Ginni Thomas

Who is the most powerful man in ‘This Town’: Mike Allen or Matt Drudge? [VIDEO]

Grae Stafford Freelance Photographer
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New York Times magazine correspondent and author of the explosive book “This Town” Mark Leibovich detailed intricate internal workings of Washington and compared two of the most powerful men in news and politics, Mike Allen and Matt Drudge, in an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller.

Mike Allen’s morning ‘Playbook’ email has the power to shape the political discussion, he explained, because hundreds of decision makers in the political circuit read it every morning.

“These hundreds of people are TV bookers, and reporters, and hill staffers of both parties, and White House staffers, and lobbyists and a lot of people in some of the state capitals, too,” he said.

The power of Playbook stems from its ability to shape the news cycle.

“Mike basically has this knack for writing this email about things that people have missed over night, things that are central to the political discussion,” Leibovich said. “What is striking about Mike, in addition to him being a very quirky, kind of eccentric, fascinating guy, is that he has this inordinate amount of power in that people read what he says, and then you can just see ten cable shows in a given day given over to what Mike says is important. You can see the front page of the next days newspapers. So he is what we would call now a ‘conversation driver.'”

Leibovich compares the reach that Allen has with that of Matt Drudge, the owner and operator of the hugely successful news aggregation website site, The Drudge Report.

“They are very distinct.” Leibovich said “I mean, they both have incredible amounts of power, incredible amounts of reach. I think Mike’s reach is more to insiders per say and it flowers out… Conservative media, liberal media will read him. I think Drudge is more of a headline. You literally have millions of people on there a day and it just goes directly to those news consumers and it is much more direct, frankly… Mike is a conversation starter. Drudge has a much more definitive conversation within his website which he is updating constantly. They are both wildly influential and I read both of them.”

See the full interview with Mark Leibovich here.

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Grae Stafford