MATTHEW “MATT” DRUDGE is a right-wing (he would say “populist”) American “yellow journalist” and the creator/editor of the Drudge Report, an American news aggregator. Drudge is also an author and a former radio and television show host.
Drudge was unknown before he began the news aggregation site, the Drudge Report. For many years, he took odd jobs such as night counterman at a 7-Eleven convenience Store store, telemarketer for Time-Life books, McDonald’s manager, and sales assistant at a New York City grocery store.
In 1989, he moved to Los Angeles, where he took up residence in a small Hollywood apartment. He took a job in the gift shop of CBS studios, eventually working his way up to manager. Here, he was apparently privy to some inside gossip, part of the inspiration for founding the Drudge Report. Worried about his son’s aimlessness, Drudge’s father insisted on buying him a Packard Bell computer in 1994. The Drudge Report began as email notes sent out to a few friends.
The original issues were part gossip and part opinion. They were distributed as an email newsletter and posted to alt.showbiz.gossip Usenet forum. In 1996, the newsletter transitioned slowly from entertainment gossip to political gossip and moved from email to the Web as its primary distribution mechanism.
In March 1995, the Drudge Report had 1,000 email subscribers; by 1997, Drudge had 85,000 subscribers to his email service. Drudge’s website gained in popularity in the late 1990s after a number of stories which he reported before the mainstream media. Drudge first received national attention in 1996 when he broke the news that Jack Kemp would be Republican Bob Dole’s running mate in the 1996 presidential election. In 1998, he gained popularity when he published the reporting of then-Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff, becoming the first media outlet to publish the news that later became the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
A story by Business 2.0 magazine from April 2003 estimated that Drudge’s website received $3,500 a day (almost $1.3 million a year) in advertising revenues. Subtracting his relatively minor server costs, the magazine estimated that the Drudge Report website netted $800,000 a year. An article in The Miami Herald from September 2003 said that Drudge estimated he earns $1.2 million a year from his website and radio show. During an April 2004 appearance on C-SPAN, he confirmed that he earns over $1 million.
For many years, Drudge was based out of his one-bedroom apartment in Hollywood. Today, he maintains the website from his two properties in Miami, Florida. In updating the site, he reportedly monitors multiple television news channels and a number of websites on several computers in his home office.
Drudge’s relationships have always been with older men. He was a regular at gay clubs in Washington, D.C. when he was a teenager.