Correction: Matt Drudge is not a Pedophile! Sorry for the Confusion!

According to this “developing” story, it may be even worse than you think. Shocking, but hardly surprising.

UPDATE: Well, it looks like Kos has taken down the story. Matt Drudge’s reputation, such as it is, will carry on another day, safe from snarky satire on DailyKos. For any who are curious, the linked to story was a satirical piece like you might see in The Onion that used Drudge Report-style innuendo and unsourced quotes to hint that a big story was about to break that would implicate Drudge in sleaze. At no point did it say that Drudge had been caught with child porn; rather it used weasel-wording like “sources say that Drudge will be caught with. . .” etc. This is a technique that Drudge has perfected for sliming Democrats, liberals and progressives, and the corporate media frequently runs with whatever nonsense he promotes. I thought it would be fun to give him a little taste of his own medicine (although a very small dose. Tens of mllions of people get news from Drudge directly or indirectly; Wetmachine’s readership is a tad smaller.) It was intended to be obvious satire, although at least one Wetmachine reader (see comments) didn’t realize that I knew what I was doing. And actually, it *was* fun.

UPDATE April 4

Reader JG makes a good point in the comments, that is, and I quote: “Spreading lies about someone in order to damage their character is wrong.” So, we agree upon that, and accordingly I’ve edited the headline of this story to reflect all that is currently publicly known about Matt Drudge’s possible pedophillic predilictions. I have no reason at all to suspect that Matt Drudge is a pedophile. So we’re clear on that. I was just “making shit up,” in the Matt Drudge way. (Although, in homage to Drudge, I have let stand the innuendo of the “all that that is currently publicly known” bit. Here, obviously, I’m merely demonstrating the technique of innuendo, the hinting without saying, of something nasty.) Now, when we get to the point we JG realizes that “spreading lies about someone in order to damage their character” is Matt Drudge’s stock in trade, a regular part of what he does for a living, when JG will admit that innuendo is a regular part of Drudge’s schtick, then we’ll be getting somewhere.

And one final update (April 4): Please note that *I* never said Matt Drudge was a pedophile. I certainly implied it, which was the point. My original headline was Matt Drudge, Pedophile. That sentence [] no verb. It’s just a list. If I had a headline “Octopus, banana” would it mean that I was asserting that an octopus was a banana? No, of course not. I do admit that when a noun follows a proper name set off by a comma, it’s usually an instance of apposition, and the verb is implied. However, if one wanted to be weasely, one could deny that any implication had been intended. These are the rhetorical tricks and techniques of slimeball “journalism,” of which Drudge is an exemplar.


  1. The story is a fake. Kos ran this satirical piece so that boneheads like you will run with the story and try to pass it off as fact. You bought it and are participating in damaging someones character without any fact checking. Sad but very typical behavior from you “progressives”. For a so-called reality based community, you sure buy into a lot of BS just because it sounds good to you.

  2. I knew it was a fake. I did it to do a little tit-for-tat sliming of the Matt Drudge variety. Yes, it’s satire. That’s why I put the “developing” in quotes. Heaven knows he deserves it!

  3. To use the victimization of children as part of a hit piece[sic] and call it fun is despicable. Also, trying to back away from this by saying you release [sic] this is satire is not “speaking truth to power” (you may use one of your other tired leftist buzz expressions in place of speaking truth to power). This is still a libelous peice [sic]. I imagine that you have or currently refer to Fox News as Faux News and still not see the hypocrisy in your position. It demonstrates how irrational your hate has made you.

    I know you have probably been brainwashed by left-wing moral relativism so let me help you: Spreading lies about someone in order to damage their character is wrong. It does not matter if the lie is from Kos, Coulter or any of the so-called journalists who write for the biased media outlets like the NY Times.
    In short, people who post crap and do not bother to proofread their writing make me [sic]k.
    Will your next post be about women who are asking to be raped because of how they act? Perhaps hate crimes? Funny stuff indeed!


  4. JG,

    First, thanks for the spelling corrections. I really should proofread before I post. Secondly, I’ve addressed your concerns in the update to the body of the post. Thirdly, might I gently caution you about some of your own assumptions. You’ve tried to put words in my mouth about “speaking truth to power” “Faux News”; you’ve accused me of being “brainwashed”. Do you think this tone is appropriate or helpful to our discussion? I don’t. It’s not that I mind being called names; heck, this is a blog and blog comments can be brutal. That doesn’t bother me at all. It’s the leaping to assumptions and attributing to me things I have not said that I’m calling into question.

    Now I’ll be off to correct those typos, thanks.

  5. You did refer to “Fox” News as “Faux” News at least once. In a post dated 01/16/2005 on Blogging, Journalism and Credibility on the cyberlaw blog at Harvard you wrote, “…Or shall we keep passing it around for a little bit before laughing our way over the goal line, spiking it, doing our victory dance and mooning the fans in the Faux News/Pravda/WSJ cheering section?” It was a clever line but you did refer to Fox News as Faux News.

    I wrote,”I know you have probably been brainwashed by left-wing moral relativism so let me help you…” I only hope it (moral relativism) was the result of brainwashing or college indoctrination and not something you chose because it made sense. The point was that you endorsed moral relativism. You position was that Drudge deserved lies to be spread about him because you feel he spreads lies. It is a losing situation when your ethics can be bent to justify damaging someone’s character through the spreading of lies because you feel they deserve it. This is the kind of skewed thinking that makes people advocate torture. They argue something like: “Well the enemy uses much worse torture. Oh, by the way, what we do is not really torture anyway.”

    To “admit” that a journalist is slimy is like admitting water is wet.


  6. Well, touche on the Faux News catch.

    Your assertion of “moral relativism” on my part is a, shall we say, a little hyperbolic, one might almost say, “pearl clutching”. It implies all kinds of false equivalences, and I’m not going to try to address them here, although perhaps I will attempt to do so in a future post. I suspect it’s disingenuous on your part, given the stridency of your commets to me, but I don’t want to assert that, because, y’know, who knows? But surely you’ll admit that the phrase “moral relativism” is a cliche in certain right-wing circles the way “speaking truth to power” is a cliche in certain left wing circles. It neither case is the concept unimportant, but as Orwell pointed out, cliches can be dangerous because they tend to drive out real thinking.

    And it’s quite a leap from a perhaps tasteless but certainly satirical (and corrected) jibe at Drudge, to advocating torture.

    Some journalists are slimey, but not all of them are, by any means. Some journalists are paragons of integrity. (The name of my fellow blogger & citizen-journalist Harold Feld comes to mind.) Some people who call themselves journalists are not in fact journalists, but propagandists. That’s what I think Drudge is.

  7. Hi John,
    I want to land this plane as the topic and thread have run their course.
    For the record, I did not say you advocated torture. That was never my intention. It was an extreme example to show the danger of inconsistent personal ethics being used to rationalize anything one wants. I see this crazy torture “justification” in the right-wing here in the US. It is used to explain why we need dunk our enemy’s heads in water and violate the inherent dignity of life. Liberals do not support that here. They tend to support torture in communist dictatorships like Cuba and North Korea. Well…and the middle east as long as Westerners or Christians are the ones being tortured. But that’s another thing, too.

    One last thing…about journalists. I do know of one who boggles the mind. Bill Cohen has written/reported for the Statehouse News Bureau (Ohio) and NPR forever. It is that well written non-sexed up kind of writing that favors presentation of facts to dishonest quoting and storytelling. That’s a tough task especially when tax and steal Taft was in office. Taft seemed dead set on turning Ohio into one big mid-western ghetto.

    Thanks again,

  8. JG,

    I appreciate your comments, and this plane has landed on a more smooth glide path than it looked like it was going to.

    I have written elsewhere about a seminar called “Moral Coherency” taught by Wolf Wolfensberger — whom you can google up if you feel like it– which has profoundly influenced both me and my dear wife. I do strive for moral coherency in my own actions. But ethical corner-cutting and rationalizations are a perennial threat to all persons who happen to be human, and you are correct to point out that I am as susceptible to moral incoherency as anybody else.

    I’m a liberal, and I condemn torture whoever performs it. I’m no apologist for North Korea or Castro, and I know few liberals who are (although they are very different kinds of places).

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