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Matt Drudge Slaps Back at Trump: Last Month Was ‘Most Eyeballs in Drudge Report’s 26 Year History’

Evan Agostini, Getty

Matt Drudge, proprietor of the eponymous news aggregator website, The Drudge Report, made a rare public comment today in response to President Donald Trump, who had slammed his site for criticizing him.

Drudge, who first rose to national prominence during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, was originally a Trump supporter but recently seemed to sour on the 45th president. The Drudge Report has increasingly featured articles — as well as the attention-grabbing “Drudge Siren” site headlines — critical of Trump, specifically his management of the coronavirus pandemic.

Trump lashed out, as he habitually does against his critics, tweeting, “I gave up on Drudge (a really nice guy) long ago, as have many others. People are dropping off like flies!”

The tweet was meant to imply that the site’s traffic was floundering, a common line of attack from a president who brags about his own television ratings while criticizing the “failing New York Times” or “failing CNN,” for example.

Drudge became more reclusive and substantially cut back his own public comments, starting just over a decade ago. But this tweet from Trump drew him out, leading Drudge to send an email to CNN’s Oliver Darcy refuting Trump’s comments.

“The past 30 days has been the most eyeballs in Drudge Report’s 26 year-history,” wrote Drudge. “Heartbreaking that it has been under such tragic circumstances.”

Darcy reviewed web analytics data provided by both the Drudge Report server and external sources, and found no sign of a drop in traffic to the site:

Web analytics data do not support Trump’s claim that Drudge is losing web traffic amid the coronavirus crisis.

In fact, page view data directly from the Drudge Report’s server, provided to CNN by a person with access to the numbers, shows no significant traffic dips since January 2019. The data shows a significant traffic surge in March, up to 1.2 billion page views from 781 million page views in February.

Additionally, data from Quantcast, a web analytics firm, showed that the Drudge Report had 201 million visits in November, 2016, a high-traffic month given it was the climax of the 2016 presidential election.

In the last 30 days, however, the Drudge Report has received 228 million visits, according to Quantcast.

 

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