But Drudge... Well, while we here may discount that on-line rag with the same contempt as one might have for the Weekly World News, millions of Conservative Americans take this site as truth.
As the NY Times Discussed:
Mr. Drudge understood the whole high-low bifurcation that news consumers are drawn to long before there was such a thing as Gawker. Andrew Breitbart, the founder of several conservative Web sites including Breitbart.com and the author of “Righteous Indignation,” met him in 1995 when Mr. Drudge was still working at the CBS gift shop in Los Angeles and running the Web site on the side. Mr. Breitbart immediately began helping him.
“Matt Drudge is an American original,” Mr. Breitbart said. “He does not rig search optimization, he does not care about the next big Web innovation, he just has the best nose for news there is. He gives people everything, every single thing, they want to know in a single stop.”
A big part of the reason he is such an effective aggregator for both audiences and news sites is that he actually acts like one. Behemoth aggregators like Yahoo News and The Huffington Post have become more like fun houses that are easy to get into and tough to get out of. Most of the time, the summary of an article is all people want, and surfers don’t bother to click on the link (vb1 emphasis). But on The Drudge Report, there is just a delicious but bare-bones headline, there for the clicking. It’s the opposite of sticky, which means his links actually kick up significant traffic for other sites.SO... with that here is the top headline at today's Drudge Report "CIVIL WAR:SENATE TO GO FOR HANDGUNS". I noticed this because a co-worker had it sitting up on his desktop. Well, seeing that and with the fact that I am a handgun owner I figured I would take a look so I pulled it up. What does this ominous headline lead too... Senator Diane Feinsteins page regarding the Assault Weapon Ban.
NOW... if you read the bill that Feinstein supports it does mention handguns, HOWEVER, it only mentions handguns in the context of them having "Fixed Magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition" in them.
Now that is quite different story from the headline which screams "Senate Going After Handguns". But Drudge is meant to get clicks and readers so he doesn't care what he posts. However, he should care. There are a number of gun owners out there that buy into the paranoia that "President Obama is coming for their guns", and because of that they lash out and start shooting. That number of people is not high at this point, but we see the violence of this manifestation on a daily basis.
I have some acquaintances (Ron Paul supporters) who talk in terms of "revolution" if someone tries to take away their guns. Will they do anything? I don't know, I don't think so but, they are trained to use these weapons to a high degree. Here is the rantings of one them on Facebook:
Idiots, well I called this six years ago just like I called iraq before that, thanks idiots...you voted for hitler cause hes black this time.... You stupid retards and your abortion/healthcare/wellfare crap destroyed amurica you fucking idiots....the holocaust only happened cause.people voted for it under the mask of protection...sheep.and
BULLETS BULLETS BULLETS!!!! woohoo!!!! gun control gun control!!!!!!! fucking sheep. if i accidentally have a kid, its going to school in kevlar and with a 9milly before you start crying and voting our civil rights away watch some glorious police murders....its real... enjoy reality.I mean this is the stuff that gets posted and they really believe it: The Government is coming to get you. SO... when Drudge posts this headline what is he doing? He is actively engaging in getting people that are heavily armed completely riled up. He is also engaging in mass consumer fraud to get people to buy up guns and ammo "before the ban goes into effect".
This is serious stuff. These headlines are meant to inflame. How many wingnuts are even going to actually click the link? My bet... not many. But what will be the result of this. How many people need to die before people like Drudge and his ilk actually take responsibility for their lies?
A possible solution? Get your conservative friends who read this ridiculous rag to actually click the link and call Drudge out. When I did - here is the conversation:
Me: You know this is bullshit right?Now at first this seems like a failed conversation, but after I saw him clicking on other misleading links just to check. You could tell that something about "Hmmm, this is not right" was going on. And so things change little by little. I think this is how we get the conversation started, by demonstrating that a lot of the fear around politics is just fear-mongering by a few.
Co-worker: No way, Obummer is coming for our guns
Me: Well, did you actually read the story - it is about the "Assault Weapons Ban", what the hell does that have to do with Handguns?
Co-worker: I don't have to read the story - I know it's true. What do your read, the Huffington Post?
Me: Just READ the fucking page, NOW! Stop making shit up - just read it
Co-Worker: Ok, ok... (reads the link).
Me: Where is there anything about taking away Handguns?
Co-worker: Hmmm I don't really see anything but, it doesn't matter anyway, first it will be assault weapons then handguns.
Me: Oh for G-d sakes!!!!
Start and have the conversation. Fear is born of ignorance. The Right depends on ignorance for their strength. Deny them that fear and you deny them their meme's.