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

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 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 had been responsible for infecting Senate computers with viruses and advising Senate personnel not to visit the Web sites.

When 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.