Former IBD, the Bell Tolls for Thee

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

For years, I've heard complaints from the less-liberty-friendly parts of the conservative movement that the news aggregator Drudge Report, lost its mojo when Donald Trump won in 2016.

Today, I see that one of the few conservative sites I still respected, Issues and Insights has joined that bandwagon en route to providing a sort of short, annotated bibliography of alternatives.

Before I get to that, let's consider the following complaint about a recent set of headlines at the the site started by Matt Drudge:

This Monday, for example, the top of the fold featured a long list of links to stories about Trump's alleged mental lapse (while completely ignoring Biden's more egregious one the day before), plus links to stories pumping up the left's current favorite Republican, Nikki Haley.

The stories listed that day were almost entirely from a handful of (mostly) liberal-leaning news outlets -- AP, Politico, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, SFGate, the Guardian.
Does anyone in the conservative movement know how to play Devil's advocate anymore? Might the reason so many of these stories come from leftist partisan media be that right-wing partisan media have become largely a pro-Trump echo chamber? Have conservatives memory-holed the idea that a true friend is one who is willing to talk about bad news?

If I were a Trump supporter, I'd be concerned about signs of mental decline. Might the case be not so much Matt Drudge leaving the conservatives so much as they left him? (Here's a Trump toady who incidentally notes the post-Trump change in the conservative movement.)

And finally, is it really news to Biden's opponents that he is quite the senile "embalmed Soviet corpse of an incumbent," as Dan Hannon recently put it so aptly?

Sorry, Issues and Insights, but Our guy isn't as senile as their guy is weak sauce as a defense and the fight song for a ship of fools.

I&E even stoops to Trump's rhetorical style, dismissing Nikki Haley as a "neoCon" and "the left's current favorite Republican."

This pro-capitalist reader of I&E wonders: Will that site start kowtowing to Trump's economically illiterate protectionism? His anti-American xenophobia? His threats to misuse government to punish political opponents?

With those questions in mind, here is their list of recommended sites that are "better than the Old Drudge:"
It may remind you of it, but this is not your father's Drudge Report. (Screen shot by the author. I believe my use of this image is protected as fair use under U.S. copyright law.)
The Liberty Daily is the most Drudge-like in appearance -- same font, same general layout, same use of red to flag hot stories -- but has a tendency to add lots of zing and nicknames, such as Crybaby RINO NeverTrumper Adam Kinzinger or Bribery Biden, NeoCon Nikki Haley.

Discern Report and Off the Press sport more modern front pages.

Whatfinger, which describes itself as "The Conservative answer to the Drudge Report" and aspires to be "The Greatest Aggregate Link News Site On Earth" has a huge mélange of stories from conservative news and blogs.

But we find ourselves increasingly drawn to Citizen Free Press, which has taken Drudge to the next level and is almost entirely a long list of links.
I will admit that these sites can be useful in the same way as Drudge -- which was never perfect and has always tended to sensationalize things.

Indeed, they might be more useful than the original now in the sense that, just as one should slum around in the likes of the Huffington Post or Mother Jones to get news the right ignores and get the pulse of the left, one should do so with sites on the right -- whatever "the right" means now.

I'll close with a link from each site:Novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand and historian Brad Thompson declared conservatism dead long ago. They were correct to do so. Whatever the right has become, it isn't even conservative in the sense of pretending to be pro-capitalist or pro-individualist.

It pains me to see people who call themselves conservatives turning off their minds and descending into mere populism, which might win elections -- so theocrats and nationalists who have very anti-American agendas can carry them out in the name of patriotism.

I do appreciate I&E bringing some new news aggregation sites to my attention, including helping me more quickly learn what the other other side is saying about any given issue.

-- CAV

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