reveals it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the massive volume of links published in the past four years. One doesn’t have to read the Drudge Report avidly to know the website publishes anywhere between 70-100 links daily. Such is a conservative estimate.
(Very) conservatively speaking, let’s assume the Drudge Report has published 60 links daily for the past four years.
The Gateway Pundit estimates The Drudge Report publishes 21900 links annually. Multiplying 21900 by four equals 87,600 links since 2012. Now we’ll add the 261 days that have past in 2017, bringing our total link average from 2012 to the present day to 101,460.
Do the math — that’s somewhere around .394 percent.
Drudge has also regularly turned to RT and Sputnik for unskeptical coverage of statements from Putin and other Kremlin officials, including their denials of Russian election interference, their criticisms of the U.S. role in Syria, and their efforts to undermine NATO members.
And he’s frequently highlighted the Russian outlets’ conspiracy theories and hysterics, including their reports on meetings of the “mysterious Bilderberg Group,” debunked claims that Google manipulated its search results to favor Clinton, and warnings of increasing Western support for satanism.
Drudge’s affinity for Russian president Vladimir Putin and his propaganda outlets is undoubtedly a major asset for the Kremlin. Drudge has rare power as a media gatekeeper due to his unusual ability to push reporting from previously unknown outlets to a massive audience.
Regularly? Hardly, but it seems that actual facts don’t matter to Media Matters, which is part of the organized left’s propaganda war against conservative media. The numbers make that abundantly clear. Even if Drudge linked to ten times the number of links he actually did, that would only account for maybe four percent of the total stories he’s linked to.
Keep in mind the news aggregator may link on average of 20,000 stories per year and yet, Gertz is ringing the alarm on the number of “Russian propaganda websites,” which barely receive 50 links in some years. If the premise of Gertz’s report is correct, the Drudge Report is far from being the pipeline for Russian propaganda.
One glaring item the Media Matters report fails to include is an analysis of Russian propaganda sites linked as the main headline story. As someone who has received multiple stories linked on the Drudge Report, there is a strong correlation between link placement and traffic. Stories placed closer to the top of the Drudge Report usually receive more traffic than those linked at the bottom.
“Media Matters’ report is yet another desperate attempt to rehash a narrative that the political class and mainstream media use to nullify the 2016 presidential election and distract from the Democrats’ lacking policy agenda,” Caplan said.
But it’s much worse than that. What Gertz produced is quite literally nothing but liberal propaganda which falls apart under scrutiny.
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