FLASHBACK -In January 2016 presidential candidate Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz was proudly boasting that the mainstream media no longer had a stranglehold on information because "We have got the internet. We have got the Drudge Report. We have got talk radio. We have got social media. We've got the ability to go directly around, and directly to the people."
"Drudge Report over the years has done a good job highlighting the excesses of the left and the excesses of liberalism, and about the past month the Drudge Report has basically become the attack site for the Donald Trump campaign," Cruz said on the Mike Slater Show on Monday. "And so every day they have the latest Trump attack, they’re directed at me. By all appearances, Roger Stone now decides what’s on Drudge. And most days, they have six-month-old article that is some attack on me and it’s whatever the Trump campaign is pushing that day will be the banner headline on Drudge."
"By the way, they no longer cover news," Cruz added of Drudge.
"Huge problem" may be an understatement on the part of Wapo as the Drudge Report is one of the most influential news aggregation websites nationally and globally. According to Alexa, which provides commercial web traffic data and analytics across the globe, under Top Sites, category "News- Headline Links" the Druge Report is ranked as number two.
In 2015 Politico reported that "In 2014, DrudgeReport.com was the No. 1 site of referral traffic to the Daily Mail, CNN, Fox News, Roll Call, Breitbart, The New York Times, National Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, Reuters, The Wall Street Journal and POLITICO, Intermarkets found."
Another unique aspect for Drudge is that 87 percent of its own traffic is from readers going directly to DrudgeReport.com and staying there for an average of 30 minutes.
"People are religious in how they come to Drudge," Vipul Mistry, Intermarket's Business Development manager told the On Media blog. "When we analyzed all our audience that's what it is, people are on there not only in morning, they tend to leave it open as it refreshes."
Drudge has 2 million daily unique visitors and around 700 million monthly page views, almost entirely from within the United States, Mistry said.
Drudge is literally the "go-to" site for conservatives, although his audience isn't solely conservative with Quantcast, which is a digital marketing company that provides free audience demographics measurement, showing a significant amount of Independents also favor Drudge report.
With that type of political influence it is easy to see why the recent negative coverage about Ted Cruz on Drudge's front page might be frustrating to Cruz and his supporters, but for a supposed conservative politician, one hundreds of delegates behind the frontrunner of the GOP race for the presidential nomination, to wage an outright attack, basically declaring war on Matt Drudge and the Drudge report, knowing and having previously acknowledged the amount of influence Drudge carries...... is a huge misstep and mistake on the part of Cruz.
If that is a huge mistake, then Cruz claiming "Roger Stone now decides what’s on Drudge," is a blunder of epic proportions, because to date, Drudge has shied away from Roger Stone's direct comments on the National Enquirer's Cruz sex scandal story, and has not posted links to that potential campaign killing story which took the Internet by storm in late March.
This brings to mind a couple of expressions about choosing battles wisely and being careful what one asks for because they may just get it.
The Cruz attack against Drudge is now trending on social media and one specific response encompasses why this was a massive mistake on Cruz's part as one commenter states "It's ON now, Ted. Hope those stories about your affairs aren't true because you're picking a fight with the guy who broke the Monica Lewinski story when no one else would touch it."
It shows a distinct lack of good judgement for a politician to attack someone that reaches more people in one day than said politician can reach in a month, because if Drudge decides that since he is already being accused of being a Stone mouthpiece, to go ahead and link to some of Stone's interviews like the one below, the Cruz presidential campaign could be over in just one news cycle.