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RUSH: So I was perusing the Drudge Report last night and I came across a fascinating link on the Drudge Report from TheHill.com. “Is Matt Drudge the Second Most Influential Man in America?” Obviously the president is implied as the most influential man. It is by Brent Budowsky, who is a columnist at The Hill, TheHill.com. He concludes that Drudge is the second most influential man in America and is unhappy about it. He doesn’t like it, doesn’t like the influence that Drudge has on shaping the news.

“While as a liberal, I do not suggest the following with a great deal of pleasure, but Matt Drudge is by far the single most influential person in the American media, and it is fair to ask: Is he the second most influential man in America? For more than any individual in the media, Drudge dominates his competitors to the degree that he has no competitors, and determines what you watch on television, what you read in newspapers, what you hear on radio, and even what you read on the Internet about politics more than any single person in American history.

“MSNBC may claim it is liberal and Fox News may be the house organ for conservatives, but if you turn on either in the morning, you will often see the guiding hand of Drudge. The New York Times may consider itself the finest newspaper in the world, but while one of the Times’ political reporters is reduced to writing ditties complaining that Hillary Clinton does not answer her questions, one entry on the Drudge Report can trigger 100 questions to any politician in America.

“Network anchors come and go, but Drudge remains, the omnipresent force who is required reading for political editors, television producers and campaign managers from all parties. Somewhere in the hereafter, the likes of William Randolph Hearst are looking toward Drudge on Earth with envy and asking: Why didn’t I ever get that big? If anyone believes there is any individual more powerful in media than Drudge, be my guest and name your choice.

“One of the great mysteries of modern life is that the highest Democrats in the land complain about Drudge, read Drudge like Talmudic scholars poring over biblical texts — as Republicans do — but have never even tried to compete with Drudge in the marketplace of media and ideas.” Au contraire! That’s why I wanted to share this with you. I think this is fascinating, the liberal media complaining about Drudge and then whining that he has no competitors.

There’s another profound lesson here, folks. I’ll get to it in a second.

“Is Drudge the second most influential man in America, behind the president? It is a debatable proposition that might well be true. More than any single person in American politics besides the president, [Drudge] determines the content of debate in our national discourse on an hourly basis. In many ways, I deplore the influence of Matt Drudge, but in the meantime, would someone send this piece to Drudge and maybe he will post it (wink, wink)?”

Now, the guy who wrote this: Brent Budowsky, a former “aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and former Rep. Bill Alexander (D-Arkansas), who was then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics,” and it has his email address, here. Now, forgetting whether Drudge is the most influential, second most influential, let’s acknowledge something: The media is frustrated as all get out with Drudge.

It’s a two-sided coin. They love when Drudge links to their stuff, but they hate that Drudge has this power. That’s what this story’s about. And they lament that Drudge has no competitors. What does Drudge do? Why does Drudge have all this power? Why does Drudge get all these clicks? Why do so many people go to the Drudge Report routinely, regularly, multiple times a day? Why do they click on all these links that Drudge finds?

Take a guess, Snerdley.

What’s the answer to the question? Why do people do this? (interruption) Okay, exactly right. Matt Drudge has a knack. Matt Drudge happens to find whatever there is anywhere, and if he’s interested in it, he links to it, and he benefits from the fact that whatever he’s interested in, a majority of Americans are, too. He has a knack. He has a touch for this. The idea that he has no competitors? Here you have a failing mainstream media. You have a mainstream media losing…

I mean, they are hemorrhaging ad dollars. They are hemorrhaging audience, both broadcast and print. CNN doesn’t have an audience. MSNBC doesn’t have an audience and hasn’t had in a long time. TIME Magazine and the New York Times are hemorrhaging advertisers. The number of pages in both publications is declining. What does it say that millions of Americans only have one place to go to find things they really want to know?

If you’re at CNN or if you are at the New York Times or if you are at the LA Times, or if you are anywhere and you’re sitting out there wringing your hands over Drudge, have you ever thought about maybe emulating Drudge? Have you thought maybe the stuff you’re doing is not interesting to people? Have you ever thought maybe the news you’re giving people they don’t care about and they don’t trust? Drudge doesn’t put his opinions up with anything.

Now, you might say, “Well, he doesn’t have to! We’re finding out what Drudge cares about by what he links to, and Drudge is obviously a right-winger.” I can’t condone that. He’s an equal-opportunity winger. Matt Drudge is a businessman. He loves clicks! He loves hits. He loves multiple hits, just like the media used to love big audiences. But they are more concerned about staying true to their ideology, which is the agenda of the Democrat Party.

The fact that Drudge has no competitors is what stands out to me. This guy admits it. There are no competitors. The New York Times ought to be the Drudge page! The newspaper of record? The greatest newspaper in the world? If it were being run by true news people, the New York Times would be what the Drudge page is. If you want to know what’s happening wherever and things that matter and are important, you go there. That’s the reputation all these news organizations want, isn’t it?

But they don’t have it. Matt Drudge has it. And he links to some things in the New York Times, but not everything. Some things in the Washington Post. Days go by and there won’t be something there from either publication. Other days, the page is overloaded with links to those papers. It just depends. But the idea that Drudge doesn’t have any competition is admitted to by this guy at TheHill.com.

They don’t know how. They’re admitting that they don’t know how to appeal to a mass population. And yet how do they view themselves? Only they are qualified to tell you what the news is. Only they are qualified to determine what isn’t news. Only they are qualified to commentate on the news. I don’t want to make too big a deal about this, but I find it fascinating here that they wring their hands. It’s right in front of them.

Everything they’re afraid of, everything that Drudge does that makes them mad, they just could never bring themselves to do it. Drudge does, and they get ticked off, and they get mad at the power and influence that he has, or they get worried about it. It’s just… I don’t know, folks. I find all of this… The arrogance and the conceit from people in the mainstream media, and the Drive-By Media wonder why their audiences are shrinking, wonder why there’s an alternative media, wonder why Fox News is popular?

Look at what they say about Fox News.

Fox News runs rings around all other broadcast news organizations, and rather than learn from it and try to emulate it — at least the parts they can — and grow their own businesses, they sit there and shrink and shrink and shrink and impugn the honor and integrity of the competitors that are cleaning their clocks! I mean, it’s patently obvious that if you scour the Internet and you want the latest and the greatest and the most poignant, the most timely, the latest on anything happening, you don’t go to the New York Times page.

You don’t go to the LA Times page. You don’t go to USA Today. You don’t go to the CNN page. You don’t go to the MSNBC page. You go to the Drudge page. That’s what everybody knows. And I don’t think it would be that hard to emulate for them, except they structurally and systematically cannot. Because they could not divorce themselves from their agenda long enough to even get close to accomplishing what Drudge does.


RUSH: Now, just one thing about this piece from TheHill.com. It may not be coincidental. Because our old buddy from the FCC, Ajit Pai, said over the weekend that he foresees a future in which the federal election committee, federal regulators may go after Drudge as part of net neutrality. Which, by the way, we have previously referenced on this program as part of net neutrality that never gets talked about, and the story by Mr. Pai specifically mentioned that federal regulators will want to go get Drudge because of content, because Drudge’s content is viewed to be political donations in kind.

And net neutrality, make no mistake, I don’t care what you think you know about it, I don’t care if you’ve bought into this mirage that net neutrality is making sure that everybody’s got equal access to websites at the same speed and bandwidth and all that, let me tell you what it really is. Net neutrality ultimately is empowering the federal government to go after websites based on content.

And if, for example, Drudge would be judged to be a conservative site and by admission there’s nobody even close, he has no competitors, then on that basis alone the FEC could limit Drudge’s accessibility, could limit how many people could log in to Drudge or just eliminate Drudge altogether because liberal, comparable websites aren’t getting near the traffic. And that isn’t equal, and that isn’t fair, and make no mistake, that is the dream of people who believe and start touting net neutrality.

All these tech people are clueless. They think it’s all about making sure they can get to Netflix whenever they want to without having to pay an arm and a leg. Or Roku or Huku or Hulu or whatever it is, Apple TV, you name it, they think it’s all about accessible speeds equally and fairly distributed with no bandwidth bottlenecks. And that’s a smoke screen. Ultimately net neutrality is aimed at determining fair and equal political content with some master arbitrator behind the curtain that is linked to a federal agency somewhere and will always be a leftist, make no mistake.

So this piece at TheHill.com wringing their hands and worried about the unfair advantage that Drudge has, he’s the second most influential, maybe isn’t a coincidence. Maybe it’s timed to be perceived as appearing right on the heels of that story about the FEC limiting Drudge because of content and fairness and all this. Do not forget this, and do not discount it.

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