The Navigator: Believe It or Not
By Linton Weeks
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 16, 1998
Sure enough. On Monday the announcement was made. The new New Yorker editor: David Remnick.
Can't win them all, Matt. But the Hollywood-based gossipmonger doesn't seem to care if he wins or loses. He just loves to play the game even when it gets rough. Last August White House adviser Sidney Blumenthal sued Drudge for libel. You can follow the case, from the viewpoint of Drudge's lawyer, at a site called Blumenthal v. Drudge Update.
Love him or loathe him, Matt Drudge will go down as the first celebrity indigenous to the Internet. Granted he never could have become so famous without the amplification of newspapers, magazines and TV. But he was nobody before the Internet. And more important, he understands its power. He can massage the medium.
Truth be told, the Drudge site is understated. Besides an occasional incendiary headline or two and several graphs about the latest media noise, the page is just a glorified list of links to all kinds of media sites.
The front page of the Smudge Report is full of direct slaps at Drudge's style: "Report Finds Many of the Fights on 'The McLaughlin Group' Are Staged!", "Ken Starr Indicts President for Not Paying Legal Bills Incurred From Defending Himself Against Ken Starr" and "Sen. Thompson to Hold Hearings on Booming Economy."
Smudge also is worth a pause because of its contentious and creative links. Gun Nut News, for instance, is a repackaged Yahoo! search using the words "shot" and "shooting." The result is sure-enough what Smudge intended.
Smudge is just one small voice but, as the original Matt Drudge told the National Press Club last month, "We have entered an era vibrating with the din of small voices. Every citizen can be a reporter, can take on the powers that be. The difference between the Internet, television and radio, magazines, newspapers is the two-way communication. The Net gives as much voice to a . . . computer geek like me as to a CEO or speaker of the House. We all become equal."
As a hundred flowers blossom, so far Drudge is the one that smells the strongest.
Linton Weeks can be reached at email@example.com
A Dog's Tale...
Despite the ancient admonitions, the site includes a step-by-step guide to manufacturing sausages. Not for the weak of stomach, however, is the listing of 100 hot dog and sausage varieties. It includes jellied beef loaf, blood and tongue sausage, head cheese, macaroni and cheese loaf and the ever-enigmatic "luncheon meat."
There also are, ahem, links to federal food regulators. Louis Jacobson
Depends on How You Look At It
Furthermore, FELFAT no longer believes that the Earth is flat. "We acknowledge the overwhelming circumstantial evidence that the Earth is currently round," they magnanimously declare, while still insisting that the Earth "was formerly, and is naturally, entirely FLAT." We fell so far from our utopian state, say the horizontal thinkers, because the "original flat Earth was confined, restricted and twisted into a perverse spherical shape by a conglomerate of TELEVISION BROADCASTERS in an attempt to realize their dream of TOTAL HUMAN MIND CONTROL." Can anyone argue with that? I thought not. Dave Nuttycombe
Found something intriguing, improbable, insane or especially useful on the Net? Write it up and send it to Joel Garreau or Robert Thomason.
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
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