Ding dong, the Drudge Report is dead. Meanwhile, its primary challenger, the Bongino Report, has grown into the conservative media powerhouse amid the COVID-19 craze and upcoming presidential election.
The Bongino Report is a news aggregation and news site founded and operated by the outspoken Dan Bongino, a Fox News contributor and former Secret Service agent.
While Matt Drudge has been historically right-leaning, his self-titled Drudge Report has betrayed its conservative constituency over the past year. Many political pundits and outlets exposed Drudge for promoting anti-Trump stories during the impeachment hoax.
Radio personality Rush Limbaugh sounded the early alarm in June of last year on his program. The criticism continued to boil over last fall. “Et tu, Drudge? Alarm grows on right over site’s anti-Trump pivot,” The Washington Times titled its headline. “What happened to Matt Drudge?” The Gateway Pundit asked. “He may not be able to earn back the trust of Trump supporters who feel betrayed that Drudge appears to have joined the resistance now,” PJ Media wrote, warning that the political aisle shift could "backfire big time."
Recently, Tucker Carlson called Drudge "firmly a man of the progressive left," comparing the Drudge Report founder to The Daily Beast or "any other woke propaganda outlet posing as a news company" during his Fox News show on Jul. 24.
"For decades, Matt Drudge was one of the most influential figures in conservative news journalism," Carlson said in an interview with Matthew Lysiak, author of a new biography on Drudge. "But if you've seen the Drudge Report recently, you know that it has changed dramatically, 180 degrees."
President Donald Trump has also noted the tilt in coverage, tweeting in April that he "gave up on Drudge...long ago, as have many others. People are dropping off like flies!"
Bongino has been fiercely critical of Drudge. He then designed his publication to rival the Drudge Report, peeling away the latter's disaffected Trump supporters and teasing in a social media campaign that his Bongino Report would release "exclusively conservative and libertarian content."
In December 2019, Bongino accused Drudge of abandoning the conservative movement, adding that he "never will."
"Drudge has abandoned you. I NEVER will. Check out, and bookmark, the Bongino Report today," he wrote to his Twitter followers on the day of the site's launch.
Bongino continued to poke at his opponent in the early promotional stages, drawing in Republican readers who were "feed up with the now liberal Drudge Report."
"We only cover REAL news stories, no fake news allowed!" Bongino tweeted.
"All of our early growth was organic," Palumbo told The Post Millennial.
When the news site started, Palumbo was the sole employee. The newsroom has since brought on staff writer Jeremy Frankel, expanding its topics to include sports, science, entertainment, international, and opinion sections.
"Since at least a year now there's been a public perception that Drudge has moved to the left, and anyone that visits the site can see that," Palumbo continued.
"It was easy to see on social media, people previously devoted to Drudge for years (or even decades) frustrated and looking for an alternative, and the void couldn't have been easier to fill," Palumbo wrote.
"And our site looks *a bit* more aesthetically pleasing if I may say so myself," Palumbo added as a jab at the Drudge Report's not-easy-on-the-eyes page layout.