Good lord. Who peed in Matt Drudge’s cereal this morning? “Judge Whore”?!

That dig about leaving politics to the professionals can only have been aimed at Steve Bannon, Moore’s belated political patron and a Drudge target of longstanding. The “Judge Whore” headline links to this Daily Beast piece about Bannon supposedly wavering on Moore, which I wrote about last night. Why Drudge is so anti-Bannon continues to elude me, though, since they were both Trump cheerleaders last year and their audiences overlap to some extent. A Twitter pal speculates that Drudge feels threatened by Bannon, either because he fears Breitbart overtaking him as a right-wing media top dog or because he fears losing influence if the American right is re-made in Bannon’s image. I’m skeptical. Drudge is part of the Internet’s bloodstream; I can more easily imagine people quitting Facebook than quitting him.

Another theory via John Ziegler:

Hmmm. Still another possibility is that this is nothing more than Drudge doing a solid for his pal Jared Kushner, who cultivated his friendship and was rewarded with multiple anti-Bannon headlines on the Drudge Report while Kushner and Bannon were feuding inside the White House. Kushner may want to gloat over Bannon’s boy struggling in Alabama so Drudge is helping him out. There’s a more intriguing theory, though: What if, instead of mere revenge, Kushner is whispering to Drudge about Moore and Bannon because Trump quietly wants Moore out of the race? Trump will be reluctant to say so himself since that would risk pissing off his populist fans. Instead he might be turning to friendly media outlets whom he knows have large populist audiences to do his dirty work for him. Is it a coincidence that Matt Drudge is in “Judge Whore” mode just 12 hours after Sean Hannity, another Trump pal, surprised everyone by giving Moore 24 hours to explain himself or withdraw? Maybe Trump is goosing his media surrogates to try to take Moore out on his behalf. If so, expect a hit piece on Moore from the National Enquirer soon.

Despite the wishful thinking from critics, though, Bannon isn’t going to abandon Moore. He can’t. His whole shtick is #WAR on the left, *especially* when the media is training its fire on a right-wing populist. For him to turn tail and run while Moore slogs on alone towards election day would damage his reputation as a “fighter” and would put Bannon in a no-win situation where, if Moore loses, he’ll be blamed for having yanked his support and, if Moore wins, he’ll be dismissed as irrelevant to populist voters. Steve Deace, for one, is hearing that Bannon’s supposed ambivalence towards Moore is nonsense:

Rosie Gray hears the same thing:

Another source close to Bannon pushed back on the Daily Beast report and said Bannon still “stands by Judge Moore 1000 percent” and plans to send more reporters to Alabama, adding that there’s “zero chance” Bannon and Breitbart will back down. Bannon is, this person said, scheduled to appear at a rally organized by Moore’s friend and adviser Dean Young on December 5. Bannon is in Japan this week giving a speech.

“There’s healthy debate about the whole thing, that’s the way Breitbart is on anything,” the source said, referring to internal conversations about the Moore story. “There’s not strong disagreement in any sense of the word.”

Two months ago Bannon told “60 Minutes” that how members of the Trump campaign responded to “Billy Bush weekend,” a.k.a. the “Access Hollywood” tape, went a long way in his eyes towards determining how much they could be trusted afterward. Supposedly Chris Christie lost out on a cabinet position because he inched away from Trump in the aftermath. A guy with that mentality has no room to run away from Moore during “Beverly Young Nelson week.” And why would he? Moore’s still probably going to win. He’s unquestionably lost ground in the polls but he leads by six in the latest survey and will slowly improve if there are no more major revelations. The Alabama GOP seems ready to stand by Moore too and Trump has stayed conspicuously quiet. *If* Bannon abandons him, his image requires him to be the last man off the ship and into the lifeboats. We’re not at that point yet.