In a rare interview, Matt Drudge, the proprietor of the Drudge Report, praised gridlock in the nation’s capitol, claimed that the news business is in a “vibrant era,” and said that news of the surge of immigrants at the southern U.S. border is his latest obsession.
The famously-elusive Drudge gave the interview to Washington D.C. radio station WTOP on Friday.
Asked about gridlock in Congress, Drudge said “Thank goodness.”
“Can you imagine what would be happening if there was no gridlock?” he asked, pointing out that perhaps the electorate supports gridlock as well.
Unprompted, Drudge turned to a topic that has dominated his influential website of late: immigration.
“I’m more obsessed with what’s going on at the border these days,” said Drudge.
The Drudge Report had around a dozen links devoted to news stories about immigration on Friday.
“I know it’s not an immediate issue here, unless we start getting some of the immigrant shipments in,” Drudge said, referencing a heavy surge of illegal immigrant children from Central America that has inundated immigration agencies.
“I know there are big fights throughout the country,” he said. “Virginia just said, ‘No, do not bring immigrants here from the border en masse.'”
“And Speaker Pelosi, or former Speaker Pelosi, is going down to the border this weekend,” said Drudge, who on Friday posted an article to his site critical of Pelosi’s visit.
Asked by the WTOP host whether he believes that websites like his heavily-trafficked site and other “partistan” news outlets lend themselves to “vitriol and acrimony,” Drudge pushed back.
“But the country is divided,” he said.
“All of these polls are always divided. Look at Capitol Hill, it’s divided. How can you say the airwaves or website should not be divided? We are.”
“However, I go where the heat is,” Drudge commented. “I’m a heat-seeking missile. I will go where the action is.”
“I make waves, I don’t surf them,” he said, mentioning a speech he gave at the National Press Club in 1998, shortly after he broke the story of Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.
That story made Drudge a household name and his site a go-to for many conservatives.
The Miami-based webmaster picked up the story after he found out that Newsweek magazine had refused to publish it. His speech at the National Press Club was devoted to discussing the new era of journalism that he predicted would fill in the gaps of the traditional mainstream media.
He also predicted that the internet would “save the news business.” In an article last year to mark the 15th anniversary of that National Press Club speech, one Washington Post reporter declared that “Matt Drudge was right” with that prediction.
On the current state of the news business, Drudge said “it’s a little psychotic right now.”
“Everybody’s doing everything,” he said.
But that is a positive turn, he claimed, saying that “this is a vibrant era of media.”