Just this week, for example, five of six Drudge headlines about Perry include bad news, from polling to policy: “PERRY APOLOGIZES FOR CALLING GOP VOTERS ‘HEARTLESS’… Iowa: Romney 21%, Bachmann 15%, Perry 14%, Paul 12%…POLL: CAIN ON TOP, PERRY PLUMMETS…PERRY: MY WIFE PRODDED ME TO RUN.”
Drudge’s editorial decisions replace Perry’s message of solid, inspirational, conservatism with an inept, flagging candidate. And while Drudge doesn’t exert the broad influence over the scattered media landscape that he did over a more concentrated media five or ten years ago, he still wields immense power, particularly in shaping the narrative of the right. He has helped chip away at Perry’s image to hundreds of thousands of conservative readers daily, just for starters. Drudge is also the assignment editor for conservative talk radio hosts around the country, who can often be heard scanning the headlines on his page. He’s a major source of chatter on cable news, starting with Fox.