(PJ Media) It’s no secret that for years, the Drudge Report drove conservative (and often mainstream) media news cycles. If Drudge was talking about it, you could bet everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Fox News to PJ Media was also discussing it. In fact, there was a symbiotic relationship between Drudge’s aggregated links and the pages of most conservative media outlets. Pretty much everyone was either getting story prompts from Drudge or sending him stories (often via AOL Instant Messenger) hoping he’d link them.
A Drudge link day was always a good one for a website. In the early days of PJ Media, before we had the sophisticated technology we do now, a link would crash our severs. Back then, our tech guys would get an email alert anytime we got a Drudge link so they could fortify our site against the barrage of people swarming to read our stories.
I remember my first Drudge link. I wrote something criticizing John Kasich, then my governor (and the son of a mailman). I was so excited that I printed out the page and hung it on my refrigerator. It ranked up there with my first mentions by Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin. Those were heady times.
For a few years, Drudge links made up a rather large percentage of traffic to our site. We’d get a link every day or two. Sometimes multiples. A link at the top of the page, “above the fold,” could bring in hundreds of thousands of readers—and no small amount of revenue.
Many of you will recall that Drudge at first did everything he could to promote Donald Trump. Then something happened, some sort of falling-out that no one ever really got to the bottom of, and Matt Drudge turned on the president. That was in 2019, a year of big changes for Drudge. There were rumors (still unconfirmed) that the site had been sold. Drudge changed its ad provider, and it began to lean more liberal and more favorable toward mainstream media. That same year, PJ Media became part of the Townhall Media family and the links stopped—abruptly. Literally on the day of the sale. Whoever was running Drudge at the time, whether Matt or some minimum-wage intern, apparently had some sort of grudge against Townhall and he/they even dropped us from the blogroll at the bottom of the page. Petty, vindictive, and, if I’m being honest, rather costly to our bottom line.