Video: Inhofe says “no basis” for Drudge ban on Capitol Hill

posted at 11:36 am on March 10, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Via, well, Drudge. The Senate’s Sergeant-at-Arms sent out two e-mails yesterday warning staffers to avoid viewing Drudge’s website because of unspecified virus activity reportedly associated with the site. CNS News asked Senator James Inhofe about the warning’s veracity, and he launched into a two-minute endorsement of Drudge as a resource for his staff. Inhofe also claimed that the warning had no factual basis, and sounded like an attempt to frighten people away from hearing alternative sources of news:

“We would encourage people to continue to use Drudge. That’s a great source,” Sen. Jim Inhofe (R.-Okla.) told CNSNews.com Tuesday after his staff on the Environment and Public Works Committee received an email informing them that the Senate Sergeant at Arms believed the Drudge Report and whitepages.com had been responsible for infecting Senate computers with viruses and advising Senate personnel not to visit the Web sites.

When CNSNews.com asked Inhofe if there was any evidence that a virus had gotten into Senate computers as a result of people visiting Drudge, Inhofe said: “None, whatsoever.” Inhofe is the ranking Republican member of the Environment and Public Works Committee. …

Sen. Inhofe said it did not surprise him that someone on the left was trying to stop Senate staff from reading Drudge “because Drudge comes out with really good stuff and we want them to access the Drudge Report. We’re on the Drudge Report about half the time.”

“Every time there is something really noticeable and that somebody needs to cover, Drudge is right there,” said Inhofe. “I suspect somebody was trying to make it look as if there’s a virus there to discourage people from using Drudge. Then, somehow, I guess someone in the Capitol got a hold of it and said, yes, we are advising you not to use it.

“Just today, they backed down, so I think that maybe we were right all the time and that there’s not a problem, and we would encourage people to continue to use Drudge,” he said. “That’s a great source.”

Ad servers sometimes have cranky scripting, a problem we’ve had here at Hot Air as well. That may sometimes prompt warnings from sensitive anti-virus programs, but that’s a far cry from being a virus site. At best, this is sloppy work by the Sergeant-at-Arms, and at worst would be exactly what Inhofe suggests here.

After this warning last night, how many want to bet that accesses to Drudge went up, not down? Forbidding access to something only makes it that much more desirable, something that those who demand boycotts of films have slowly learned since The Last Temptation of Christ. Hopefully, Matt Drudge will be generous enough to drop the Sergeant-at-Arms a nice Christmas card this season.

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After this warning last night, how many want to bet that accesses to Drudge went up, not down? Forbidding access to something only makes it that much more desirable, something that those who demand boycotts of films have slowly learned since The Last Temptation of Christ. Hopefully, Matt Drudge will be generous enough to drop the Sergeant-at-Arms a nice Christmas card this season

this is like the “you can’t just listen to Rush and expect to get things done around here” quote from the POTUS last year. I think Rush’s ratings shot through the roof that they’ve already shot through.

Squelching freedom fail.

ted c on March 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

except censorship…

tommylotto on March 10, 2010 at 11:40 AM

Rush sends SARS over the radio waves.

Spirit of 1776 on March 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Hopefully, Matt Drudge will be generous enough to link to HotAir more often drop the Sergeant-at-Arms a nice Christmas card this season.

What Ed really wants for Christmas (or sooner).

WashJeff on March 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Color me shocked that the Senate would ban access to a ‘partisan’ website. Regardless of which party is in power, this was bound to happen sooner or later.

BTW, how is it that a news aggregator is ‘partisan?’

classicaliberal on March 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

You’d think the Dems would have learned with the ‘Rush’ debacle.

How stupid… is stupid?

katy on March 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

The only virus infecting Capitol Hill is the Democrat Party.

Dominion on March 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

They’re worried that people viewing Drudge may contract a virus called ‘stuff we don’t want you to see.’

James on March 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

“Yay, the fascists are in charge!”

/growabrain

rbj on March 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Speaking of drudge, his site has been awfully slow to respond to changes in the news cycle the last several months. I don’t believe he covered TEA Parties very well, nor HC opposition. Moreover, his headline topics get awful stale (unlike here at HotAir where they’re fresh and ready like on the hour) for 24+ hrs. I love drudge, but prior to big government.com coming online, he was johnny-on-the-spot with updates, flashers, tickers, *breaking news* and the like. Nowadays, its become a lot more like a newspaper headline–at least in its frequency of update.

/beeatching off

ted c on March 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

I guess Drudge is now the whipping post from dc. Fox is being left alone this week.
L

letget on March 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Ad servers sometimes have cranky scripting, a problem we’ve had here at Hot Air as well.

Thanks for finally admitting to what so many of us have already had to deal with.

Knucklehead on March 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Uh, yeah…Captain Obvious.
HuffPo and Kos only!

HornetSting on March 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM

ted c on March 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Concur. It seams like it is a two updates a day web-site now. Was Andrew Briebart the man that made that site go?

WashJeff on March 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM

Stupid fake “Windows has found a Virus” ad!!!!!

WashJeff on March 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM

I visit Drudge at least once a day, and there, like here, my firewall isn’t always friendly with the sites, but a simple click makes it all better.

Propaganda runs rampant in D.C.

capejasmine on March 10, 2010 at 11:47 AM

The only virus infecting Capitol Hill is the Democrat Party.

Dominion on March 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

It’s worse. It’s a Stage IV inoperable tumor.

PrincipledPilgrim on March 10, 2010 at 11:48 AM

“………..After this warning last night, how many want to bet that accesses to Drudge went up, not down? ……….”
ED MORRISSEY

And maybe someone on Drudges staff helped get this rolling:
Exposure is power.

Cybergeezer on March 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Obama’s Internet Czar at work.

Cybergeezer on March 10, 2010 at 11:51 AM

Obama has made the Fox News wealthy.
I am sure his stunt in regulating fishing will longterm help the fishing business.

seven on March 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM

Politico is more the virus site if you ask me

unseen on March 10, 2010 at 11:52 AM

I didnt realize the Senate Sergeant in Arms was an IT expert…

Of course he isnt – but more importantly – where and when did he get his “virus information” from???

Its all time/date stamped to identify a virus – from the server level.

OR some clown infected his own computer – then deduced – “it must have been Drudge” and not “freeboobies.com”…

I won’t go into the fact this admin is “Mac” and the previous systems were primarily MS-based… oodles of issues – regarding little things like HTML Web engines (see Entourage – updates 1.2-1.4)

Odie1941 on March 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

No viruses on Drudge, but I once got a nasty rash after accidentally following a link to Daily Koz.

Warning: you might get the crabs from Huffington Post

kurtzz3 on March 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

Concur. It seams like it is a two updates a day web-site now. Was Andrew Briebart the man that made that site go?

WashJeff on March 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM

yup AB launched his big gov’t site right around the time of the ACORN video salaciousness. What’s funny is that drudge didn’t run a lot of that stuff either. IIRC, AB used to work for drudge and their buddies–so drudge may have sandbagged a bit to let AB’s site traffic go up in the early days of his site. I dunno, just my suspicions–either way, both of those dudes do a great job, but are a distant second to the master himself, Ed Morrissey.

ted c on March 10, 2010 at 11:53 AM

both drudge and breitbart are bloggers, but they sure as heck ain’t the blogger of the year–aka BOY…//jk

ted c on March 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM

beeatching off

ted c on March 10, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Well Drudge is 100% better then the MSM at getting the news out…He does still have the DC-NY thinking. The Tea party’s are occuring in the heartland and Drudge IMO is missing the story simply because he has no frame of reference.

As far as lack of updates lately he may have just been taking a vacation or a little worn out atm.

unseen on March 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM

unseen on March 10, 2010 at 11:55 AM

yeah, I cast no aspersions, but its not that it lacks updates–it just appears they’re not as frequent as they previously had been up until NOV/DEC timeframe. Or conversely, I’m clicking on drudge twice as much now than I previously had been and expecting a new crack hit and ain’t getting it—

ted c on March 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM

Oh my, Barry is on the boob tube. What has happened to his hair?

Knucklehead on March 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM

I don’t think that this accomplished what they thought it would accomplish…

Coming after Massa shut up like a clam…and now this–hmm…Chicago politics at work…

lovingmyUSA on March 10, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Or conversely, I’m clicking on drudge twice as much now than I previously had been and expecting a new crack hit and ain’t getting it—

ted c on March 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM

LOL…could be…I think you are correct about lack of updates i find myself only clicking it once or twice a day if that anymore because there is nothing changing on the site. Im a big Palin supporter and even I got tired of seeing the link to her TPN speech after the 2nd week…. Drudge isn’t what it use to be yet I still see it as better than the MSM for the best news.

unseen on March 10, 2010 at 12:08 PM

As an IT guy I’m simultaneously offended and facepalming…

liquidflorian on March 10, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Oh my, Barry is on the boob tube. What has happened to his hair?

Knucklehead on March 10, 2010 at 12:04 PM

OMG–now he is using his hair as a prop!!!
Poor Obama has the weight of the world on his shoulders and has been worrying about it so much, he is getting gray hair!

lovingmyUSA on March 10, 2010 at 12:11 PM

BS! They are just blaming Drudge when in fact they are surfing porn.

Electrongod on March 10, 2010 at 12:13 PM

The idiots in Washington are just trying to divert attention from the swine flu, which was supposed to have killed everyone by now, but turned out to be a dud, so they are flailing around, looking for another “killer-virus” that the Feds can scare everyone about and then have no vaccinations available for (after the only part of ShrillaryCare to pass destroyed the capacities of the vaccination industry, which no one bothered to mention, save one or two folks).

neurosculptor on March 10, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Sometimes I click on drudge to get a reminder about what we were discussing on HotAir yesterday.

In any case, most real viruses attack bacteria. The analogy works here because there is an infection in Washington that that only more information can cure.

pedestrian on March 10, 2010 at 12:37 PM

They’re worried that people viewing Drudge may contract a virus called ’stuff we don’t want you to see.’

James on March 10, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Exactly. lol

conservative pilgrim on March 10, 2010 at 12:37 PM

BS! They are just blaming Drudge when in fact they are surfing porn.

Electrongod on March 10, 2010 at 12:13 PM

or posting their tickle parties to the tube sites

pedestrian on March 10, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Thanks for finally admitting to what so many of us have already had to deal with.

Knucklehead on March 10, 2010 at 11:46 AM

To be fair, it’s not a HotAir problem. It’s a you have an anti-virus capable of securing CIA servers on a home PC problem.

uknowmorethanme on March 10, 2010 at 12:46 PM

those who demand boycotts of films have slowly learned since The Last Temptation of Christ

or we learned when the Queen banned Abbey Road. Or the Sex Pistols.

John the Libertarian on March 10, 2010 at 12:58 PM

To be fair, it’s not a HotAir problem. It’s a you have an anti-virus capable of securing CIA servers on a home PC problem.

uknowmorethanme on March 10, 2010 at 12:46 PM

No. It was a Hotair problem. They let crap ads on. They used to have ads on this site that would draw a gig of memory. That went on for quite some time and forced me to put a script blocker on and do away with all ads, here.

These weren’t viruses, but bad code that either got itself into an endless loop or something equally stupid.

neurosculptor on March 10, 2010 at 1:02 PM

Ad servers sometimes have cranky scripting, a problem we’ve had here at Hot Air as well. That may sometimes prompt warnings from sensitive anti-virus programs, but that’s a far cry from being a virus site. At best, this is sloppy work by the Sergeant-at-Arms, and at worst would be exactly what Inhofe suggests here.

Ad servers can also be hijacked, and spread viri that way. It’s happened to me on reputable conservative websites more than once. (Explorer seems more prone to this than Firefox)

Then again, I suspect a certain “open and honest” political party in Washington has been searching for excuses to warn others off Drudge.

DngrMse on March 10, 2010 at 1:27 PM

Biden, as president of the Senate, is the Sergeant-at-Arms direct report.

I knew that eventually Biden would get pissed off at Drudge highlighting all his Quaylesque pronouncements.

percysunshine on March 10, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Can/will the Senate’s Sergeant-at-Arms be investigated? Oh, and people in my office link to Drudge daily and have never had a problem.

Also, the Mass US Atty General sent an email warning (back in May, 2009) warning government employees to stay off Drudge (via politico, 5.16.09). What do they not want you to see?? mmmmm?

TN Mom on March 10, 2010 at 3:41 PM

Rush sends SARS over the radio waves.
Spirit of 1776 on March 10, 2010 at 11:41 AM

And gave me a case of the ‘vapuhz’!

RD on March 10, 2010 at 4:17 PM