Excerpts from Matt Drudge at the National Press Club luncheon

John Boyer (johnboy@CreativeSysInc.com)
Wed, 03 Jun 1998 12:32:01 -0500

[To me, what's more remarkable than the the fact he was invited is the
unrestrained venom found in the submitted questions. (The venom did not
surprise me, the lack of restraint did)
MD handled himself quite well BTW--Johnboy]

See Full text at

[here are some of my favorites....]

[said in the finale of the introduction of Drudge]
MR. HARBRECHT: ... So, Matt, know this: You may be, as the New York Times
recently dubbed you, the
nation's reigning mischief-maker; you may get it first sometimes, you may
even get it right
sometimes, your story of success is certainly compelling. But there aren't
many in this
hollowed room who consider you a journalist. Real journalists live, pride
themselves on
getting it first AND right; they get to the bottom of the story, they bend
over backwards to
get the other side. Journalism means being painstakingly thorough,
even-handed, and fair.

[general Q&A]

MR. HARBRECHT: Well, Matt, for our first question, let me ask you, how
does it advance
the cause of democracy and of social good to report unfounded allegations
about individuals and
the Neilsen ratings?

MR. DRUDGE: Well, that's a good question. I mean, I don't know
specifically what
you're referring to. You know, I have some -- there's different levels of
journalism; I'll
concede that. One of my competitors is Salon Magazine On-Line, who I
understand is the
president's favorite Web site. And there's a reporter there, Jonathan
Broder. He was fired
for plagiarism from the Chicago Tribune. And I read that in the Weekly
But do I believe it? Because as much as I love the Weekly
Standard, they have had to
settle a big one with Deepak Chopra, if I recall. I heard that from CNN.
But hold on. Didn't
CNN didn't have the little problem with Richard Jewell? I think Tom Brokaw
told me that, and
then I think Tom Brokaw also had to settle with Richard Jewell.
I read that in the Wall Street Journal. But didn't the Wall Street
Journal just lose a
huge libel case down in Texas, a record libel, $200 million worth of jury?
I tell you, it's
creative enough for an in-depth piece in the New Republic. But I fear
people would think it
was made up. (Applause.)


MR. HARBRECHT: All right, you've got your hat on, and you seem to emulate
in your
dress and advocate in your presentation the good old days of the tabloids
of the '20s and '30s.
But does populism equal consistently good journalism?

MR. DRUDGE: I'll have to ask Tom Brokaw that. I don't necessarily think a
means you're out defaming people left and right. A populism press is a
press that cares about
the country. Most of my sources are concerned citizens, in and out of
government, who don't
like the direction of the White House Press Office, for example. Or quite
frankly, a lot of
the people on the Hill aren't quite forthcoming answering questions.
MR. HARBRECHT: Aren't you coarsening the public discourse?
MR. DRUDGE: I hope not. You know, these questions are pretty tough, and I
think if
you directed this type of tough questioning to the White House, there'd be
no need for someone
like me, quite frankly. (Laughter/applause.)